The auto industry was one of the first to embrace content and advertising on smartphone screens, and it continues to be one of the top-spending mobile ad categories. But while the investment has undoubtedly been substantial, auto brands are still navigating how to intercept prospective car-buyers at various points of the research process and turn them into customers.
A recent consumer tracking study by digital think tank L2 sheds light on the industry’s efforts to adapt to the evolving mobile landscape and car shoppers’ mobile behavior. The study suggests that auto shoppers spend about a quarter of their time accessing online resources from mobile devices. It also indicates that nearly 1-in-10 auto shoppers are already at a dealership when they access information from their device, with 16% of mobile auto shoppers reporting their prospective purchase as “imminent.” These findings underscore the need for auto brands to optimize features that prove particularly relevant on the dealer lot.
While the vast majority (90%) of auto sites are mobile-optimized, they continue to tweak and develop new features to cater to on-site shoppers. Based on the 42 auto brands surveyed by L2 this past June, 84% are location-aware, 74% show current offers, 53% offer a finance calculator, and about 24% feature live chat.
The Opera Mediaworks team, working with Saatchi & Saatchi in LA, recently created a custom Dynamic Sales Event digital ad unit for Toyota, which allowed the automaker to serve real-time offers to in-market consumers based on their exact location.
The highly-localized ad leverages the back-end technology of the automaker’s website, which provides the most recent annual percentage rate (APR) for each dealership, by region. Specifically, it uses the Application Programming Interface (API) to update banner creative and display the relevant APR to customer’s in the dealer’s vicinity.
To provide a real-time list of consumers who are physically near the dealership, the location targeting utilizes latitude and longitude data, not IP addresses. The banner is also only served to customers who are in the market to make a purchase. These consumers are identified through a combination of anonymous data from Opera’s proprietary Audience Management Platform (AMP).
As of this point, the results have been really positive. In comparison to the non-dynamic ads, there is a substantial difference of +101% in intender response. For more information on the campaign, see the editorial coverage from Automotive News and MediaPost.
This customized ad is just one example of what’s cooking in our newly launched Innovation Lab. There is lots more to come in the rest of Q3 and Q4.