In Focus: Turning the Corner on Automotive Advertising

In Focus is an Effectv video series exploring the most relevant topics in multiscreen TV advertising with insights and discussion, attempting to answer the question: what are the key areas of focus for advertisers today?

This episode features a discussion between David Regn, Founder & CEO of Stream Companies and Anthony Jingoli, Director of Automotive Sales for Effectv. The two industry experts get into the topic of automotive advertising strategies in 2023, the effects of ad exposure on car sales and how data has evolved from a buzz word to an essential ingredient of an audience-based multiscreen campaign.

Over the past couple of years, they have had to take a step back and in many instances make big pivots to their advertising strategies to align with evolving market conditions. With more cars available at dealerships, lower used car prices but high interest rates and potential economic headwinds, it’s an interesting time for dealers. It makes sense that they focus on the lifetime value of a customer and how to maximize growth and profitability through that lens.

That is supported by David’s experience of working with many dealers: “Clients that were most successful and continue to be profitable and maximize growth are the ones that stayed consistent with their ad spend, their messaging, their go-to-market strategy, including service retention.”

Effectv recently did some first-of-its-kind research, looking at advertising exposure’s impact on actual sales, and the impact of multiscreen TV by combining linear TV, streaming and data to find the right audiences.

By looking at advertising exposure across 800 campaigns, there was a clear correlation between campaigns and sales. But what was interesting was the impact of pairing traditional TV with streaming. On average, 74% of buyers were reached exclusively with TV while 14% of buyers were reached exclusively with Streaming. 12% of the buyers were reached by both TV & Streaming. And the results were impressive: households exposed via Multiscreen TV converted at +23% compared to those exposed via Streaming only. The Multiscreen TV approach was +27% more efficient, in terms of building reach faster.

David echoes this data-informed focus on multiscreen TV: “It’s getting out of the old mindset and moving into the new data-informed mindset. Historically, if you’re a traditional media buyer, you looked at reach and frequency against a particular demo like 25-54, household income above $50,000, and how did your campaign perform against that demo? The new way is ‘how do we find the right audience and hit that audience with similar reach and frequency, but more importantly, optimizing around sales as opposed to just traditional media metrics?”

He continues: “So I think that for the first time in the history of advertising, there’s an effective way to look at both linear and digital video and say, ‘based on the audience that I’m targeting, what does my ad exposure look like and did they come to my website? Did they submit a lead? Ultimately, did they buy or come in and and have their car serviced?’”

But this new mindset requires patience. Today’s advertising landscape is a dynamic mix of data and technology, and so education and partnerships are key to helping dealers navigate this more complex environment. As David says, “a lot of it is around learning and understanding what’s possible”. A great example that David cites is the partnership between the two companies “where we’re matching data through Blockgraph, and being able to match at a 90% plus [rate] versus the old cookie match that people are more familiar with, where your match to an audience might be 30 or 40%.”

To wrap up the conversation, Anthony asks David where dealers and automotive advertisers should focus their efforts today? The key to success is very clear: “Deploying a data informed, full-funnel strategy as well as looking at influence and attribution to help guide your campaigns at all levels.”