US Auto Industry Ahead of the Pack for Digital Ad Spend - eMarketer

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US Auto Industry Ahead of the Pack for Digital Ad Spend

Auto industry accounts for second-largest share of digital ad dollars in US

May 20, 2015

The US automotive industry will spend $7.30 billion on digital advertising in 2015 and will continue to grow digital spend, reaching $12.08 billion by 2019, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Automotive Industry 2015: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends,” part of our new report series, “Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry.”

US Automotive Industry Digital Ad Spending, 2013-2019 (billions, % of total digital ad spending and % change)

Digital ad spending by automakers and other industry players will rise 17.3% this year, eMarketer estimates. The auto industry is the second-largest digital ad spender in the US in 2015, after retail. Overall, 12.5% of digital ad dollars in the US will be spent by the auto industry, and throughout our forecast period it will gain share due to faster-than-average growth rates. By 2019, 13.2% of US digital ad spending will be auto industry-related.

Most of that spending—60% this year, eMarketer estimates—will be on direct-response efforts.

The auto industry leans more toward direct-response ads than most others in the US, according to our estimates. Only travel (72% direct response), retail (65%) and financial services (62%) spend a greater share of digital outlays on ads designed to elicit an immediate action, rather than on branding-oriented efforts.

US Automotive Industry Digital Ad Spending, by Objective, 2015 (billions and % of total)

In order to raise the percentage of brand dollars in the sector, “The next frontier is convincing marketers that digital is suitable for branding,” said Richard Flynn, vice president, category sales director, autos, at AOL.

eMarketer estimates that just over half of auto industry digital ad spending goes toward PC-based impressions, while mobile accounts for 47% of spending.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

Download the executive summary of the report here.

eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.


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