Online Targeting for Auto: How Car-Buying Preferences Vary by City
Auto manufacturers, auto ad agencies, lenders and dealers all face difficult challenges in online advertising. While brand advertising puts a make or model into the consumer’s mind, the ultimate goal is to sell cars. The most effective way to do this – as well as to extend loans – is to put the right message in front of optimal customers. A consumer may aspire to own a luxury sedan, but they may not be able to afford it, or they may need to buy a family car instead. That’s why it’s important for all of these groups to reach the right audience with the right offer for their brands and models.
The easiest way to do this is to differentiate online consumers in real-time by understanding their preferences. Many online advertisers simply focus on “auto intenders,” but what, exactly, is the “intent” of the intender? Auto marketers need deeper information that helps them determine whether an online consumer is more likely to purchase a luxury car versus a minivan. Or whether they prefer a loan or a lease. Armed with this insight, auto marketers can reach the right audience. When you deliver the right message to the right consumer you can significantly improve the ROI of your online spend.
One way to optimize your spend is by targeting geographic segments.
To understand this in action, let’s compare Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle and find out how these cities compare on certain attributes.
This information was compiled using IXI’s auto-specific digital targeting segments. The bars represent an index value indicating how much more or less likely the cities are to have the listed attribute than the national average (100).
We can see clearly that Detroit is far above the national average when it comes to consumers likely to be in-market for an auto lease, while the other two cities are well below. Atlanta has more consumers likely to respond to a loan offer, while Detroit is also above the national average. Seattle is well below the national average, so advertisers extending lease or loan offers could divert their budget toward consumers in the other two cities.
But let’s look at Seattle again. The city indexes highest for luxury vehicle owners, eco-friendly vehicle owners, and import vehicle owners. Using other measures, we know that 17.0% of Seattle’s population is likely to have income greater than $150,000 (compared to 11.6% for Atlanta and 9.5% for Detroit). This means that Seattle is clearly an area that luxury auto brands will want to target, especially foreign brands and eco-friendly models. Their ads are likely to resonate better in the Northwest than in the other two cities.
It’s important to note that these segments do not include any personally identifiable information, so brands are not actually targeting or tracking known individuals. Segments are estimates of likely household characteristics built using anonymous, aggregated, neighborhood-level data.
IXI Services’ targeting segments are available through many major ad networks and data management platforms. If you or your agency would like to know the full list of those we work with, contact us today at 1-800-879-1025.
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