Programmatic Advertising in the Automotive Industry

Updated: Jun 8


The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the worldwide automotive industry quickly and severely. Chinese parts shipments were disrupted, large-scale manufacturing disruptions also occurred across Europe, and assembly factories in the United States closed. The good news is that in 2022, the automotive industry is making a huge comeback. While the path to recovery is lengthy, auto marketers can use a programmatic strategy to help their campaigns succeed.

According to Google, converting an automotive consumer requires an average of 24 touchpoints. That's a huge amount, especially when 19 are distributed via digital media. This is why taking an omnichannel approach to automobile marketing, which includes both online and physical elements, can help you achieve greater results. However, this can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you're attempting to assist a potential consumer through the complete experience across many channels. Fortunately, technology exists to automate the process, specifically programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising, which dates back to the first banner ad in 1994, is acquiring ad space using artificial intelligence software. RTB, or real-time bidding, is used to do this, which entails purchasing advertising at the same time a visitor loads a page. Both advertisers and publishers benefit from programmatic advertising because it improves accuracy and transparency.

With the way people currently browse for vehicles online, this technology presents a significant opportunity for automakers. Purchasers typically use search engines like Google to acquire the information they require, making it harder for auto dealers to target those specific buyers. Furthermore, because these terms typically have a high "commercial intent," finding a strategy to attract them is a strategy that has your best interest at heart.

You can capture this search data and provide the correct content to those potential purchasers via programmatic advertising. The initial step is normally to import all car inventory data into your preferred programmatic ad platform.

To understand how Programmatic Advertising works in the automotive sector, we must first examine a customer's buying cycle while purchasing a vehicle in today's digital age. It's ridiculous to expect buyers to see an advertisement for a new vehicle, click on it, and buy it straight away. Before a purchase can be made, a customer and a dealer must conduct extensive research and establish trust. Car consumers are more likely to believe what other customers have to say than what the manufacturer has to say. Reviews, comparisons, blogs, and forums are some of the most reliable sources. They want an unbiased view of why one vehicle is the better option.

Marketers can target customers who are "in the market" for a new car by using Programmatic Advertising. Consumers who are actively studying or comparing products and services across numerous publishers and partner sites can be reached using in-market audience targeting. A lot of different statistics must be evaluated to define someone as being in the market for a given product or service.

We evaluate clicks on connected advertising and subsequent conversions, site content, different pages they visit, and frequency of visits at 7Social. Our technology effectively categorizes consumers in this way, allowing your company to target the customers who are most interested in your offers.

The content of websites viewed, such as Cars.com, FindCars.com, and any vehicle manufacturer's website, are some of the criteria used to assess whether or not someone is "in the market" for a car. Clicks on associated advertising are calculated using the proximity and frequency of visits to such websites as just another criterion. When searching for new cars, it's also possible to target certain persons who have visited specific websites or who have visited certain websites on a frequent basis.

Large enterprises and successful businesses are increasingly focusing on programmatic advertising, but despite the fact that this technology is incredibly effective, measurable, and advanced, it does not have to be costly.

Programmatic Advertising Terms to Get You Started

RTB: Real-Time Bidding

The term RTB refers to real-time bidding. In the time it takes for your website to load, real-time bidding takes place. This means that thousands of corporations may be bidding behind the scenes using AI to have their ad displayed as a user loads a page. The buyer's ad is immediately shown on the publisher's website if the offer is accepted. This occurs on almost every website, mobile app, or game every time they are used, every day, all day. Without AI, none of this would be feasible.

DSP: Demand-Side Platform

Advertisers utilize the DSP, or Demand-Side Platform, to automate the bidding process for their adverts to appear on a website or mobile app. This method assists marketers in avoiding wasting time and effort on processes that can be automated. A DSP is beneficial because it allows marketers to track the effectiveness of their ads in real-time. If a campaign is functioning well, advertisers can spend more quickly in a DSP, while unsuccessful adverts can be eliminated.

DMP: Data Management Platform

Data Management Platform is the acronym for Data Management Platform. It's the software that gathers data from many sources to let the DSP target advertising more precisely. The information acquired by the DMP can range from client demographics to cookie ids. The DMP gathers this information and transmits it to the DSP, allowing for more precise ad placement in front of the customer.

DMPs begin by gathering raw data from online registration forms, website visits, or cookies. This data is collected from a variety of smart devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and even smart TVs. The DMP will begin cleaning the data once it has been gathered, deleting any incorrect or missing information.

For example, it might examine the buying behaviors of men over 55 with a yearly salary of $55,000 to see what trends it can uncover. DSPs use DMPs in this way to precisely target adverts to potential clients.

SSP: Supply-Side Platform

Supply Side Platforms are software applications that automate the sale of advertising space. Instead of manually accepting or rejecting advertising on a case-by-case basis, this program automates the process so that it can happen instantly. Unlike DMPs, which are used by individuals who create and sell advertising, publishers use SSPs to link with DSPs to ensure that the ad space on their website is sold to relevant product and service suppliers.

Publishers have more control over their inventories with SSPs. Publishers may keep track of who is paying for their inventory by impression and adjust their ad requests accordingly. SSPs allow publishers to filter digital advertising depending on the advertiser, ad kind, target audience, and other criteria, as well as set varied rates for ad spots.

6 Programmatic Automotive Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Dealership

Omnichannel Advertising


To win in the automobile game, you must target the appropriate clients at the right time when they're ready to buy. This includes getting your message in front of people looking for relevant search queries and demonstrating intent through various data sources these days.

But how can you get in touch with these possible buyers once they've expressed an interest? How can you get your client's brand in front of them when they're researching and later? An omnichannel advertising strategy that targets consumers across all devices is the answer.

Consumers nowadays begin their buying adventure on one gadget and end it on another, or they start online and finish in-store and vice versa. Thanks to an expanding array of contemporary technological forms and retail accessibility, products are just a few taps, steps, or miles away. In order to create a consistent brand experience, omnichannel marketing tries to bring together and combine the numerous channels that firms use to communicate with clients. This includes both physical (such as stores) and digital (such as websites) (such as websites).

An omnichannel marketing strategy strives to give customers a pleasant, seamless user experience with many fulfillment alternatives. Customers can shop online, in-store, or a combination of the two using an omnichannel strategy, such as "purchase online, pick up in-store." The client experience is more than just one channel in any case. It can be found on a variety of devices. It even makes it past one stage of the customer's buying process.

Make the Most of Consumer Data

You've probably been in business for a long time, which means you have a lot of client information. This information contains anything from a customer's most recent purchase to the make and model of car(s) they own, as well as their interests. One of your most precious assets is your customer relationship management system (CRM).

Utilize data from your client's CRM to reach out to clients at various touchpoints. Serve advertising that persuades and nurtures leads to take the next step in their brand experience. Provide existing consumers with additional content about after-care and other solutions.

Implement Contextual Targeting

Marketing using keywords is greatly improved by utilizing contextual targeting. Customers are more likely to respond to contextually relevant ads. This means you'll spend less money on ads and have more control over where your ads display across apps, websites, and platforms. Advertisements are served based on what they're looking at, when they're looking at it, and where they're looking.

There are two types of contextual targeting: category contextual targeting, which places ads on pages that fit into specified categories, and contextual keyword targeting, which places ads on pages that match specific terms.

There are two types of contextual targeting: category contextual targeting, which places ads on pages that fit into specified categories, and contextual keyword targeting, which places ads on pages that match specific terms.

There's also semantic targeting to consider. Semantic targeting is a type of contextual targeting that uses artificial intelligence to understand the meaning of each page of content rather than simply looking for keywords that match. This method of targeting is successful. A crawler scours the internet, categorizing websites based on context and semantics. When a user views a page, the ad server receives the content information from the page and combines it with relevant advertising for the keywords and content.

Contextual ad targeting paired with programmatic advertising allows marketers to get the most out of their advertising budget by bidding on high-value impressions and changing the definition of "high-value" on the fly.

Set a Geo-Target

Geofencing allows you to target people when they are in a certain geographic place. Geofencing is the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic border that allows the software to react when a mobile device enters or exits a specific area. A geofence can trigger mobile push notifications, SMS messages, or alerts, send targeted social media advertising, track vehicle fleets, deactivate specific technologies, or provide location-based marketing data, depending on how it is set up.

Geofencing is generally used in conjunction with proximity targeting, in which you offer advertising to a certain town, region, or ZIP code both during and after their visit. Another geofencing strategy is "conquesting," which involves targeting the area around your competitor's parking lot and serving adverts to customers who come. These are especially powerful when combined with material that emphasizes your unique selling proposition.

Target and Retarget Your Audience


In most industries, it takes around 2 to 7 website visits on average to make potential customers more likely to offer you their contact information or call you, let alone make a purchase from you. In the automotive industry, the number of times it takes to reach a customer can be as high as 24! It's vital to figure out how to contact clients who have previously expressed interest in your company as they progress through their own customer journey.

This is where retargeting for websites comes in. Site retargeting is a display advertising technique that allows marketers to show ads to consumers who have previously visited their website. A pixel is placed on a marketer's website, creating a cookie in the user's browser. The marketer might target the website visitor with adverts elsewhere on the internet via retargeting.

The following is the general technique for site retargeting. The customer visits the website (www.mycardealership.com). Based on the HTML code (what we call a site retargeting pixel) that is placed there, the site can record mobile device IDs and IP addresses of visitors to (www.mycardealership.com). Following the consumer's visit to the website, a cookie is deposited.

You can also do this with previous customers, as we mentioned previously. Utilize your CRM to do this!

Remarket Searches

RLSA, or Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, is an advanced targeting that advertisers can customize their search ad campaigns for those who have already visited their website or app, as well as the specific pages they viewed during their visit. RLSAs are used to create search ad groups that are set up to only show advertisements if the user is on the advertiser's remarketing list and is performing his or her search using the keywords that the advertiser is bidding on. They are also used to make separate bid modifications on ad groups that are specifically targeted at users on the advertiser's remarketing list.

The difference is that RLSAs will not automatically display text ads to users just because they are on the advertiser's remarketing list. Instead, RLSAs will only show advertisements when a user is actively searching on Google or Bing for the keywords that the advertiser has bid on.

This is the crucial distinction because advertisers have more power because they can better predict a user's purpose (based on their search searches) and produce ads that directly target that intent. This is in contrast to traditional remarketing, which cannot pinpoint intent and instead shows adverts to people during their time on the Google Display and Bing Networks.

You can use keyword rematching to target terms based on location (for example, "best Ford dealership Orlando") or product (for example, "best car for new families"). You can then target these visitors with adverts while they surf other websites and online magazines.

Final Thoughts

Automobile dealerships and the automotive sector are unlike many other businesses. Car shopping is a highly individualized activity that frequently necessitates a significant amount of time spent looking for a vehicle that fits a person's lifestyle and requirements. The more focused dealership advertising is, the more accurate the adverts for customers will be, and the expectation is that conversions and auto purchases will be speedier and more frequent. With programmatic advertising’s marketing intelligence about finding ideal placements for ads and identifying the target demographic, auto dealerships may communicate with their most likely customers and not miss out on numerous sales possibilities.

Auto dealerships and other businesses can profit from programmatic marketing, which is a highly focused, advanced kind of advertising. Its advertising efficiency and success in attracting customers will set your firm apart from the competition.


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