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  • September 27, 2016

Rule No. 3 – The new rules of the road for automotive upfronts

This week's guest post is the third in a series from Joe Kyriakoza, VP/GM Automotive, Oracle Data Cloud (read the previous blog in this series, here).

Today’s post focuses on Rule No. 3: Start with buyers to capitalize on deeper insights.

Not all online car shoppers buy. And not all car buyers shop online. Both types of consumers have value to your audience plan, but focusing only on recent shoppers – which the auto industry has historically been guilty of – is narrowing your scope of opportunity, and could result in the competition with a tighter audience strategy capturing the mindshare of your potential buyers.

Marketing to current shoppers is vital, but more and better data allows marketers to expand and enhance this tactic. Analyzing recent car buyers is fundamental to your audience strategy, and supports all three key tactics illustrated previously:

1. Loyalty

2. Conquest

3. Brand awareness

While car shoppers represent an important group of consumers, there are some pitfalls to focusing primarily on shoppers:

  • It restricts your reach potential:  Auto shopping properties do a great job of putting your marketing message in front of shoppers and buyers. But potential buyers are everywhere, and they don’t have to be the ones who just read seven reviews on the hottest crossovers. While those consumers are important, it’s a limited bunch. In ad campaigns observed for numerous OEMs by Oracle Data Cloud, auto shopping properties achieved roughly 15 percent reach into the OEM’s buying population – leaving 85 percent of your potential buying population to blind reach campaigns. Developing an audience strategy that finds consumers at various points in the funnel, and those who demonstrate similar signals and traits to these intense shoppers helps round out the reach potential of your buyers.
  • Intent doesn’t always imply ability:  Just because a consumer is shopping BMW doesn’t mean they have the means or the credit score to purchase one. History of purchase is a much greater indicator of buying ability – if you could afford luxury in the past, you’re highly likely to be able to in the future.
  • It’s limited and noisy:  Owning and buying a car is a journey. Consumers typically own a vehicle for six years or more, and waiting until the final 14, 30, or 60 days prior to that six-year cycle ending to market to them is not only too late, but limits your opportunity to only the ones raising their hands at the very end of their lifecycle – the same time everyone else is trying to get to them.

Buyer analysis provides depth for loyalty that goes beyond same model targeting.

Examining recent buyers of your brand can deliver actionable insights to inform your digital loyalty plan. At Oracle Data Cloud, we receive inbound requests for audience sizing for loyalty or ‘retention’ campaigns, and 90% of those requests are for audiences of consumers who own the same model (i.e. Jeep Grand Cherokee campaign targeting current Grand Cherokee owners). However, on average, 40% of loyalty purchases come from other models in your brand family. In this example, many Grand Cherokee (mid-size SUV) buyers might be trading in Jeep Patriots (compact SUV).

Trade-in sourcing often leads to dramatic differences in competitive set for conquest

Your cross-shopping data tells you that people who shop Toyota Camry are also shopping for Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion. This is straightforward and intuitive. However, sourcing trade-in data helps identify where the true conquests are, and how you can ultimately capture more share of your category. The data might suggest that most people buying a Camry are trading in Honda Civic, Ford Focus, and Chevy Cruze during that transaction. Suddenly your competitive set has expanded to support people who might currently own entry-level compact sedans.

Now you know that there are pros and cons to focusing exclusively on current shoppers. But this much is clear: data can reveal more insights into today’s consumer than ever before. Automotive marketers should take advantage of these insights to truly understand their audiences in more effective ways – for example, Oracle Data Cloud’s Automotive vertical is specifically aligned to provide the advice marketers need in order to make informed decisions with their ad spend. So, whatever road you take, it’s important to make sure the right data is behind the wheel for positive results.

Read more from Joe Kyriakoza by visiting part one and part two in his Rules of the Road series on the Oracle Data Cloud blog.

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Photo: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock

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