The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) claims that leaving the European Union without a deal “would trigger the most seismic shift in trading conditions the UK automotive industry has ever experienced”. Despite the SMMT figures for April indicating a year-on-year decline in car sales, cars are by far still the country’s preferred mode of transport. The Department of Transport’s latest statistics show that 62% of trips in 2017 were made by car.  With newsbrand readers accounting for 75% of the £369 billion car spend in the UK in the last year, it’s vital that advertising money is spent effectively as they are a valuable audience. 

Newsbrand readers account for 75% of the £369 billion car spend in the UK in the last year

While there are defined purchase journeys for motors, people become associated with brands over time, often subconsciously. In an age where there is an increased choice of brands, brand association and salience are now more critical than ever. Findings from Newsworks’ ‘How People Buy’ research conclude that two out of three people only choose between one or two brands once they start the buying journey and the latest TGI data show that newsbrand readers are more likely to have a brand or model in mind. 

There are still many opportunities for brands to help influence brand considerations because consumers take time to reflect on their purchases. 57% of people say they could buy a car at any time and only 32% of car purchases are impulse buys. 

Insights show that brand preference provides consumers with more confidence. Just 39% of people who start out with one car brand in mind are worried about the decision they make. 43% feel very confident, even at an early stage – rising to 63% when they’ve made the final decision. People with no brand preference are more worried (54%) with a lower level of confidence (17%). While confidence improves to 41% at the buying stage, it is still outweighed by worry which stays at 43%. 

If you want to see which channels have the greatest influence at the different stages of the purchase journey and how newsbrands compare, try Newsworks’ “How People Buy” planning tool. 

Newsbrands play a key role in the purchase journey as they help build brand salience and awareness and excel at providing a moment of inspiration. They also share the same audience as car brands – the latest PAMCo data shows that 61% ​of people who visited any motor manufacturer websites have also read a newsbrand that same day and 88% of people planning to buy a new car read a newsbrand that same week.​ Daily readers of online newsbrands are also 52% more likely to visit a motoring brand website than the average adult. 

61% ​of people who visited any motor manufacturer websites have also read a newsbrand that same day

Newsbrands have proved to be a very effective medium for numerous motor brands. Advertising examples include BMW’s advertising on April Fool’s Day; BMW’s ‘Best Newspaper Campaign’ at our most recent Planning Awards; and Audi’s bold ‘Electric has gone Audi’ ad.  

Our ‘Planning for Profit’ research demonstrates that motors campaigns utilising newsbrands are more profitable than those that don’t. Only 6.4% of motor category spend is allocated to print and digital newsbrands. With an increase to 10.3% of total spend, brands could enjoy a colossal £56 million in potential profit. In addition, while motor campaigns have traditionally used digital newsbrands sparingly, further research conducted with Benchmarketing shows that just a 1.7% increase in digital newsbrand spend would yield a very impressive 79p improvement in digital display PROI (profit return on investment). All of this shows that newsbrands would be a very fruitful investment for motor campaigns!  

If you want to find the optimum level of investment for both print and digital newsbrands for your campaign, try Newsworks’ PROI optimiser.  

You can also discover our charts highlighting newsbrands’ advertising effectiveness in the motors category and our 2019 RAMetrics motors update.

More insight for planners