Despite predictions for sales declines in 2018, the U.S. automotive industry booked solid sales gains throughout the year, exceeding 17 million vehicles for the fourth year in a row.
In addition, the US is expected to reach $12.73 billion in automotive digital ad spend in 2019. This is a 13% projected increase in US automotive digital ad spend from 2018.
Clearly, the automotive industry is booming and has a lot of potential for the future with advancements such as electric vehicles and driverless vehicles.
So the question is, where exactly do the opportunities lie to secure these dollars? We’re bringing you seven hot-off-the-press opportunities within the automotive industry to pursue now.
Check out seven brands to reach out to ASAP:
Increasing send, shifting more to digital
The automotive marketplace saw sales and marketing expenses for Q1 2019 increase to $54.7 million from that of $48.4 million in Q1 2018. As revenue increases spend is also expected to rise. New personnel have been brought on in order to bolster its marketing team, signaling the brand is ready to drive impact.
Historically, the majority of dollars have gone toward television, radio and digital. Spend throughout these channels increased from $1 million to $14.9 million in order to more effectively attract and engage customers. According to our team of in-house researchers, TrueCar’s executive team plans to dive deeper into digital spend as opposed to traditional.
Media Seller Opportunity: Sellers with an omnichannel strategy will likely have the advantage securing revenue. TrueCar typically targets millennials with a male skew along with a focus on a B2B demographic including car manufacturers like FCA and Mercedes. Keep in mind its planning period is Q1 and it’s buying period is Q4.
Taps MSL for PR as spend increases
Cadillac named MSLGroup as PR AOR because of its expertise in data analytics and media. As a result, new media opportunities may be created with the new agency in place as they evaluate current strategies.
Media Seller Opportunity: In efforts to combat struggles and re-engage its audience, Cadillac has been allocating dollars toward broadcast efforts to compete with American luxury car owners. Cadillac’s top planning and buying periods are Q1 and Q2 historically. The shift toward broadcast represents opportunity for sellers, as Cadillac attempts to salvage itself as a leader of US automotive brands. Keep in mind they are targeting for a younger than retired audience, and the demographic is shifting toward millennials and Gen X.
Agency Opportunity: Publicis has been the creative and digital AOR since 2014. All five partnered agencies have been with Cadillac for 3-4 years, approaching average agency tenure. Reviews tend to follow each other, so keep an eye out for shifts as the brand continues to combat struggles.
Sponsorship Opportunity: According to Hookit, most of Cadillac’s sponsorship is sports related with 68% invested in auto racing, 12% golf, 4% mountain biking, 4% skiing and 12% miscellaneous.
3. Firestone Tires
Launches campaign, aims to widen target demo
Firestone, the tire brand owned by Bridgestone Americas, launched a campaign called “Try ‘Em Yourself” promoting the brand’s 90 Day Buy & Try Guarantee.
Media Seller Opportunity: There should still be time to secure dollars from the campaign, so sellers are encouraged to reach out. After that, don’t hesitate to join conversations during planning period Q4 and buying period Q3. The typical demographic is mainly male, but the brand is attempting to shift towards a millennial and Gen-Z audience moving forward.
Sponsorship Opportunity: In addition to IndyCar, Hookit reports Firestone has sponsorship deals with Ed Carpenter Racing, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Juncos Racing, Sebastien Bourdais and JR Hildebrand.
Agency and Martech Opportunity: After the marketing VP retired, shake-ups in personnel followed. A new agency has not yet been named under the new hires, but continue to reach out for work as the shifts continue. Competition may include Periscope (creative and media since 2012) and Levelwing (social).
4. Mini Cooper
Launches global ad review amid spend decreases
According to our internal research team, Mini Cooper is looking for a global ad agency to handle its entire brand, specifically merchandise. The review is likely being conducted in an effort to reduce global costs by consolidating accounts and get a fresh perspective on how to combat struggles.
Media Seller Opportunity: Once a new agency is chosen, expect strategy shifts and new campaigns. In the meantime, sellers are encouraged to reach out and get involved in Mini’s 60th anniversary festivities. The celebration includes the release of limited edition cars, a digital and social campaign, and numerous events. Keep in mind its planning period is Q3 and buying period is Q2.
Sponsorship Seller Opportunity: Mini usually targets male millennials, and current sponsorships include Cyril Despres, the John Cooper Works Racing Team, Ben Martin, Big Shock Racing and Tanika Hoffman. Strategy is likely to change in order to combat struggles with spikes in spend to support those efforts.
Agency and Martech: Mini may soon consolidate global media as well, so those with automotive experience are encouraged to reach out. Competition may include Crossmedia, Universal McCann, and Wavemaker.
Concludes digital review, names four new agency teams
Audi concluded it’s digital review and revealed that AKQA is being replaced by a team of four agencies. Rauxa will handle digital marketing, UK-based Ixis will handle data analytics, SOMO will handle technical development and Designory will handle product enterprise/content.
Media Seller Opportunity: Exact campaign dates have not yet been established, but it will most likely be soon considering Audi is attempting to combat its sales declines from the beginning of the year. When reaching out for revenue, keep in mind Audi typically increases spend during Q2 and Q4, and keep an eye on new products. Its target audience is primarily men, with a focus on millennials and Gen-X.
Agency and Martech Opportunity: With reviews likely in 12-15 months, reach out for US creative and media work. Expect competition from PHD and Venables, Bell & Partners. Focus pitches on combating declines and outshining competitors such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Toyota.
6. Ferrari North America
Names email communications AOR
Ferrari has tapped Raare Solutions & The S3 Agency as joint email communications AOR. the agencies will work together on the brand’s email communications strategy with the ultimate goal of increasing new customer acquisition through data-driven, targeted campaigns.
Media Seller Opportunity: Ferrari’s ad placement is split between direct buys (44%) and programmatic (56%) on top publishers including ebay.com, edmunds.com, nytimes.com, and duponregistry.com. A large portion of ad spend is allocated to print as well, specifically national newspapers.
CEO Louis Camilleri has stated that Ferrari will launch 15 new models over the next five years, which will certainly be supported with a spike in ad spend. Sellers are encouraged to reach out prior to new model launches in order to stay ahead of budgetary windows.
Agency Opportunity: Mcgarrybowen has served as Ferrari North America’s AOR since late 2013, over the average agency tenure of three to four years. Since reviews tend to follow one another, keep an eye out for other agency reviews within 12-18 months.
Concludes creative review, selects the Martin Agency
Concluding its creative review, CarMax selected The Martin Agency as the replacement to incumbent McKinney. The IPG agency will focus especially on the nationwide rollout of the dealership’s new e-commerce option, expected to roll out in February 2020.
Media Seller Opportunity: The campaign for the new e-commerce option will likely remain local until the option is activated nationwide, so local sellers will have the advantage of securing revenue. Sellers are also encouraged to keep an eye out for new dealership locations. CarMax has a wide audience, so those with ROI and the ability to reach a large demographic will have the advantage. About 90% of Carmax’s budget is allocated towards TV, and the rest of dollars go to out-of-home, print and radio.
Agency and Martech Opportunity: Carmax is bolstering its marketing team with new personnel, signaling shifts in spend and strategy. Reviews also tend to follow one another, so agencies are encouraged to reach out for work. Focus pitches on highlighting what sets CarMax apart from competitors. Shift Communications (PR) and Vizeum (Media) will be among your competition.