Auto Industry: Optimizing Your Ad Budget

Auto industry: Optimizing your ad budget

Blog | 04 min read

Written By: Chelsea Brown

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small, mid-sized, or large auto dealership; knowing where to spend your advertising budget is important. And this includes carefully considering media channels, paid/organic media, budget size, messaging and more.

Being an effective auto advertiser involves asking the question “how can I best optimize my ad spend, and what channels will allow me to see the best results for my advertising efforts.”

Today, shoppers typically like to research before they buy, and much of that research is done online. Especially for bigger purchases such as vehicles, shoppers want to know more about specific features, pricing, and what other auto shoppers have to say!

What worked in the past, will not necessarily work today, so it is important to consider the customer journey, and how best to engage with your potential customers – whether it be online or offline.

So how can I optimize my auto advertising budget?

Incorporate a mix of media

Traditional media such as TV and radio have known to be effective for the auto industry for years, but changes in media consumption have shifted this perspective. Depending on who your target audience is, TV and radio typically captures a more mature audience including the baby boomer generation.

That said, the shopping behavior of consumers have changed, with people now doing a majority of their research online. Although shoppers typically do not purchase vehicles online, they do like to scope out their options and compare vehicle models, pricing, availability, and dealerships.

Incorporating a mix of both traditional and digital media allows you to capture a larger range of potential auto shoppers.

At Adacado our focus is to provide businesses with a display advertising solution. If you are looking to re-target specific automobile shoppers that have entered your website, or find new potential shoppers through prospecting, Adacado can do just that! When re-targeting website visitors, try our VIN marketing solutions and show the right vehicles to the right people.

See what’s working

After incorporating a mix of media into your advertising spend, it’s then important to evaluate the value you are receiving from each channel. 

Some channels may be more effective when targeting a specific audience. For example, you are likely to capture a younger audience when implementing paid Instagram campaigns, as this is where younger generations are present. However online display campaigns typically reach a much wider audience with a much wider age gap.

It is also important to look at how your messaging is performing within each channel. Shoppers actively searching online for a specific vehicle are more likely to be further down the customer funnel, than say someone listening to the radio. Therefore, recognizing this and tailoring your messaging accordingly can be the difference between a campaign that is successful and one that is not.

Although spending less may seem like an attractive option, it is not always the best one. You want to make sure that the time spent building your campaigns, and the money allocated results in good value for your company. Therefore, choosing the right advertising channels that have the ability to increase your ROAS is optimal.

Revise, Revise, Revise

After evaluating what is working in your campaigns and what is not, it is then important to make changes and test.

Here is what you can test:

  1. Ad spend – you can consider increasing/ decreasing your ad spend in different channels.
  2. Alter messaging that is not receiving many impressions, clicks, engagement etc.
  3. Switch up your imagery.
  4. Change your CTAs to see what engages shoppers most.

It is important to A/B test these new changes to see which strategies are working. Further, ensure that you are only testing one element at a time ie. CTA button – so that you can associate changes in shopper engagement with your campaign revisions.