Online Vs. Print

Nathan Hollenbeck
Found a great article on LinkedIn today. People are finally realizing that advertising in print is a large waste of money. It saddens me to see so many dealerships out there spending so much money in print media. There is no measurability so you are fishing out ads in hopes that someone who reads it just so happens to be looking for your product. I'm a firm believer in Behavioral Targeting for that strategy. Why just throw your add out there when you can show that ad to someone looking for your product? I’m curious to see if you guys out there have begun to use these techniques or if you are still branding your stores with print advertisements. Any thoughts, comments, or success stories?
Chris Costner
I sure hope there aren't many stores out there still looking for a return from print ads. I come from an organization that flooded the newspaper for years and never thought we would break out of that comfort zone and adjust to the digital world. This reminds me, I did find myself reading a physical newspaper the other night. It did feel strange I must say. Oh and for the record, the only reason I had it in my home was because my daughter needed a section for a school project. Thanks for sharing. Great information.
Ed Brooks
I'm not convinced that there isn't 'some' benefit from traditional media. I'd agree that "fishing out ads in hopes that someone who reads it just so happens to be looking for your product' isn't productive, but you hit on the benefit in your last sentence: BRANDING. If your consumer has never heard of you until they are shopping for your product, you will be at a disadvantage to those dealerships with a strong brand image. Increasing brand awareness amongst the general, non in-market population isn't a waste - but it also wouldn't be where the bulk of my money was spent. BALANCE
Larry Schlagheck
This was inevitable and for those that weren't afraid to open their eyes the shift to online began in 2000. Think about that: It took about 10 years for a "new" medium to surpass one that had been in control for how long? When was the printing press invented? There's still those in the publishing industry and on the consumer end that "like" reading hard copy, but they are all moving on, slowly but surely. Just like the dealers that won't change, there are publishers that won't change. Trust me. I know. About four years ago, I worked for a large business-to-business publisher that wanted to enter China with an automotive-focused product. I was told to "take our successful North American business model and roll it out in China." Huh? That's right, the "it worked here, it'll work anywhere" rationale. Needless to say it didn't work just like those ads that dealers continue to run in print.
Larry Schlagheck
Ed: Have you found a reliable way to track the success of print advertising? I know a lot of dealers struggle with this.
Ed Brooks
Great question Larry. First let me start by making it very clear; I'm not a big fan of print. I'm only saying that traditional media may have a place in many dealerships advertising budgets. I personally think billboards and cable do an excellent job at branding and awareness. That said, I have a friend who does some consulting for a single-point dealer. He told me a story earlier this week. He noticed a substantial uptick in site traffic on a specific day and asked the dealer what he had done. The answer was simple, a long format cable spot. The consultant asked the dealer to inform him of the next spot, they sent traffic to a specific-URL microsite and were able to document the increased traffic and also able to convert that traffic at a higher rate

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