How Does Back to School Impact Automotive Advertising?Greg Swiszcz
They’re making a list and checking it twice. But, it’s not to see who’s naughty or nice. Parents are checking to make sure that a car is now on their Back-to-School list. According to Nielsen Scarborough 22% of households with a child in college are also planning on buying a new or used car during the upcoming year.
What does that mean to the automotive industry as a whole? Well, that’s approximately 1.5 million households that have added cars to their shopping lists. With that many people looking for cars, it’ll be important for auto dealers to learn how to understand and reach this audience.
First, let’s look at who these shoppers are:
– 60% identify themselves as a “Mobi-Essentialist,” someone who sees the internet as a lifestyle enabler and is rarely seen without their mobile device.
– 21% are more likely, than the average auto customer, to do all their homework before stepping on a dealerships lot
– 34% have used the internet during the past year to gather their info
– 28% are more likely, than the average auto customer, to have used a dealership’s site/app
– 41% are more likely than the average auto customer to use other online sources
– 66% plan to buy a new car, while 39% plan to buy a new one (leaving 5% to buy both)
Now that we’re able to clearly identify who these auto consumers are, what’s going to get them to buy a certain make or model? Unfortunately, the answer is not brand loyalty, but rather price and value. That doesn’t mean they are looking for cheap cars. In fact, this audience plans to pay $2,000 more than the average auto consumer. While they are looking to spend more money, those looking for new cars are also going to want support with financing through the dealer.We know that price and value is going to get someone to buy. How can we best communicate these messages to this audience that is getting all their information and making their auto-buying decisions online?
There are several products that we offer that car dealers love. The first is Mobile Conquesting. With a target audience of people that never go anywhere without their mobile device, reaching them on the go, on their smart phone or tablet, is a HUGE opportunity for dealerships, especially when a report from Cars.com says that “81% of car shoppers use their smartphones to do research.”
Targeting capabilities within the world of mobile is very on point as well. We can target people who are looking to buy cars, people who have been to certain types of car dealerships, and even target people who have been to a specific car dealership. With lots of competition in the auto industry, imagine the opportunity to stealthily geo-fence other car dealerships so the ads are served to EVERYONE that enters that competitor’s location. And, in case that consumer has a bad experience, or doesn’t buy, we can continue to target them after they leave the lot with our Geo-Retargeting.
We also know that tracking is important for auto dealers. That’s why, with our Mobile Conquesting product, we can track in-store visits for the dealership, informing them each month how many people have seen their ad, and then have come onto their lot.
Another great avenue to target this audience of upcoming auto buyers is through Social Media, specifically Facebook. Take into consideration all the makes and models that a dealer has at any given time. If the dealer could showcase up to 10 images/videos of their inventory to someone looking to buy, they have now given that potential consumer options, hopefully one of which will get their attention. By using Facebook’s Carousel Ads, the dealer has this capability. In addition to a variety of makes/models that can be showcased, each image, or video, can link to that specific page of the dealer’s site, giving the end user direct access to all the information about that specific make and model.
Here’s an example of an Auto Carousel Ad on Facebook:
There’s a market that is looking to purchase a vehicle in the next year. We know who they are. We know how to reach them. There are a lot of digital options which can support your automotive clients in selling more vehicles.
If the above hasn’t gotten them excited, there are other ways to promote value and price. We can utilize Household IP Targeting, a digital method that allows the dealership to reach a specific list of people at their homes by connecting to their home IP Address (internet address). Let’s say the dealer wants to reach previous customers who now have equity in their car, or anyone that’s come into their service department. We can take their list of names and physical addresses (or purchase a list) and target those individuals with digital ads when they connect to their internet at home.
Lastly, Native Advertising is an opportunity to have ads display without the advertising look. Native Ads are ads that don’t really look like ads. They are found within the content of the site and can be found on websites as well as in apps. These ads, designed to match the look and feel of the website or app where they are found, blend in, giving the auto dealer’s ad a “home” within the content, rather than a place holder somewhere on the site. With Native Ads, car dealers can target by behaviors, with keywords, or even via an email database that they have put together.
It’s all about finding out exactly what the dealership wants to accomplish, who they want to target, and what message they want to send. There’s an old saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and that’s so true when it comes to digital advertising.