Consumer, Industry Changes Shift Automotive Advertising Strategy

4 min. read

As Effectv hosted its brand relaunch at the famed Studio 8H in New York City, the Effectv Automotive Advisory Council (AAC) gathered for its fourth meeting. The advocacy group, which focuses on cultivating best practices and uncovering new solutions and innovations in advanced advertising for the auto industry, attended the Effectv launch event and provided insights on the state of automotive advertising as they see it.

On Effectv’s rebrand and refreshed value proposition, David Kelly, CMO at Gettel Automotive Group, said “having been part of this automotive advisory council for the past year and a half, two years, I’m trying to educate all of the people I work with: ‘it’s not cable anymore.’” With the arrival of video platforms and avenues like digital video, OTT and streaming, AAC members agree TV is a vital piece of the marketing mix; however, the need to reach audiences where and when they watch video, more broadly, is what’s most important.

For auto marketers, TV’s value isn’t for brand awareness, alone, but for targeting specific creative to auto intenders by make and model. “TV is a huge portion of our advertising budget,” says Jeremy Beaver, President at Del Grande Dealer group, “and it’s not only a piece for a branding play for the [auto group] as a whole, but also for the individual dealerships to target in-market car shoppers to deliver the right message at the right time.”

For Kelly, who oversees media spend for one of the largest auto groups in Southwest Florida, “television gives [our auto group] the opportunity to continue to get our brand in front of consumers on the largest medium,” adding “people are watching 6, 7, 8 hours of television a day—that hasn’t changed, just how they’re watching it has changed.”

Not only have consumers pivoted on how they access television programming, the way they buy cars has changed as well. “Consumers have never been smarter, they’re shopping more online, visiting less dealerships in person,” Beaver points out. Consumer behavior is, in part, driving the modern auto marketer’s need to get savvier and use data to get the right messaging to the right audiences.

Data shows that timing has a lot to do with reaching the right audiences as well. Kelly Perone, VP, Product Strategy at Effectv notes the importance of knowing which audiences have a car lease that’s about to end versus those who are thinking about buying a car. “When [auto intenders] are in the shopping window for around 11 weeks they need to know the names of the dealerships that are in their area with that brand, where they can buy that product,” adding “it’s the recall… that will end up in having someone walk through the dealer’s door to purchase a car.”

It’s a transformative time for the auto industry, with consumer behavior changes and industry shifts abound.  There are evolutionary opportunities on which marketers can capitalize. For Jake Rostollan, Executive Vice President at Pinnacle Advertising, the opportunities that are most important are “those that allow us to get an engaging message in front of [our customers] and right now the biggest one for us is video.” He adds that on top of that, the ability to measure “in an effective way for us to be able to optimize and show ROI” will drive real results 2020 and beyond.

About the Automotive Advisory Council:

Founded in 2018, The Automotive Advisory Council (AAC) is an advocacy group, comprised of Tier 2 and 3 auto leaders from agencies, dealers and manufacturers. The AAC operates as an educational and organizing resource to assist marketers in reaching desired audiences in premium video environments, conducting research documenting the benefits of cable advertising, and championing the interests of automotive marketers and the industry.