New Media vs. Old Media—The Winner Is…

The talk in marketing these days is all about new media versus old media. As a dealer, you are probably a bit confused. Don’t worry; I was confused a few years ago too, when I saw the advertising world abruptly change.

 

I deal with the arguments of traditional versus new media every day and see an upside to both arguments. Yes audiences are skipping TV spots with their DVRs, but on the other hand, viewers are learning how to ignore ads on the web equally effectively. The bottom line is, if you are waiting for the old media to go away, don’t expect it to vanish in our lifetimes; however, if you are not taking advantage of new media,

 

this world will surely pass you by.

 

The new kid on the block—internet marketing is creating a buzz in the advertising world these days and rightfully so. The problem is, most internet marketing is changing on a daily basis and car dealers cannot depend on it to secure daily sales. So how should you determine how to spend your marketing budget?

 

The one media catching on faster than any other is social media. Nearly 600 million people are now on Facebook, which would make it the fifth largest country in the world. Consumers are getting recommendations from trusted friends about which car is better than another and which dealership they should do business with. As a dealer, you need to be involved in these conversations. Car dealers that have learned to engage with customers on Facebook are now building those relationships and learning how to have two-way dialog with customers, which is essential to marketing in the twenty-first century.

 

I believe in an integrated approach, combining new media with old. One great example is the recent Old Spice campaign. The TV commercials were attention-grabbing, funny, and interested consumers could go online to learn more. This campaign had dedicated Facebook pages with more than 700,000 fans. The interest in the campaign generated as much as 1.8 million searches in a month. It was television, however, that drove interested consumers to the web. This campaign also had a generous budget in SEO and paid search. The goal is to use traditional marketing to brand your dealership and convince consumers to go to the internet to learn more about your dealership.

 

It is vital to brand your dealership and there is no better way to brand than television. Digital media, on the other hand, is taking the place of the newspaper in bringing home the sale. Digital media gives you the accountability you once received from your print ad, when the customer would bring that ad to your store. Now, that same verification of performance comes with the analytics you get from your web traffic.

 

Break in slowly with new media. Don’t try and change completely overnight. If you are not doing interactive, make a commitment to budget 10 percent of your total advertising budget for digital this year. Gradually increase each year. Keep this in mind—there are still people that do not use the internet. That number ranges from 10 percent up to 40 percent in less educated, elder markets. However, you can still reach virtually 100 percent of the people through television. Hire a professional advertising company to walk you through this process. If done properly, you will see immediate results. So, at the end of the day, there is no winner between new media and old media. You need both.

 

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 tletizia@dealermark.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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