Advertisers across industries have been steadily raising their spend for Internet advertising over the last three years, with display ads in particular increasing 9% over HY 2012 to grow to $6.1 billion in the first six months of 2013. As we reported in a previous post, advertising activity from the automotive industry represented 13% of the overall spend, up 12% from last year.
From these stats, we can draw a few conclusions important to dealers. First, it shows the growing level of confidence in display advertising to drive in-market car shoppers closer to the point of purchase. And second, it shows how dominant display advertising has become.
As we look closer at the display advertising ecosystem, the third conclusion we see is that while display ads are everywhere, dynamic ads are not. Dynamic ads are smart—or should we say smarter — advertising display units. While traditional display advertising can provide clicks and traffic to online stores and product detail pages, dynamic ads are automatically synced to a business’s inventory system to serve ads that show the products that are available now or need to move.
In the auto industry, OEMs are facing rising pressure to move inventory or resort to trimming production and increasing incentives. Dynamic ads represent a tremendous opportunity for dealers to extend the presence of the cars on their lot in real-time.
To start leveraging this highly intelligent and automated digital strategy, consider these quick tips:
1. Get your tech talking.
For dynamic ads to be effective, media buys must be technologically synced with dealers’ inventory management systems. Have a conversation with your advertising vendor to make sure your real-time inventory data and ad buying technology are talking to each properly on the back end.
2. Go where your customers go.
Reaching potential buyers with ads on the sites where they are already researching cars is essential to a successful campaign. Check to see if your ads are being placed on the most prominent auto websites like JDPower.com.
3. Follow them everywhere.
When backed by consumer shopping data, dynamic ads can follow potential buyers to the sites they visit after they leave your dealership page. Make sure your advertising vendor is employing a robust retargeting strategy to keep your inventory top of mind.
Having an ad system that only displays cars actually on the lot gives dealers ownership of their inventory marketing, builds transparency with shoppers by eliminating ‘false’ advertising, and cures the headaches associated with managing multiple third-party vendors. Ultimately, the judge of any ad system is if it truly drives high click-through and conversion rates. Dynamic ads give dealers a leg up here since matching specific inventory updates with shopper data translates to hyper-targeted exposure of cars that is timely and relevant to consumers.