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It is very common for auto dealers to be running remarketing campaigns, also known as retargeting. The remarketing concept, which puts the dealer's brand message in front of a consumer (who visited their website) with "online billboards" is appealing to managers. A marketing manager recently asked me if she should remarket to all website visitors.
The answer for most dealers is no.
I've found that when a dealer retargets 100% of the visitors to their website with a single set of banner messages, the campaign data and performance is clouded by low time on site, low engagement, and minimal conversions associated with new sales opportunities. It is difficult to create a relevant banner message that can appeal to all visitors.
One of the reasons why retargeting and display traffic is suspect is because there are many websites that appear to be valuable/interesting destinations but they are just ad farms. The website pages are designed to fool consumers to click on ads when the consumer only wanted to view the next page in the content series. A second reason is poor consumer targeting strategies that place dealer ads on a website known to be filled with BOT traffic.
Google Analytics (GA) makes it easy to create lists of visitors which are subsets of the total visitor traffic. Some dealers have experimented with creating custom Audience Definitions in Google Analytics based on which pages a consumer visited. For example, if the page URL contains the word "F150", retarget the consumer with F150 ads.
While this strategy is better than retargeting all visitors, there is an even better way. By creating a Google Tag Manager container, dealers can track consumer engagement on their website. By knowing which page elements they clicked on, dealers can create lists of highly engaged shoppers. It is hard to read the minds of consumers who visit a page and do nothing on the page that a shopper would do.
Creating Audience Definitions is done in the Admin section of GA and here is an example of one definition I created based on click events. The list will contain consumers who looked at vehicle photos, started a trade-in process, viewed a window sticker, requested a price, or wanted to schedule a test drive.
When you create targeted Audiences in GA, you create more effective and relevant ad campaigns. Their Audiences can be used by your AdWords agency to upgrade your remarketing strategy. Give it a try and I am confident that you will see a significant lift in engagement, conversions, and ROI.
2017 Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit (AAAS)
Marketing Managers who want to learn more about Google Tag Manager, using data to improve marketing campaigns, multi-touch attribution, and tackle the hard question of measuring the influence of their marketing campaigns are invited to Boca Raton, November 8th, and 9th.
Details on the conference can be found here: http://automotiveattributionsummit.com/