I came across this article and infographic the other day and thought it highlighted an interesting trend.  Studies show that people are becoming more and more immune to online advertising – simply tuning it out as a kind of visual “white noise.”

This article confirms what our firsthand experience has proven. We have already tested some display products and found them to be in-effective tools in the “guaranteed marketing” arsenal.

For a company that gets paid on results, display advertising is a tough proposition. Our challenge is to deliver trackable results; anything less works against our primary brand promise of performance.

Since we can only charge on sales that can be directly attributed to our marketing, it made our price point for this product 4-5K per car. With the inconsistent attention to leads generated in the dealership, we could not afford to power forward with online advertising mechanisms and conceded to folks that charge on impressions or clicks.

Valuable lessons were learned through our experimentation with online ads.

  • Automotive is a monster industry, with a lot of players that all sound very similar – consolidation is a coming!
  • In automotive marketing, targeted traffic “is king”, or is it? Players will sell you “auto buyers” to target via DMP’s and other fancy technologies and amazing concepts, but at the premium you pay for that traffic, is it worth it? Meaning would you pay $400 to target 5 people that are buying car or $400 to target 500,000 that are in your geography who are “generic” – Jury is out on this one, test it!
  • The challenge remains to serve up messaging that matters to prospects at every step of their buying journey. Otherwise, ads are never going to connect with a prospect, plain and simple.

Which brings me to why I am writing this article.  Like all marketing roads, this infographic leads to the all-important factor of relevancy. People are blind to online ads, because most ads look like every other ad out there and don’t speak to their needs. Their behavior is telling us what they want, what will get their attention and, ultimately, what’s most likely to help generate a vehicle sale.

Don’t be seduced by a high number of impressions online advertisers claim to deliver. Chances are, people won’t click, and more than likely won’t even notice your ads. Most have developed a habit of ignoring them, especially if they don’t stand out.

Instead of investing in reaching more people, it’s more efficient to invest in relevancy and reaching the right people. Spend that budget by investing in retargeting technology that makes ads personal. Take the time and effort to create an ad that uses a prospect’s city, his or her price range, or perhaps the very vehicle or vehicle class he/she was looking at before.

Targeting prospects with relevant messaging that meets their own shopping parameters helps your marketing message get noticed! That’s better for your marketing budget, better for your brand, and better for your customers!