Despite almost a decade of downturn for the automotive industry, 2018 began to boast some fairly significant positives. From the unimaginable growth of the SUV market, to the increase in EVs and hybrids, the growth in profit has allowed manufacturers and dealerships to push more capital towards intelligent advertising campaigns, however, do these commercials actually work and encourage sales? Here, with VW Dealership, Vindis, we examine the effect of marketing strategies.


For the utilities industry, comparison websites are stealing all the limelight, and are often deemed the first port of call in regard to finding a place for deals.

There aren’t many companies online who invest as heavily into their digital marketing campaigns as comparison websites. It has become vital for many utility suppliers to be listed on comparison websites and offer a very competitive price, in order to stay in the game.

Go Compare, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market, and, are the four largest comparison websites here in the UK. These are among the 100 highest spending advertisers in the UK, how does this investment reflect on them?

The success of a company can often hinges on how they are promoted on a comparison website. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?

Customer retention, as opposed to new customer acquisition, has become a major focus for British Gas in recent years. Whilst the company recognise that this approach to marketing will be a slower process to yield measurable results, they firmly believe that retention will in turn lead to acquisition. The Gas company hope that by marketing a wider range of tailored products and services to their existing customers, they will be able to improve customer retention.

Through a loyalty scheme, more than £100 million will be invested in helping achieve discounted energy services. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.

The utilities industry depends heavily on the handheld digital platform. 40% of all searches in Q3 2017 were carried out on mobile, and a further 45% of all ad impressions were via mobile too – according to Google’s Public Utilities Report in December 2017. As mobile usage continues to soar, companies need to consider content created specifically for mobile users as they account for a large proportion of the market now.

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Fashion companies are beginning to see the major importance of e-commerce. Figures show that online sales in the fashion industry reaching £16.2 billion in 2017! This figure is expected to continue to grow by a huge 79% by 2022. So where are fashion retailers investing their marketing budgets? Has online marketing become a priority?

On the build up to Christmas 2017, a report discovered that 25 per cent of all fashion purchases for the previous month were made online. This is as online brands such as ASOS and Boohoo continue to embrace the online shopping phenomenon. ASOS experienced an 18% UK sales growth in the final four months of 2017, whilst Boohoo saw a 31% increase in sales throughout the same period.

Big brands, in recent years, have invested heavily in online marketing strategies as they have attempted to attract online shoppers. John Lewis announced that 40% of its Christmas sales came from online shoppers, and whilst Next struggled to keep up with the sales growth of its competitors, it has announced it will invest £10 million into its online marketing and operations.

Long gone are the days when shoppers would only go to the shop to peruse the rails — now they do it with the touch of a button on their smartphone.

Influencer marketing has seen a rise to prominence in recent years. In fact, according to PMYB Influencer Marketing Agency, 59% of fashion marketers increased their budget for influencer marketing last year – an essential marketing tactic in the fashion industry. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.

Traditional forms of marketing are beginning to be edged out by this new concept of influencer marketing. 22% of customers are said to be acquired through influencer marketing.

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85% of individuals living in the UK aged 18 and over own a smartphone, found a report commissioned by Google, named Drive to Decide. In addition to this, 65% choose a smartphone as their preferred device to access the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital and the transition away from traditional marketing methods, such as outdoor banners, is imminent.

Other statistics in the report revealed:

  • 90% of auto shoppers carry out research online.
  • 51% of buyers start their auto research online.
  • 41% of those use a search engine.

How do car dealers successfully attract online researchers? They must think in terms of the customer’s micro moments of influence, which could include online display ads – one marketing method that currently occupies a significant proportion of car dealers’ marketing budgets.

More than 10 per cent of the total UK Digital Ad Spending. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

Although we may still make most of our purchases in the showroom, many of us will research prior to the visit, online. 41% of shoppers who research online find their smartphone research ‘very valuable’. 60% said they were influenced by what they saw in the media, of which 22% were influenced by marketing promotions – proving online investment is working.

The vast majority of the advertising budget for the automotive industry is ploughed into TV and radio adverts. But in the last past five years, it is digital that has made the biggest jump from fifth most popular method to third, seeing an increase of 10.6% in expenditure.


Due to strict legislations, the healthcare industry has a slightly alternative relationship with marketing. The same ROI methods that have been adopted by other sectors simply don’t work for the healthcare market. Despite nearly 74% of all healthcare marketing emails remaining unopened, you’ll be surprised to learn that email marketing is essential for the healthcare industry’s marketing strategy.

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A report regarding communication methods recently discovered that approximately 2.5 million people use the platform as their main means of communication. This means email marketing is targeting a large audience. For this reason, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email – and now that smartphone devices allow users to check their emails on their device, email marketing puts companies at the fingertips of their audience.

Investing in digital marketing for the healthcare sector has proven benefits. Especially when you consider that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related content. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

77% of all health enquiries began online, found a recent survey. In fact, 72% of total internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year. Furthermore, 52% of smartphone users have used their device to look up the medical information they require. Statistics estimate that marketing spend for online marketing accounts for 35% of the overall budget.

Social media, however, still does play a particularly important role as well. Whilst the healthcare industry is restricted to how they market their services and products, that doesn’t mean social media should be neglected. In fact, an effective social media campaign could be a crucial investment for organisations, with 41% of people choosing a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation! And the reason? The success of social campaigns is usually attributed to the fact audiences can engage with the content on familiar platforms.

Worth it?

The return on investment, unsurprisingly, differs between various industries. For industries such as automotive and fashion, online marketing investment is critical! With a clear increase in online demand in both sectors that is changing the purchase process, some game players could find themselves out of the game before it has even begun if they neglect digital.

In regard to other industries, the scenario is completely different. Whilst TV and digital appear to remain the main sales driving forces, its more than just creating your own marketing campaign when comparison sites need to be considered. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

Online advertisements, suggested, accounted for 41 per cent of the average firm’s entire marketing budget. This figure expected to grow to 45% by 2020. Social media advertising investments is expected to represent 25% of total online spending and search engine banner ads are also expected to grow significantly too – all presumably as a result of more mobile and online usage.

Online advertising is fast becoming the biggest money maker for companies, regardless of whether they offer e-commerce services or not, therefore it should come as no surprise that year on year businesses are investing more in the market.