TV broadcasters are in their “infancy” when it comes to developing multiplatform deals to grow their automobile advertising.
Just consider the headlines, said moderator Bob Sliva, VP/director of sales, E.W. Scripps, at the start of the TVB panel on TV’s critical auto advertising business: Dealerships Closing. Pending Chrysler Sale. UAW Issues. Credit Card Services Down. Dealer Spending Down.
Clearly, he said, TV needs to find ways to meet the changing needs of the auto industry.
“How many multiplatform deals have you done in the last year?” Sliva asked in an electronic poll of the audience. Over half the audience—55%—admitted they had done “10 or less.”
“We are in our infancy learning what we need to know,” said Kathy McCauley, SVP/managing director, GM Planworks. “But we know dealerships are looking at the Web to extend their sales leads. And they are getting immediate results. Multiplatforms are extremely important for us and you.”
One problem, according to Paul Trelstad, SVP, Gannett Broadcasting, is that process is one of the biggest issues. “We’ve got to get electronic interchange worked out.”
“And we need to be better in sharing our objectives with our vendors,” McCauley added. “There hasn’t been a tremendous amount of sharing of information. But the growth of the Internet is forcing partnerships.”
The audience was asked in a second electronic poll, “What’s working best in doing Web deals?” Sponsorships lead with 38%, followed by video with 28%.
One area of positive growth cited was the strength of used car sales. Noted Jack Simmons, VP/automotive sales, WorldNow Cars, “There’s huge potential online; 70% of our online vertical advertising is used-centric.”