More Auto Advertising Online Called for

by : Anthony Fontanelle



Car buying in the past involves going from one dealership to another just to compare the price of certain vehicles. This way of doing car shopping takes a lot of time and effort as well. That's why more and more consumers are turning to the World Wide Web for their research before actually visiting a dealership. But even with a lot of sites on the Internet providing auto information, majority of consumers are still not content with the way these information are made available to them. The sheer amount of auto information on the Web makes it confusing sometimes for car buyers looking for information on the Internet.

A recent study conducted by R.L. Polk & Co revealed that consumers want to know where they can find the cars that they want, the gas mileage of said vehicle, and how reliable the vehicles are. These three factors play a major role in a car buyer's decision. The majority of the respondents said that the Internet is of great help in buying a new car. In fact, the Internet outweighs other sources of auto information like feedback from family members, friends, and co-workers. The web is also ranked second only to an actual visit to the dealership in terms of being the most helpful action that a consumer can take when looking to buy a car.

AutoTrader.com's President and Chief Executive Officer Chip Perry shared the result of the study in his presentation on the "Future of Internet Automotive Advertising" at the J.D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable held at the Red Rock Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. The presentation highlighted the ways that the Internet can be used to provide even more useful information to consumers.

"As an industry, we've got to do a better job of giving customers on-line access to the information they want," said Perry. "And manufacturers, dealer associations and dealerships should review their media mix and direct more of their branding and informational advertising to the Internet because that's where the customers are focusing their attention."

Of all the respondents in the study, 48 percent said that the Internet is the most helpful source of information. Eight percent of them said that the most helpful medium is the television. Two percent said that direct mail is the most helpful and one percent said that the radio is the most helpful source.

"There will always be a place for the kind of brand-building advertising that television, radio and newspapers are great at," said Perry. "But when 42% of new car buyers say they find the Internet the most helpful resource for car shopping and only 11.5% of auto advertising dollars are directed to the Internet, there's a huge disconnect between where the customers are looking and where the messages are going."

"The increase in Internet advertising spending from 2005 to 2006 shows the industry is shifting, but not as quickly as buyers are moving to the Internet for their information. The company's that increase their shift to the Internet in a big way could stand to gain great brand awareness and market share," Perry concluded.

A lot of sites like Edmunds provide auto information. Consumers can also find auto parts for sale online like the .