Partnerships: Category to Watch

generalmotors.bmpThose of you looking to pitch potential partners in the automobile category... Be Alert!

General Motors recently announced that it was going to shift half of its $3BN advertising budget into digital and on-to-one marketing within the next three (3) years. With General Motors' recent announcement, expect many others in the category to follow in place. General Motors is looking to penetrate consumers beyond typical signage and banner ads, choosing to implement a variance of engagement tactics which include gaming, search, mobile, and other interactive applications.

Across the board in the automotive category, companies are replacing their television and print efforts with programs that raise awareness. Continuous branding and sales activity are being shifted online, where consumers generally begin their purchasing process.

Joel Ewanich, Vice President of Marketing for Hyundai, commented, "Online is getting to the point where it may be more important than the 30-second tv spot."

So what does this mean for you as a sports marketer? There are a few things..

  • Begin to re-purpose your sponsorship proposals to enhance digital activation opportunities, experiential opportunities (where GM can deliver one-to-one experiences), and database marketing efforts
    • Offer banner ads that drive consumer awareness (promotional tie-ins, games, etc.)
    • Understand that automobile companies may be more interested in experiential spend and less on traditional media (television, print, radio)
    • Be cognizant of the fact that while American automobile companies are beginning to shift MAJOR dollars into digital/non-traditional means, there are still a lot of advertising dollars to be spent. The autmobile category pumped $9.42 BN into the advertising economy last year