Shift Your Automotive Marketing Strategy into High Gear with Public Media

Shift Your Automotive Marketing Strategy into High Gear with Public Media

2021 has been a year of challenges for automotive dealers. The supply chain is struggling to recover and affecting virtually every industry. It's especially prevalent in the automotive sector. Even as the recovery continues, the fallout from the pandemic is like the proverbial gift that keeps on giving, resulting in:  

  • Long wait times for new cars 
  • Increased demand for used cars 
  • Changing fuel economy standards 
  • Semiconductor chip shortages 

The good news is, despite the issues, consumer demand for vehicles is buoyed by continued hesitancy surrounding crowded public transit and federal stimulus money.  

However, customers still want a dealership that understands their needs and works hard to meet them. That means that auto dealers must differentiate themselves from the competition. The best way to do that is with a public radio sponsorship. 

Public RADIO for Automotive Marketing 

There is a distinct difference between typical ads on commercial radio and sponsor messages on public radio. A standard commercial ad creates urgency with a specific call to action. Virtually every automotive dealer utilizes this type of marketing, and it can be effective for seasonal sales or clearance for new models. However, it may be difficult for a dealer to stand out after hearing similar ads from various dealerships. 

A public radio sponsorship helps your business stand out from the crowd. It demonstrates that you are engaged with your community and that your business supports causes that listeners care about. You are investing in something other than selling your products, and the audience recognizes and appreciates you for it. Connecting emotionally with a loyal and engaged audience translates to increased brand recognition and recall.  

Another benefit of sponsoring public media is the Halo Effect. When you support public media, you demonstrate shared values that inspire an unconscious positive bias in the listeners. Aligning your brand with causes and interests important to the public media audience is an effective strategy to elevate consumer confidence and loyalty. A new study shows that 46% of listeners trust NPR sponsors more than advertisers on other media.  

Targeting a Quality Audience 

When you attract traffic to your website or brick and mortar, you want to know that they are not only interested in what you have to offer but able to purchase it. Attracting a quality audience is easy with public radio due to audience demographics. Public radio listeners are:  

  • Affluent - 115% more likely to earn over $250,000 
  • Educated - 130% more apt to have a postgraduate degree 
  • Professional - 55% more likely to have a career as a professional  

These qualities result in an audience of consumers who do their research, support causes that align with their values, and aren't easily sold. Public radio audiences are more engaged than commercial radio audiences.  

Where most commercial radio listeners change stations when they hear an ad, public radio listeners continue to listen actively. They view the sponsor message as more of a public service or a recommendation from a trusted friend. 

Sponsor messages are also considered less intrusive than their commercial counterparts. Commercial radio ads consume an average of 18 minutes per hour. Public radio focuses more on the programming, spending only 2-5 minutes per hour on local sponsor messaging. However, the scarcity of messages means they have much more impact, resulting in higher recall.  

Unlike commercial advertising, public radio sponsorship messages don't try to "sell" the customer but instead provide helpful information. They often state their mission or support of a cause to elevate their brand.  

Public Radio Supercharges Your Automotive Advertising  

In a challenging and highly competitive market, differentiation is more critical than ever. Customers want an automotive dealership that not only meets their needs but provides exceptional customer service. Today, automobile shoppers don't want to visit multiple dealerships but want to know who can understand their needs and provide solutions.  

Public media sponsorship gives your brand a competitive advantage. Sponsor messages are viewed as informative and educational. Your message stands out to listeners because they aren't being “sold”  — and because you represent shared interests and values, listeners remember you. Shift your strategy into high gear with an experienced public radio marketing partner.  

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