We are in the digital age. That’s not really breaking news and it almost sounds silly to state the obvious, but in actuality, it must be said when marketers are still hesitant about spending their dollars on digital outlets that have seen growing numbers of viewers and users over the course of the past five years. One of the biggest industries to take advantage of the digital growth has been the automotive industry. Hulu, which is a web and (OTT) subscription site service that offers on-demand streaming of TV shows, movies, original webisodes and other media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from most major network outlets, including FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC , in addition to studios, is ad-supported.
Wednesday at the J.D. Power & Associates Automotive Marketing Roundtable, a line-up of experts talked about the keys to unlocking the potential of digital media and their thoughts on it will head in the near future. The panel included Jean-Paul Colaco, Senior Vice President of Advertising with Hulu, Dionne Colvin, National Media Manager with Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Gwen Conley, Senior Media Director with Saatchi & Saatchi with moderator Michael Learmonth, Digital Editor of Advertising Age.
Since 2007, over 1000 brands advertise on Hulu. Their platform is one of the many digital entertainment sites that have capitalized on the increase in web and mobile usage among the key 18-49 age base. And with over 180 million people watching over 50 billion videos online last month (according to Colaco), expect the numbers to continue to rise, meaning that opportunities to capitalize on digital marketing will continue rising as well.
“Hulu is a great testing platform for advertising being that the future of TV will surely be digital,” says Conley.
But are brands still “testing” when it comes to digital advertising? The answer is yes. Unfortunately, many brands still need to be sold on whether or not an online advertising budget will still be worth the money. And though many companies are still “testing,’ it still gives great opportunities to automotive companies such as Toyota to capitalize on the quick branding and interactive community available on digital platforms like Hulu.
According to Colvin, the idea of quick branding and communication with customers and potential customers is a great tool to utilize online.
“You can’t have two-way dialog on traditional TV, but you can on Web TV which gives your brand a ton of information about your customer,” says Colvin when asked about some of the benefits that come with her brand’s decision to advertise on Hulu. Toyota has been advertising on the site since 2007 and successfully markets to three very important groups in the US today: The general market, the Pan-Asian market and the Hispanic market, which have greatly benefited the company with successfully branding to a growing community and viewership.
In the next 10 years, most of the panel agreed that entertainment will not only be even more available online but without borders. According to Colaco, TV will be made available with shows from every region of the world and at any and all times. They also believe that the entertainment will be presented differently according to Colvin. “Content will come in bite-sized increments.”
With smartphones, tablets and laptops providing entertainment on-the-go, many shows will be quicker, faster and smaller to accommodate the fast-paced schedules of people who are decreasingly sitting still in front of the television for long periods of time. So it’s best to go digital with your marketing if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
Report by: Brjden CreweThis article was is part of our series on the J.D. Power 2012 Automotive Marketing Roundtable. Check out www.allvoices.com/users/jdpower for more of Allvoices' coverage of this event.