Automotive Dealerships: Mobile Or Desktop Ads?

Automotive Dealerships: Mobile Or Desktop Ads?

In a previous post I talked about ways that automotive dealers can use mobile – and specifically location based targeting, to reach consumers who are ready to purchase a vehicle. That has led to several questions from clients. Given the success of this type of auto buyer targeting, should dealerships ONLY use mobile ads and not use desktop and laptop ads?

The answer is dealerships DEFINITELY should use a mix of digital devices to target their ads to automotive buyers. Why? People in the market for a vehicle use different devices for different parts of the car buying sales process. Look at this graphic:

Auto Shoppers Digital Preferences

As eMarketer pointed out, whether it’s early in the funnel when users were looking for pictures of cars they might be interested in, or as far along as checking for local auto inventories, consumers are using different devices for different stages along the purchase funnel.

Most automotive shoppers still prefer to use a desktop or laptop for top of the funnel activities like researching info: customizing vehicles and looking at options, watching a video of the car they are interested in, comparing specs on vehicles and reading about warranty information. It makes sense, those are all things that are easier to do on a larger screen.

As potential automotive buyers move further down the sales funnel they prefer to use their smartphones for things like asking family or friends their opinions, setting up an appointment at a dealership, booking a test drive, and finding the nearest dealer to where they are. So mobile becomes increasingly important as the person gets closer to making a decision.

So how does all this relate to specific digital products? A mix of digital products across all devices is the best way to reach automotive purchasers as they move through the sales funnel.

Automotive Path To Conversion

Using Ad Networks that target automotive content websites (with either display or video ads) are best for branding and keeping your dealership top of mind as people are beginning to think about a car purchase.

Keyword Targeting (the better alternative to paid search/PPC ads) targets people as they are searching for keywords related to specific types of vehicles or reading articles that contain those keywords.

Behavioral Targeting reaches people who have already shown an interest and we know are in the market for a new vehicle.

Household IP Targeting is one-to-one advertising where you target specific households from a list the dealership has (i.e. people whose leases are expiring) or one that is purchased (i.e., owners of cars that are 5 years old or older).

Facebook & Instagram are great for reaching people who are active on social media. Facebook’s Lead Ads are perfect for offering online quotes or signing up for a test drive.

Mobile Conquesting is location based targeting and behavioral targeting combined – reaching consumers who are in the market for a vehicle and who are within a certain distance from a dealership’s location. You could even geo-conquest around competing dealership lots and reach their potential customers.

And of course, Retargeting – the engine that drives conversions. Targeting people who have already been to the dealership’s website and reminding them why they should come back!

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