Borrell: Stop selling “against another channel”

Gordon Borrell“If change spawns opportunity,” Gordon Borrell told me by email, “then the automotive category is very pregnant.” Indeed, things are changing in the automotive world, and media companies everywhere need to take notice. As I told you yesterday, Borrell Associates has released a new study of the industry, and it acutely addresses the truth about what’s happening with local media companies’ biggest advertisers.

“The whole marketplace has changed,” said Borrell, “to the point at which they’ve been manipulated into thinking they need to spend $50,000 to $100,000 on keyword advertising and — bingo — hordes of buyers will walk in the door.”

“Dealers need to look,” he continued, “at an appropriate mix of advertising as they look across the car-buying funnel, and I think every medium — from TV to newspapers to the Internet — plays a role.”

But, he adds, local media companies are going to have to think differently.

If media companies can help them determine that mix instead of vehemently trying to sell against another channel (as they have for so many years), they’ll be in a better position to sell those offline+online packages that work so well.

This concept (selling against the other media) is what has gotten us in a bad spot with all advertisers. That industry has gone in a different direction, while we’ve been mired in the past. It is simple — yet profound — advice.

Borrell also advises that the mobile space looks particularly interesting, because dealers have such a high interest in it. “That’s where I think local media companies might find some big opportunities,” he told me. I would add here that only selling against the other channels via mobile isn’t going to get us anywhere either.

This is one study that everybody should read. The automotive industry hits our bottom lines more than any other category, and we need to understand where it’s headed.

(Click here for the free Executive Summary)

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