Purchasing a car is a complex user journey with multiple stages. While most buyers are, surprisingly, undecided on a brand or model when they start their journey, they now move more quickly through the funnel than previously. From 2017 to 2019, the time spent on the purchasing process dropped from 118 days to 96 days, and the time spent researching online fell from 13h 48m to 13h 06m.
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66% of potential customers use manufacturer websites as a first source of information. This means that car producers have priceless direct site visits which allow them to target customers with advertising during their search.
Manufacturers, therefore, have opportunities to influence buyer choices at every stage of the funnel, but they need to utilize the right type of campaigns at each point—showing either performance or awareness ads to users depending on how ready each person is to make a purchase.
An overview of performance and awareness ads for car producers
Here’s how to engage people at different stages of the funnel, taking into account the unique nature of the car buying process.
The shifting meaning of brand awareness ads for car producers
As the car industry changes, it becomes increasingly important for car manufacturers to communicate where they are in that process. Brand awareness isn’t about whether people recognize the logo and whether they know you build economy, family-first, or luxury vehicles. Awareness ads are vital for communicating what is the current state of your brand.
- New products: Brand awareness ads for car manufacturers are particularly popular for electric and hybrid vehicles, allowing manufacturers to show how they are evolving
- New services: If you have introduced new warranties, services, or deals, brand awareness lets people know about these improvements
- New touchpoints: Online researchers and buyers now value things like a live chat with sales reps, virtual test drives, and online car configurators. Awareness campaigns let people know about these new touchpoints
- Visions for the future: As your brand makes commitments to change, it is vital to let your current and future customers know the direction in which you are heading, especially as environmental concerns can be an important part of the decision process for many modern buyers
Effective auto brand performance and awareness ads
RTB House runs performance and brand awareness for auto brands. The number of industry campaigns has grown rapidly in recent years as our expertise attracts more major manufacturers.
- Honda sought to deliver the right type of content to users with different levels of intent. The Full-Funnel Marketing Solution was able to measure purchase intent from browsing behavior and display the correct messaging. The campaign delivered 300% above KPIs, increased awareness by 90% among new users, and saw 3 times more general user engagement
- Audi sought to innovate by creating awareness ads for its Q5 model which would also give users an easy chance to convert interest into website visits. RTB House delivered a geo-targeted connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) campaign to efficiently maximize reach across streaming content. QR codes embedded in the ads gave users a new way to engage and resulted in more site visits