SOURCE: eMarketer

March 22, 2007 09:00 ET

Automotive Advertising Speeds Online

Auto Marketers Shifting Gear From Traditional Media to Internet

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2007 -- Tire-kickers are now mouse-clickers. A record 67.5% of US new-vehicle buyers researched their purchase online while shopping for a vehicle in 2006, according to J.D.Power and Associates.

And the automotive industry -- which spends more on advertising than any other industry -- is following suit, shifting dollars out of television, newspapers and magazines to the Internet. This trend is expected to continue as auto marketers focus on consumer engagement and look for more measurable media interactions, according to eMarketer's latest report, Automotive Online: The Race Is On (

In 2005, total ad spending by the US auto industry declined 3.4% to $21 billion, but online spending increased 37%. This increased online ad spending is going to microsites, social networks, rich media ads, search engine optimization and mobile marketing.

eMarketer estimates that in 2007, auto manufacturers, dealers and after-market vendors will account for $2.54 billion of the $19.5 billion total spent online.

Consumers are heavy users of search when it comes to online auto shopping, especially to find information about vehicles, pricing and local dealerships. The auto industry will not only focus on simply competing for keywords, but also toward improving natural search results through search engine optimization. Altogether, auto marketers will spend $1.06 billion on search this year.

When it comes to using emerging advertising tactics auto marketers are on the leading edge. One tactic all are betting on heavily is video, via the Web, mobile phones and interactive TV channels, as consumers become more accepting of ads within online videos.

With the current emphasis on "cool" and "hip," some marketers are ignoring the basics of online marketing, cautions Lisa Phillips, senior analyst and author of the report. "Despite paying millions of dollars for minutes of national TV exposure during the Super Bowl, some car companies failed to buy keywords related to their broadcast campaigns and lost viewers to third-party sites like or YouTube."

About eMarketer

eMarketer is "The First Place to Look" for market research information related to the Internet, e-business, online marketing and emerging technologies. eMarketer aggregates and analyzes e-business research from over 2,800 sources, and brings it together in analyst reports, daily research articles and the "eStat Database" -- the most comprehensive database of e-business and online marketing statistics in the world.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Kris Oser
    Director of strategic communications, eMarketer
    Email Contact
    Tel. 212-763-6033
    Jared Jenks
    Marketing communications coordinator, eMarketer
    Email Contact
    Tel. 212-763-6044