The path to vehicle purchase is an interesting one to watch because dealers have such great opportunities when it comes to awareness building and targeted advertising.
That said, car buying isn’t as fragmented as one might think. For instance, the average car shopper today only makes two dealership visits (some reports say less) even though 60 percent of them enter the market unsure of which car to buy.
This leaves a lot of room for digital initiatives to influence buyers before and after visits. PureCars operates in that space by offering a full suite of digital advertising solutions for dealers (competitors include Showroom Logic and Dealer.com) in a changing marketplace that requires updated marketing tactics.
For instance, PureCars Founder and CEO Jeremy Anspach says that while traditional advertising tactics like television and radio ads still serve a significant purpose, especially in the automotive industry, supplementing traditional methods with a digital advertising strategy is vital in reaching consumers in all the right places.
“When car shoppers visit only 1.4 dealerships before purchase, it’s crucial that a dealership be present while a shopper conducts research online before hitting the lot,” said Anspach. “No dealer can afford to miss out on the opportunity to reach shoppers through relevant, personalized and targeted digital advertisements across channels.
Anspach also expects TV ads to hold some relevance too, believing these spots will soon become more targeted and digital ads will complement them.
“Imagine seeing an ad on TV for a new Lexus model because you're a college-educated individual living in the suburbs,” said Anspach. “Then, when you go online, you're then served ads for the same model highlighting features that appeal to you (reconditioning, trim, color, etc.). The experience is both more targeted and more helpful for the end buyer.”
The value of Facebook ads is also impacting the automotive industry. Nearly one-fourth of car shoppers use Facebook and other digital channels to conduct research on their next vehicle purchase and dealers can’t miss out on this opportunity to be present during the consideration process. Keeping this in mind, PureCars added social media as an advertising channel for their SmartAdvertising platform.
“After an online car shopper visits a dealer’s website, our technology retargets this shopper with relevant ads on Facebook to bring them back to the site,” said Anspach. “By capitalizing on the growing trend of car shoppers using social for auto research, we believe that dealers will greatly increase their chances of turning these shoppers into car buyers.”
No matter the industry, serving consumers relevant, personalized digital ads is crucial for conversion.
“From automotive to apparel, display ads do a brand no good if they’re not tailored to an individual’s browsing history,” said Anspach. “The more personalized a digital ad is, the higher chance a consumer will follow through and make a purchase. These ads should be in sync with a brand’s inventory, too -- if a product that’s being advertised is no longer in stock, this is wasted ad spend. Digital advertising is expensive, and brands can’t afford to risk wasting their ad dollars on impersonal, irrelevant ads.”
This post is part of Website Magazine's Web Masters tech interview series, to learn about other technology influencers click on the titles below:
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- Data and Customer Choice