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How Automotive Marketing and Advertising Media Buyers Should Approach Online Display Ad Campaigns

How Should Automotive Marketing and Advertising Media Buyers Approach the Budgeting of Online Display Ad Campaigns Across Multiple Sites and Networks?

Multitude of inventory sources can complicate a car dealer's media plans...

Not long ago, online display advertising for car companies and car dealers was considered merely a direct-response vehicle. But with the rise of online video, the increasing success of Facebook and ongoing improvements to audience targeting and buying technology like real-time bidding (RTB), automotive media buyers are returning to dealership display advertising with big hopes—and even bigger ad budgets. eMarketer estimates total display ad spending (including auto industry Tiers 1,2 and 3) will reach $12.33 billion this year, nearly two-thirds of which will go toward standard display advertising banners.

Today’s automotive marketing display ad buyer must navigate hundreds of inventory providers, including ad exchanges, ad networks and publishers, to emerge with a successful media plan. By approaching the ad buying process objective-first, automotive media buyers can pinpoint select sources to efficiently craft display campaigns which will achieve the desired results for car companies (Tier 1), car dealers (Tier 3) and dealer advertising associations (Tier 2).

“The need for better audience scale and efficient inventory purchasing has fueled the rise of ad exchanges and real-time buying platforms,” said eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher, author of the new report, “Buying Display Ad Inventory: Making Sense of Multiple Sources.” “Media buyers are turning to these ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSPs) for their massive reach and audience scaling capabilities.”



The efficacy of each display ad source and inventory buying method depends greatly on automotive marketer campaign objectives. Premium inventory sources that work well for car company brand-based objectives might not work as well for direct-response dealership advertisers looking to retarget car dealer website visitors.

For example, premium publishers and ad networks—often used for relevant content or contextual targeting—can be effective at generating automotive brand awareness, according to DIGIDAY and DataXu.



“By focusing on objectives, automotive marketers can best determine the appropriate mix of providers that will most likely help them to meet and exceed their advertising goals,” said Fisher.

The full report, “Buying Display Ad Inventory: Making Sense of Multiple Sources,” also answers these key questions:

  • How are automotive advertisers buying display inventory?
  • What auto industry trends are influencing how they buy inventory?
  • Which ad inventory sources and buying methods are best suited to help automotive media buyers meet their campaign objectives?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.



You may want to check out this other related article, “How Well Does Social Media Support Customer Acquisition?

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Tags: Ad, Advertising, Approach, Automotive, Buyers, Campaigns, Display, How, Marketing, Media, More…Online, Should, and


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Comment by Bernard McGranaghan on July 13, 2011 at 3:58am

Two parts to the display marketing approach are

1) Sourcing relevant audience (which is the key drive of the article above)


2) Creating relevant Display ads to offer the audience; which is critical to drive conversions and promote brand. Banner creation and management can become a costly and difficult process; this is one of the key drivers behind the adoption of dynamic banners that can automatically deliver relevant (new/used/service) offers into a banner at run time. Here is a link (I hope it works!) to a contemporary dynamic banner for one of our clients.

Comment by Derek Box on July 12, 2011 at 9:18am
Ralph our agency has seen the demand for custom web banner designs growing steadily over the past 4 months, especially in the last 6 weeks. And this is not just in automotive, but several markets have shown an increase in spending across multiple media's. Let's hope this pattern continues to develop!

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