By Corey Petruccelli, New York Interconnect
When it comes to advertising and doing what it takes to win customers and drive brand performance, the auto industry has always been ready to lead and weather the road. While the auto industry recently has faced a storm of high-stakes challenges — supply chain disruptions, chip shortages, demand outpacing supply — the opportunities for impactful advertising campaigns have never been better. As it happens, Borrell expects auto dealer ad spending to increase 8.8% to $9.47 billion in 2022. Rest assured, despite the pandemic era factors and flux, the industry’s top advertisers are still front and center, ready to give it a go.
What these battle tested advertisers instinctively understand is that today’s ad tech coupled with the evolution of TV media platforms has created an advertising landscape that allows auto brands to target consumers whenever and wherever they’re watching. Leveraging audience data, there’s more impact in every ad dollar and thus more opportunities for a successful full-funnel campaign.
It’s all about being holistic and expanding one’s view of the screen to take full advantage of multi-screen viewing behaviors. Every dollar, if directed by the right data, can work harder and deliver more for the brand – from consumer research to purchase, even if that purchase happens from the living room and culminates with home delivery.
One thing worth noting is that vehicle pricing over the past few years has exponentially increased, due to the richer features set in available cars and the ability price at premium levels. So, part of the overall quest becomes the challenge of zeroing in on and nurturing the consumers who will pay that premium. So, amid all the challenges referenced above, staying visible and generating awareness among these premium audiences requires a constant, informed focus on two things: staying relevant and staying frequent.
Fortunately, available audience behavioral data analytics across screens and today’s serving and optimization systems help with both of these requirements. Your strategy and plan, as an auto marketer, is all about being where your audience is, screen-by-screen, and often, with relevant content that you continually tune to drive outcomes.
Getting back to this point, one of the behaviors that emerged during the pandemic was the increase in a potential customer’s research activity prior to buying. With dealer lot visits down, all household and personal screens engaged, the opportunity to tie into that research process at the upper part of the funnel is a real one – across data-driven linear as well as digital video 1:1. Planning in a holistic manner, an auto advertiser can target the consumer directly, in addition to the household level. And even over the past two years, it’s become clear how much more accurately advertisers can measure the success of their multi-screen campaigns, at a fairly instructional level.
Even in a down economy, it’s vital to stay visible – to be ready when the customer is ready. Thanks to the greatly improved state of data analytics and measurement, if you embrace this holistic approach, you will benefit from an almost constant learning state. As you advertise across screens, studying what gets you from research to conversion, you’ll be well poised to confidently do more of that. And every dollar will be well spent.