Today’s stakes are high for auto marketers when 60 percent of auto buyers spend 6 months shopping before a purchase. That’s a significant timeframe and one where potential buyers are exposed to a variety of marketing touchpoints, both in the physical and digital world.
Online advertising, TV, email – even direct mail and out of home – all play a part in propelling or inhibiting a potential buyer’s path to purchase.
This means, the better auto brands understand audiences, the more equipped they are to implement marketing strategies that drive sales and definitively show return on investment.
And location data has become the foundation on which today’s auto brands are connecting disparate data sets and building a new way of understanding consumer audiences.
Location data is founded on the anonymous signals that mobile devices emit and in 2016, these signals represent more than 200 million U.S. smartphone users. On its own, location helps auto brands understand consumer audience interactions such as the number of people visiting a dealership, the kinds of dealerships they visiting, the distance they travel to get to dealerships, and where they were before they arrived.
From there, third party data such as TV viewership, CPG purchase data and home ownership data greatly amplify the benefit of location data. Of particular interest for auto brands is data from companies like Oracle Data Cloud, that builds layers on top of location data to provide insights about auto-focused audience affinities.
With these types of sources, an auto brand can look at an audience that has visited a dealership and cross-reference with the audiences’ auto ownership, understand whether they are in-market, the types of TV shows and networks they watch and the products they buy when they visit grocery stores.
Finally, with first party data applied, CRM data comes into play. For example, If you own a series of automotive websites or dealership websites, you can take online cookie data and anonymously bridge it to mobile devices, to understand the correlation of audiences who visit a website and if they showed up on your physical dealership or on your competitors’. You can even understand which page drives the most conversions. When CRM data and location data connect, auto brands benefit from true, measureable ROI from every marketing dollar they spend.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg for auto marketers who use location data. Some have turned to mediums such as addressable TV, a relatively new concept in the industry, which has primarily referred to the ability to deliver specific TV commercials at a more granular level. This level of granularity for delivering commercials to audiences is a rapidly growing slice of the TV advertising pie, especially for data-driven marketers with clearly defined audiences.
For the first time, auto marketers have begun measuring the impact of addressable TV campaigns through location data from anonymized mobile signals. With these signals, marketers can draw intelligent conclusions about how consumers react to addressable TV campaigns and understand how a TV ad impacts real-world visits to a dealership.
By using location as the connective layer for all of this data (CRM and third party), auto brands are building a new way of understanding consumer behavior. They are using it to deliver ads, analyze, measure and understand how auto buyers are interacting across channels. Armed with these insights, innovative auto brands are winning the race for consumer mindshare and industry marketshare.
About Duncan McCall
Duncan McCall is the CEO and co-founder of PlaceIQ. He is one of the first people to connect consumer location to advertising, allowing CPG, retail and auto brands to align advertising with consumer behavior.
Previously, Mr. McCall founded and led a venture-backed consumer Internet business with the goal of enabling and empowering users of location-aware devices. His time spent working on RFID and universal positioning start-ups would later be the foundation on which PlaceIQ was built.