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Here, with Vindis, who offer VW Service plans, we examine the impact of marketing, and whether investments are worthwhile.

The automotive industry is one of the largest economies in the world, and much of the capital which circulates within the industry is connected to advertising. From Thierry Henry to J-Lo, we have seen some huge celebrity endorsements, that involved major investment, therefore it should come as no surprise that £115.9 million was plumbed into online displays by car dealers in 2016 alone.

Automotive

Drive to Decide, a report commissioned by Google, discovered that 85% of individuals living in the UK aged 18 and over own a smartphone. In addition to this, 65% choose a smartphone as their preferred device to access the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.

Other statistics in the report revealed:

  • 90% of auto shoppers carry out research online.
  • 51% of buyers start their auto research online.
  • 41% of those use a search engine.

The question is, how can online researchers be drawn in by car dealers? They must think in terms of the customer’s micro moments of influence, which could include online display ads – one marketing method that currently occupies a significant proportion of car dealers’ marketing budgets.

In 2017, the automotive industry accounted for approximately 11 per cent of the total UK Digital Ad Spending Growth. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

Despite the fact the majority of car purchasing still occurs in the showroom, details online can go a long way in making up a potential customer’s mind. 41% of shoppers who research online find their smartphone research ‘very valuable’. 60% said they were influenced by what they saw in the media, of which 22% were influenced by marketing promotions – proving online investment is working.

Most of the automotive sectors advertising budget is pumped into TV and radio adverts. But in the last past five years, it is digital that has made the biggest jump from fifth most popular method to third, seeing an increase of 10.6% in expenditure.

Utility

Comparison websites are the major winners in regard to the utilities industry, with the vast majority of consumers investing their time in it, in a bid to find the right deal.

Few websites are spending as much on intensive marketing campaigns as those belonging to comparison companies. It has become vital for many utility suppliers to be listed on comparison websites and offer a very competitive price, in order to stay in the game.

Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare, and Confused.com, are the four largest comparison websites here in the UK. These are among the 100 highest spending advertisers in the UK, how does this investment reflect on them?

Comparison websites can be the make or break in regard to a company retaining custom. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?

British Gas, one of the UK’s largest domestic energy suppliers, has placed a recent emphasis on customer retention, as opposed to acquiring new customers. Whilst the company recognise that this approach to marketing will be a slower process to yield measurable results, they firmly believe that retention will in turn lead to acquisition. The Gas company hope that by marketing a wider range of tailored products and services to their existing customers, they will be able to improve customer retention.

More than £100 million will be invested into the development of discounted energy services through a loyalty scheme. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.

The utilities industry is also heavily involved with digital world. 40% of all searches in Q3 2017 were carried out on mobile, and a further 45% of all ad impressions were via mobile too – according to Google’s Public Utilities Report in December 2017. As mobile usage continues to soar, companies need to consider content created specifically for mobile users as they account for a large proportion of the market now.

Fashion

For fashion companies, online sales are becoming particularly important. Figures show that online sales in the fashion industry reaching £16.2 billion in 2017! This figure is expected to continue to grow by a huge 79% by 2022. So where are fashion retailers investing their marketing budgets? Has online marketing become a priority?

In December 2017, online sales made up approximately 25 per cent of all fashion purchases. This is as online brands such as ASOS and Boohoo continue to embrace the online shopping phenomenon. ASOS experienced an 18% UK sales growth in the final four months of 2017, whilst Boohoo saw a 31% increase in sales throughout the same period.

In a bid to attract the attention of the online shopper, big brands have invested heavily in e-marketing in recent years. John Lewis announced that 40% of its Christmas sales came from online shoppers, and whilst Next struggled to keep up with the sales growth of its competitors, it has announced it will invest £10 million into its online marketing and operations.

Unlike the past, when shoppers would dedicate an entire Saturday afternoon to scour through retail centres for hours, buyers are now happy to sit in the house and browse collections online.

Furthermore, influencer marketing is similarly on the rise as well. In fact, according to PMYB Influencer Marketing Agency, 59% of fashion marketers increased their budget for influencer marketing last year – an essential marketing tactic in the fashion industry. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.

It became apparent in 2017 that influencer marketing is becoming significantly more successful than the traditional forms of advertising such as outdoor banners, leaflets etc. 22% of customers are said to be acquired through influencer marketing.

The healthcare industry

Thanks to intense restrictions, the healthcare industry’s relationship with marketing is particularly different. The same ROI methods that have been adopted by other sectors simply don’t work for the healthcare market. Despite nearly 74% of all healthcare marketing emails remaining unopened, you’ll be surprised to learn that email marketing is essential for the healthcare industry’s marketing strategy.

A recent report discovered that more than 2.5 million use email as their primary means of communication. This means email marketing is targeting a large audience. For this reason, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email – and now that smartphone devices allow users to check their emails on their device, email marketing puts companies at the fingertips of their audience.

Online marketing analysis has discovered that investment for the healthcare sector, is, in fact, often lucrative. Especially when you consider that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related content. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

A recent study noted how 77 per cent of all health enquiries began online, through the use of a search engine. In fact, 72% of total internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year. Furthermore, 52% of smartphone users have used their device to look up the medical information they require. Statistics estimate that marketing spend for online marketing accounts for 35% of the overall budget.

However, social media still plays an important role as well. Whilst the healthcare industry is restricted to how they market their services and products, that doesn’t mean social media should be neglected. In fact, an effective social media campaign could be a crucial investment for organisations, with 41% of people choosing a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation! And the reason? The success of social campaigns is usually attributed to the fact audiences can engage with the content on familiar platforms.

Is marketing worth the heavy investment?

From an analysis of data, it is clear that ROI varies significantly across alternating industries. For industries such as automotive and fashion, online marketing investment is critical!

A report by webstrategies.com discovered that, last year, the average firm spent 41 per cent of their entire advertising budget on online ads. This figure expected to grow to 45% by 2020. Social media advertising investments is expected to represent 25% of total online spending and search engine banner ads are also expected to grow significantly too – all presumably as a result of more mobile and online usage.

With a clear increase in online demand in both sectors that is changing the purchase process, some game players could find themselves out of the game before it has even begun if they neglect digital.

In regard to other industries, the scenario is completely different. Whilst TV and digital appear to remain the main sales driving forces, its more than just creating your own marketing campaign when comparison sites need to be considered. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

A decade ago, online advertising was only beginning to gain traction. Nowadays, in 2019, it is an almost crucial aspect of any business’ success, regardless of size.

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