ResearchAug 16th, 2017

Social Media and SEO Give the Best Return for Automotive Marketers


Digital ad spend is growing. Marketers need to know how to optimize it.

Our company recently conducted a study to help marketers improve the effectiveness of their email marketing, discover benchmarks for specific industries, and help compare and identify where to improve.

In the report, we assessed the current state of email marketing based on a research study surveying 2,510 email marketers from a range of business sizes and industries around the world. Here’s a look at our findings for the automotive industry.

Social media and SEO deliver highest ROI

In our poll of automotive marketers, 28% cited both social media marketing and SEO as the channels that delivered the strongest ROI for their company.

Search PPC (21%) was third, followed by e-mail marketing, which delivered a 19% ROI. Our research found that display advertising (15%), as well as direct mail and social pay per click (PPC), at 13% each, were the “middle-of-the-pack” channels.

Marketers said that content marketing and affiliate marketing (11% each) provided the weakest ROI.

ROI compared with budget

Based on the numbers we found, automotive marketers are now adjusting their budgets to reflect the marketing channels and techniques with the best return on investment.

Sixty percent have increased their email marketing budget, while 55% have dedicated more money to their SEO and display advertising budgets. They have also increased their marketing budgets by 53% for social PPC, 50% for search PPC, and 48% for content marketing.

According to our data, marketers increased their spending by 46% for direct mail, and 45% for affiliate marketing — even though these three channels had the weakest ROI.

Metrics to measure email marketing

The study also sought to figure out which email marketing metrics automotive marketers use, and how they measure success. Most marketers (31%) said that an increase in subscribers is their leading metric.

Twenty-one percent focus on high-funnel engagement metrics such as opens or clicks, while 18% of marketers both use mid-funnel conversion metrics such as form-fills (e.g., subscriptions, lead generation, and inquiries), and don’t have any metrics that they focus on.

Only 12% percent use lower-funnel conversion metrics like revenue, sales, downloads, or event attendance to determine success. Our report found that automotive marketers regard email marketing as the most valued channel for increasing ROI.

The next step, then, is to identify exactly which metrics help measure email marketing success the best, as well as how much of their company’s total budget should realistically be devoted to the practice.

Michal Leszczynski is content marketing manager at GetResponse, responsible for coordinating content marketing projects. His main mission is to provide valuable and educational content for marketers — those just starting out, as well as those already rocking in the online world. You can follow Michal on Twitter @mrleszczynski.

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