Search Optics Announces Results from First Annual U.S. Automotive Digital Marketing Trends Survey

More Than 160 Automotive Dealers Reveal Their Needs, Wants and Decision Making Strategies as the Importance of Digital Marketing Rises
SAN DIEGO, Calif., November 16, 2016Search Optics®, a leading global digital marketing provider with expertise in the automotive industry, today announced results from its first annual digital marketing trends survey, which spanned more than 160 U.S. automotive dealers associated with a variety of leading automotive brands.

The phone survey, conducted in association with Incept Corporation last quarter, provides definitive insight into today’s most pressing digital marketing challenges facing automotive dealers—from decision making, to their needs, wants and service provider satisfaction levels. Insights from the survey are available on the Search Optics blog in a post titled “Five Essential Questions to Ask Your Digital Marketing Service Provider.”

The survey participants included dealers representing automotive brands from Asia, Europe and the U.S. Regardless of brand, the dealers unilaterally agreed that their most important goal with digital marketing is to achieve results and a reasonable return on investment. More than 80 percent of dealers surveyed also said SEO was the most important service they procure through external marketing partners, indicating not only the value that they place on organic website visitor traffic but also the gaps that exist in their internal digital marketing skillsets.

“Digital marketing plays an enormous role in the success of today’s automotive dealers, from driving traffic to the lot to advancing the sales cycle through the use of digital strategies,” said Troy Smith, President and Founder, Search Optics. “The survey provides clear insight into the greatest challenges dealers face as the speed of digital change in our industry advances at a rapid rate, and winning more business depends heavily on their ability to keep pace.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Top digital services: According to the survey, knowing how to best spend digital marketing dollars across an optimal mix of services is a top concern for dealers. SEO ranked as the top service being leveraged through digital marketing service providers, followed by website, paid search, social media, email, display advertising and video services.
  • Expert guidance: Dealers expressed a tremendous need for insights and strategic guidance from their providers. They want a partner that knows their business and is constantly thinking of ways to help them grow.
  • Greatest business challenges: Staying ahead of the competition remains one of the biggest challenges for today’s automotive dealers. Other major challenges include keeping up with technology, gaining insight into market demands and implementing the most effective digital strategies.
  • Top service provider traits: Honesty and integrity are among the most important traits desired from third-party digital marketing service providers.

As part of the survey, Incept researchers asked dealers about their expectations and satisfaction levels when it comes to digital marketing service providers. More information on the survey findings is available on the Search Optics blog.

Search Optics is a leader in global digital marketing that specialises in custom, integrated solutions with an emphasis on outstanding measurable results. The company uses an uncommon blend of class-leading technology backed by real people. In 2016, Search Optics was named the Google Mobile Champion for the second consecutive year. The company was founded in 1998 and has offices in the North America, APAC, EMEA and LATAM regions. For more information, please visit You can follow Search Optics on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Facebook.