The importance of marketing and generating a ROI

July 9, 2018

Details released in Google’s Car Purchasing UK Report in 2017 found that £115.9 million was filtered into online display and direct mail by automotive dealers across Britain in 2016 alone.

You could probably name some automotive marketing campaigns from the top of your head — and this is because they have a large enough budget to make them extremely memorable. With increased interest in online platforms, digital visibility doesn’t come cheap — but is it worth the cost?

Investments in the automotive industry

Shopping for a new car is always a fun experience, especially with the digital capabilities we now have — Google’s Drive To Decide Report suggested that 65% use their smartphone as their preferred device to browse the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.

On top of this, automotive shoppers like to know what they’re buying and 90% of them carry out research online. 51% of buyers starting their auto research online, with 41% of those using a search engine. To capture those shoppers beginning their research online, car dealers 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.

The automotive aren’t shy of investing great amounts into their advertisements, which actually accounted for 11% of the total ad spend here in the UK. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

People like to see what they’re buying, especially when it is expensive; so how are online strategies helping automotive manufacturers? 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.

Digital spend in the automotive industry increased from fifth-most invested in area to third, witnessing a 10.6% increase in budget. However, it must be known that TV and radio advertisements continue to dominate.

Investments in the fashion industry

The online shopping experience has become a core focus for many fashion retailers, especially as digital spend grew to £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?

ASOS and Boohoo are just two online shopping companies that are driving exception results for their business; especially when 15% of sales were ecommerce-led. 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.

Bigger brands are beginning to invest more into their digital strategies in a bid to drive sales. 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.

The shopping experience has well and truly been enhanced, as consumers begin to shop at a time that suits them — whether this is on their way to work or late in the evening when some physical stores could be closed.

Influencer marketing is becoming recognised throughout the marketing industry too, with 59% of retailers increasing their budget for this form of advertisement. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.

22% of consumers are thought to be gained through influencer marketing, which backs up the reasoning behind higher investment from fashion companies.

Investments in the utilities industry

Choosing the right utilities supplier for your home can be a big decision to make, this has led consumers to take a more informative approach by using comparison websites to outweigh the benefits and negatives of each potential company.

Comparison websites are also great for exposure, as many of them spend millions on TV marketing campaigns meaning that it’s crucial for you to adopt a space on their website to offer your competitive edge.

Advertising is a competitive approach, but four of the largest comparison websites are listed within the top 100 highest spending companies in Britain. Comparison sites can be the difference between a high rate of customer retention for one supplier and a high rate of customer acquisition for another. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?

However, British Gas has been one of the first companies to switch up their strategy and now look to retain their current customers rather than adopt new ones. 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.

Not only that, they are offering discounted energy and services to valued customers after a £100 million loyalty scheme was introduced. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.

The Google Public Utilities Report in December 2017 found that 40% of searches in Q3 and 45% of ad impressions were on a smartphone device. 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.

Investments in the healthcare industry

Unlike other sectors investing in marketing campaigns, regulations are more tough in the healthcare sector which sometimes makes objectives more restrictive. 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.

More people are using email as a main funnel of communication, which is something marketers are taking advantage of — especially with numbers suggesting that 2.5 million are using it. 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 strategy is something that marketers could be focusing on more; especially as one in 20 Google searches are health-related queries. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

72% of internet users have said that they have used the tool to look for health information over the past 12 months; which sounds about right with 77% of health enquires starting at the search engine. 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.

Social media marketing is something that should be taken more seriously too, especially with an increase in users. 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.

Should your industry be making investments?

Evidently the fashion and automotive sector must continue to invest in online marketing. 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.

Although some businesses feel the need to make their own marketing campaign, utility companies should be looking at the bigger picture with comparison websites. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

Marketing budgets are set to change this year, with 41% going entirely to online methods which is expected to increase 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.

Is online alternatives the way forward for your business? If mobile and online usage continues to grow year on year at the rate it has done in the past few years, we forecast the investment to be not only worthwhile but essential.

This article was researched by VW service providers, Vindis.


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