For a while now I have been hearing from some businesses that “we are cutting back on our print and shifting those dollars to other marketing platforms” This for the most part has meant shifting to radio and digital. Thankfully being a business development manager for Metroland Media I have been able to save these dollars and shift into digital platforms such as content marketing, audience extension and geofencing. But just last week I met with 3 separate local car dealers who are cutting their radio advertising budget between 50 and 100 per cent and putting those dollars into digital platforms. The reason I was told was 50 per cent of automotive leads from these dealers are now coming from the internet. And this is while spending very little locally on digital campaigns. These car dealers aren’t stupid people so what do you think they are going to do if it sells more cars? Of course they are going to ramp up their digital campaigns. A $2000 to $5000 monthly digital budget with current available online automotive targeting goes a long way and yes car sales will go up. If you think about it it really does make sense. Think about your last car buying experience I will bet a pay check that you searched online for that vehicle. I will bet that is likely where you made the decision on your vehicle of choice. If I was in the car business I would definitely have a significant digital strategy to reach this audience.
The issue I see with the radio executives at least from what I have seen is they do not have the digital platforms to keep this revenue. They are trying but I know when I come in to a business after the radio guys have done there best digital pitch Metroland has exactly what the doctor ordered to look after their digital needs. I also do not notice the radio reps running around with their print is dying pitch anymore as I believe they are starting to notice they have their own challenges. Is this the beginning of the end for local radio media buys at least at the level we have seen in the past? Or is it just a blip and these customers will come back to radio? Or maybe the broadcast giants will invest in the proper digital platforms if it’s not already too late.