DaimlerChrysler has just backed up what we here at Roadfly.com have been saying for years: Cut out the middle man (print media) and go straight to the people (via Internet). “We don’t have the luxury any more of running print ads and waiting six months to see if they work for us,” said John Lisko of Saatchi & Saatchi, the group that handles Toyota’s account. Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen all cut their print media budgets in this year’s round of marketing budgets.
With the Internet being at the fingertips of a ten year old to a one hundred year old, this transition has been a long time coming. In August 2000, the US Census Bureau showed that 51% of all American households have one or more computers, which was a 42% increase from 1998 which also affects the change from print to electronic media. The Brandwear article notes that part of the change is linked to what marketers like Lisko believe: “Print’s lack of accountability is a major reason why auto firms are cutting back.” With the information being one-click away on the Internet, companies can also track the hits per page and the amount of times their pages were viewed, something that print media could not tell you.
VW’s newest media campaign for the Rabbit and GTI relied on TV for the launch, since they cut their budget for print materials by 76.4%. Within the auto industry, print media buys are down by 24% while online buys are up by 51.6%.
Steve Parr, whose corporation Primedia publishes magazines such as Motor Trend confirms this belief, “Automakers are realizing that it’s all about targeted media now…for general publications that’s not so good. Almost all of the [automakers] have reduced print spend in generalist publications.”