Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing in Automotive Industry

Digital Marketing

Like it or not, advertising has gone the way of the Internet in recent years. Today, more car buyers are opting to work with dealerships who offer a seamless, digital marketing strategy rather than with a business they see advertised on TV.

Why? Simply put, automotive digital marketing provides consumers with a shopping experience that’s easy to use and accessible on a multitude of different devices—from computers to smartphones or tablets and everything between.

To put digital marketing vs. traditional marketing into perspective for the automotive industry, the advertising professionals at Aspen Automotive have taken some time to compare the major differences between these two techniques.

That way, you’ll know which approach is best for boosting your auto dealer’s sales and increasing customer engagement. Take a look!

What Is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional MarketingBefore the dawn of digital advertising, traditional marketing was the only method by which your dealership could reach your targeted audience. Some of the most common types of traditional marketing are:

  • Billboards
  • Posters
  • Commercials (both TV and radio)
  • Newspaper and magazine ads
  • Business cards

However, without having more modern technologies to steer your advertisements to the right audience, using only traditional marketing techniques can make it more difficult to grow your customer base.

If your advertisements aren’t meeting your customers while they’re surfing the Internet or clicking through their email, it’ll be harder for your auto dealer to increase brand awareness.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: The Differences

When it comes to increasing your dealership’s profit margins, digital automotive marketing is the way to go. Consider this statistic provided by DealerSocket: “Traditional advertising such as radio spots, TV ads, and billboards bring in an average total profit of $1,702 per vehicle, while digital marketing brings in $2,514 per sale.”1

As you can see, harnessing the power of automotive digital marketing allows your dealership to make the most of its return on investment. Of course, there are a number of reasons why digital marketing reigns supreme over traditional marketing.

Now that you’re more familiar with what traditional marketing is, it’s time to weigh the clear differences between digital and traditional marketing.

Marketing Measurability

Digital Marketing Data One of the most notable advantages of digital automotive marketing is that it’s highly measurable.

With traditional marketing, there’s no real way for you to see how many views your advertisement is getting, who is sending your advertisement to their friends and family, or who has clicked on your advertisement to learn more.

Digital technologies, however, allow you to measure the open rate of your dealership’s email marketing campaign or the response rate for a digital coupon couldn’t be simpler

For instance, if you include a coupon link within an email to your leads, all your team has to do to measure the response results is compare the number of clicks to the total number of emails sent.

As a result of your response measurement, you’ll more effectively determine which techniques work and how you can improve down the road.

Marketing Targeting

These days, digital marketing solutions allow you to choose the recipients of your advertisements based on a number of different factors, such as:

  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Age
  • Zip Code and more

No matter if you’re hoping to attract new customers or provide your current customers with some added perks, sending your advertisements to the audience that has the highest chance of responding helps your dealership make the most of its time and budget.

Marketing Personalization

Automotive LeadsBuyers respond to content that’s personalized to their specific needs. That’s why digital automotive marketing is more effective than its traditional counterpart.

More specifically, one of best ways to increase consumer engagement with your dealership is by sending them customized shopping recommendations via email, social media, and other digital platforms.

That way, your buyers can easily learn more about new models that’ve arrived in your showroom or other products that they may be interested in based on their previous purchases and browsing history.

On the other hand, traditional media isn’t quite so simple to personalize to where your customer is on the buyer’s journey.

Due to the fact that you can’t get granular with where or when your consumer sees your advertisement that’s displayed on a billboard or in a magazine, it’s more difficult to capture your ideal buyer when they’re in the right mindset to connect with your dealership.


When you’ve spent months planning the details of your automotive marketing campaign, you want to make sure that you eliminate any errors and get the response you want.

However, with digital marketing, it’s easy to adjust spelling mistakes, dead links, and even adjust the wording of your message. Why is this the case? Well, unlike traditional marketing, such as billboards, your advertisement doesn’t need to be completely reworked when a slight change is necessary.

By choosing a digital automotive marketing campaign, switching out a previous link that you included in a Facebook® post is as simple as removing the old link and replacing it with a new one.

That way, your dealership can quickly get back on track with a fully functional, digital advertisement in a matter of seconds.

Marketing Engagement

Automotive Digital Advertising Natural interaction is what truly engages audiences. With traditional marketing, it’s more difficult to create a sense of effortless communication without having your customers feel like you’re trying to sell them something.

On the other hand, automotive digital marketing, particularly social marketing, provides you with the ability to interact with your consumers on a real-time basis, which allows you to have exchanges with potential leads on topics that may not even be related to car buying.

Ultimately, it’s these subtle, informal connections help your team form relationships with new and current buyers. From commenting on national events to liking your customers’ Twitter posts, digital advertising allows for an entirely new level of personal interaction between dealerships and their consumers.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Learn More Today!

At Aspen Automotive, we love keeping our clients in the know about the latest advancements in the automotive digital marketing industry.

Thanks to our data-driven approach, advertising technologies, and our team of creative geniuses, you’ll harness the power of digital marketing to increase revenue and improve customer engagement.

Ready to learn more about our automotive marketing techniques? All you have to do is send us an email or give us a call today!