Five Things Auto Marketers Can Do Right Now

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This year is shaping up to be a banner one for the auto industry. It could be the year that many owners finally return to showrooms and replace their aging vehicles, providing a wonderful opportunity for auto advertisers to increase their share of the rising tide.

While the customer’s long journey through the purchase process ends with the sale, smart brands and retailers are actively building lifelong relationships with loyal customers that extend well beyond the initial purchase. Building brand loyalty now will continue to pay off well into the future.

The trick is to attract these potential buyers in the first place. So, how can automotive marketers get and keep the attention of these potential customers? Here are a few tips to make that possible:

1. Know Your Focus

A new model launch is the perfect time to consider interactive ads and video that let users “experience” the car in action. Compare it to other models in the lineup or enable camera control in interior or exterior views of the vehicle. Make a game of customization, with an ad that enables users to pick not only make and model, but also colors, accessories, and packages in the process of building their perfect car. If you know what your goals are, it’s that much easier to build ads that bring your customers in the door.

2. Target, Target, Target

It’s probably not the best idea to run an ad for a minivan in Seventeen magazine, or one for a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster in Field and Stream. In the same way, aim online ads at the audience you most want to reach. Unlike traditional print, TV, or radio ads, digital ads enable extremely nuanced targeting. Consider location, behavior and more.

3. Go for Results

Potential buyers need to know where they can get a car. The closer the dealership is to their home or workplace, the likelier they are to visit. Adding dynamic versioning to targeted ads ensures that not only will the right demographic see the right vehicle, but also that potential buyers in Des Moines, Akron, or Wichita know exactly where they can find it. The same campaign can run in every market, making geographic adjustments automatically.

4. Find Your Spot in the Funnel

Where is your audience in the purchase process? If they’ve just started doing their research at the top of the funnel, you’re more likely to engage them through experience. Consider a mobile campaign that uses the phone’s built-in accelerometer, so viewers can “test drive their new car” and use their phone to experience the exhilaration of driving the winding roads of Mt. Tamalpais. For consumers seriously considering a specific vehicle or choosing the finalists on their pared-down shopping list, information is key. Locators, incentive offers, and inventory availability are effective ad content.

5. Be Nimble & Quick

In the fast-moving digital world, a slow response to changes in the market can give your competitors an edge. Use real-time bidding to quickly make changes to the online channels on which you want your campaign to be seen. RTB solutions will improve your chances for successful conversions.

Mike Dillon is PointRoll’s automotive account director.

Michael Bowen


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