It’s official: The days of “spray and pray” marketing of media—simply by demo and geography for Tier 3—are finally over. It’s now possible to identify targeted audiences for your digital display and video advertising, reducing potential waste and helping you meet your advertising goals.
As automotive sales flatten, increasing the efficiency of your advertising dollars becomes more critical across new and used vehicle sales, services and certified pre-owned.
According to Borrell Associates, franchised automotive dealers are spending more than $8B per year in digital advertising. Leveraging both art and science in your use of audience targeting ensures that you spend those dollars getting in front of the right audiences at the right time to help you sell cars.
When it comes to selecting audiences for your campaigns, great science accurately and objectively identifies online audiences to ensure you are reaching who you think you’re targeting.
The science also allows the industry to validate those audiences against actual vehicle sales to go beyond online actions and find real car buyers. But, when it comes to marketing, science alone isn’t enough—it’s important to add art, too.
The art comes in multiple forms beyond the creative itself. When it comes to audience planning, leverage the knowledge and experience of great partners who can aid you in the art of using data-driven marketing appropriately. This makes getting those ads in front of the right audience at the right scale, invaluable.
The starting line: What’s most important when initiating a great campaign?
Start with real people—folks who are in-market and in your local area—for a truly high-performing campaign. While this sounds simple, it’s critical to your success.
Ensure you have real people by starting with a solid base. Make sure your provider is sourcing their audiences from actual humans, who have an address, a phone number and a social identity. Starting with this foundational “ID Graph” ensures you minimize waste due to bots and fraudulent clicks.
Once you have that solid foundation of real people, confirm they are actually signaling they’re ready to buy. Leverage great partners to identify your ideal in-market audience; preferably, based on what people purchased in the past and when they are likely to purchase or service again.
Then, layer in the art with automotive and data experts to select the best possible mix of audiences based on the campaign’s goals. Complete this process by activating these audiences where your customers live and breathe: on social.
The finish line: Efficiency in campaigns for new-vehicle sales, service and certified pre-owned sales
Once you combine both art and science in your audience selection, you will discover this is an extremely cost-effective way to reach your target market. By utilizing these tactics, you will see serious improvements in key metrics like impressions, click-through rates and cost-per-click, compared to more general digital marketing campaigns or even other campaigns in social. This is the benefit of reaching real, in-market individuals—they click more, they buy more and they save you money.
New vehicle sales: Efficiencies in proper targeting becomes more critical as the market flattens and new vehicle sales are harder to achieve. With the right targeting, you can craft an artful mix of audiences to drive leads from existing customers and conquest new buyers to your brands.
Service: As the market shifts, more focus turns to service at the dealership. But, how do you cost-effectively reach people for service when the repair order could be something as small as a $25 oil change, or as large as a full-transmission replacement?
Search is expensive, highly competitive and often doesn’t reach the right people for service. With proactive audience targeting based on vehicle ownership data and actual credit-card transactions, you can find the right people in your own backyard and efficiently bring your message to them in social.
Certified pre-owned: This market is exploding as new vehicle sales slow and vehicles come off lease. But the marketing challenge here is around specificity; it’s still important to target the right people at the right time.
In search, there’s a lot of competition with automotive shopping sites, local used-car lots and private parties. And, for an individual pre-owned vehicle, it’s cost prohibitive to advertise on search. The solution is to find people who are in-market for a specific type of used car and then tie inventory directly to those audiences.
Where do we go from here?
This solution isn’t just for data and advertising experts—all dealer digital advertising can leverage the great resources currently available to reach the right audiences. To ensure you’re doing the best job with your audience planning and targeting, make sure you:
- Take advantage of precise targeting at appropriate scale customized for your specific campaign needs
- Utilize great science to eliminate waste and increase efficiency for cost-effective campaigns
- Exhibit proficiency with layering in the art to create a comprehensive mix of audiences to meet your campaign goals.
Ultimately, by combining both the art and science of audience targeting, your campaigns will be successful in reaching the right audiences to reduce waste and help increase service and sell more vehicles, whether they are new or pre-owned.
Learn more about how to improve your digital marketing results by tying specific marketing messages to laser-targeted segments during my session (co-presented by Arianne Walker, Head of Automotive Brand Strategy at Oracle) at Digital Dealer 23. We’ll explore the power of Data as a Service (DaaS) technology to help dealers connect with the right customers, personalize every interaction, and measure the effectiveness of each engagement. To illustrate the power of data-driven audience targeting, we will review in detail the results of a real-world case study involving a mid-sized dealership. The session will also include a thorough list of recommended steps that participants can implement immediately in their own digital campaigns to start capitalizing on the extensive consumer data that is now readily available to auto dealers.
Attend this session and learn how to:
- Discover how to utilize the vast array of consumer data that is now readily available to auto dealers.
- Learn how you can quickly implement consumer data-driven marketing campaigns on Facebook, Google, and other key digital networks.
- Gain insight into how data is being used by auto dealers through an in-depth case study review, and receive best practices to immediately get data-driven digital marketing campaigns up and running.
Bob Myhal currently serves as the Digital Director at CBC Automotive Marketing overseeing all elements of digital marketing for Tier 2 and Tier 3 automotive clients. Bob has previously held executive marketing positions at a wide variety of e-commerce and technology companies. Bob has a BA from Skidmore College and advanced degrees from Boston College and the University of Connecticut.