Advertising Your Dealership Requires a Revolutionary New Attitude

Advertising has gone through more revolutionary changes these past five years than in the previous thirty. Less than a decade ago, it was an easy decision as to how to build a dealership media plan. Once the ad planner decided how many Friday and Saturdays were in a month, most of the money left over would be divided between TV, radio, and possibly mail. Today, that thought process is different.


Newspaper no longer garners the lion’s share of the dealer’s ad budget. Today a good percentage of dealership budgets have an internet component built in, along with broadcast. Mail has declined due to the ease and prevalence of email marketing. So, will we see the same kinds of changes over the next five years as we did these last five? It is my belief that this cycle of change is only beginning.


Let’s start with television.How will television withstand the changes in viewing habits and the abundance of different screens available to view TV content? Television is taking longer to be transformed, unlike newspaper, which seemed to change overnight.


Long-form shows will continue to exist forever, but viewing habits will continue to change. More people will be watching on-demand and streaming video. In time, you will view your TV as you would a website. You will select shows as you would when doing a Google search. There will no longer be numbers for channels. Networks will someday go away and you will no longer have local TV stations.


Companies like YouTube and Netflix will become your networks and you will be buying your automotive car ads from these companies. Cable TV and satellite TV will still exist, but internet companies will become equally viable distributors of programming. Much of this is already happening today. We are sitting down less every day to watch the evening news, sports, or our favorite shows on big screens. Many of us will watch these programs on a computer, PDA, or iPad. Today, as advertisers, we must learn how to capture viewers on these alternate devices. We must learn more about pre-roll video and learn how to get rating points in other ways.


Now, before you call your local TV or cable representative to cancel your November advertising, relax, you still have time. These changes are slowly taking place and could take twenty years before they fully replace TV of today. But, these changes mean great opportunities.


Newspaper will take on an entirely different look. The paper as we know it today will change. You will see a smaller version of the daily—More the size of an iPad. People will still read the newspaper, but will view it from the papers’ other platforms.


Radio continues to change as well, and satellite continues to grow. Watch for HD radio to totally revive the radio industry as it will offer a quality level equal to satellite. Radio has stood the test of time and will continue to be a viable place for your advertising dollars.


So, overall, you will still use the same mediums you previously used to advertise your dealership, but the way you use these mediums will continue to make revolutionary changes. Now is the time for you to take on a new revolutionary attitude as to how you approach your advertising.


Tom Letizia is the president of Letizia Mass Media, a full-service advertising agency specializing in automotive. He can be reached at 702-777-2121 or email





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