Online marketing vs. outdoor advertising: which should your auto dealership choose?

auto dealership marketing

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the various ways that an auto dealership might elect to advertise itself.  With so many media options available these days, it can be a real challenge to determine how you might best allocate your marketing budget.  Dealerships often try a little bit of everything—an ad in the local newspaper, a billboard, a TV commercial, and maybe a radio spot.  Some car dealerships also try placing some Google ads, but aren’t aware of what other options are available for advertising online.  Dealership also tend to be very skeptical as to how online marketing stacks up against old stand-by advertising outlets.

The great debate. 
Maybe you’ve invested in developing a great website for your dealership, but haven’t explored other online opportunities.  Maybe you’re intrigued by what online marketing has to offer, but your colleagues are adamant that your money would be better spent on a billboard.  Well, at Stratosphere Studio we are big believers in online marketing versus any other type of marketing.  If you’re currently debating between online marketing and outdoor advertising for your auto dealership, here is our comparison.

auto dealership marketing

Outdoor advertising is a snapshot.
With a billboard, you have a large space to display your message, but it gets viewed from a distance and often at high speeds.  Therefore, you can only put a brief message on it to entice your passers-by into remembering you when they need you.  They’ll only see your message for a split second before they return their focus to the road, to their kids in the backseat, or to the upcoming traffic signal. 

Online marketing is a well-rounded package.
With online marketing the sky is the limit in how you can get your message across:

·         Online marketing is immediate.  When anyone views your message online, they can immediately click over to your website to do more thinking about your shop.  With an outdoor ad, the viewer has to wait until later to investigate your services further.

·         Online advertising can be much more targeted, whereas a billboard is targeting just anyone who passes by and happens to look at it AND give it a second thought.

auto dealership marketing

·         Online advertising is trackable.  Thanks to an assortment of tracking services out there, your online marketing can be tracked in virtually every way.  With a billboard, however, all you have is an estimate of how much traffic passes by.  You can ask your customers to reveal how they heard about your shop, but that’s a less reliable method of tracking, compared to Google Analytics.

·         Online marketing lasts.  Unlike a billboard, which comes down after a set period of time, online marketing is nearly always available.  A blog post can stay posted.  Your Facebook page will have archived posts.  Even emails can live on in inboxes. 

Ready to boost your auto dealership marketing digitally?
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency to help you bring more business into your car dealership, then give Stratosphere Studio a call.  We specialize in online marketing for auto dealerships, auto body shops, and auto repair shops, and have an excellent track record for bringing our clients more business.  Our clients span the U.S. and are some of the most successful shops in their respective cities.  We would love to help you next!


  1. R. Ellis

    Online marketing is not at all intrusive and relies on a build it and they will come scenario. Every online researcher is a “price buyer” which has driven down the price profit in new cars over the last couple of years.

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