The automotive industry has long made for challenging underwriting prospects. Car dealers don’t tend to understand the value of public media as a complement to their commercial media mix, and a sales call can quickly get hijacked by a discussion of the things we can’t do, rather than proceed as a productive conversation about the unique marketing value we can offer such a business. Sound familiar?
But where are we now with automotive and public radio underwriting?
In the most recent Greater Public Category Study (2013), automotive was not a top category for most stations (AAA stations were a notable exception), but it did represent an opportunity for growth across the board.
A recent conversation among larger-market stations offered a quick snapshot into the opportunities and challenges associated with this business category in 2018, which can apply to all public media stations.
1. For the most part, success is variable.
2. A variety of luxury and recreational car brands are on our air.
Brands like Infinity, Mazda, Audi, Jaguar/Land Rover, and Volkswagen made up the "other" category. These are a mix of luxury and recreational/family-friendly.
3. Current underwriters are largely tier-3 clients: individual dealers.
4. What are the main challenges to growing this category?