Understanding the impact of your online advertising is a challenge for all advertisers, but auto manufacturers seem to struggle here the most. Buying a car follows one of the longest sales cycles out there, and it’s an in-person purchase. Sure, certain aspects of auto buying are regularly conducted online, like model research on a manufacturer’s site or negotiating details via email, but the final step of signing an agreement and handing over the keys generally still happens at the dealership. So how can auto advertisers determine if their digital advertising helped to influence a sale? There are a few different options for offline attribution throughout the sales cycle.
Capture Dealership Foot Traffic
Measuring foot traffic applies offline attribution to the middle of the sales cycle and helps to gauge consideration among consumers. You can use beacon technology to capture customer device IDs as people enter the dealership, and then match those device IDs back to your advertising campaign. This solution will tell you if your advertising got people in the door, and it’s a great way to add real-world results to your upper-funnel metric tracking.
Utilize DMV Auto Purchase Data
Transactions are the next phase of the sales cycle you can measure with offline attribution. I know you must be thinking, how can I track auto transactions, since cars are usually purchased through finance agreements? Well, it’s a bit more complex than tracking foot traffic, but it is possible to connect household IDs to DMV state auto purchase data to impression data. Goodway Group’s Auto Purchase Attribution solution uses household data from Oracle Data Cloud, DMV purchase data from Polk, and our campaign data to create a proprietary report that shows how many auto purchasers in a month saw your ads. Our buy-through rate compares users who saw your ads and bought a car to users who saw your ad but didn’t purchase, giving you a lift ratio.
Tap Into After-Market Credit Card Purchases
Finally, you can use credit card data to track after-market sales, like parts & service purchases. While consumers don’t typically buy cars via credit card, they do often pay for parts & service transactions via credit. You can use this data to create a lift study by separating your audience into control and exposed groups. The control group would be a suppression group that won’t see your ads, and the exposed group would be the audience you are advertising to. Then, you’d compare P&S credit card purchase data for both groups to get a true lift on your advertising’s impact since you are comparing users who purchased after seeing an ad to consumers who would have made a purchase anyway.
To learn more about auto advertising opportunities, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jackie joined Goodway Group eight years ago and has watched the company grow tenfold from 35 people to over 350. As a media buyer and media supervisor, she managed countless campaigns and educated her peers on programmatic. Jackie now brings her media expertise to her marketing manager role, developing educational content and resources for clients. It’s the perfect fit for a media geek who likes writing.