Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
One of the reasons that Car Dealers are attracted to search engine advertising on a Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC) buying basis is that campaigns can be targeted to consumers at the bottom of the purchase funnel. When the results and data are tracked, the keywords (search terms) that generate the best results can be selectively bid upon at a higher price point. This means that the dealer's ads can be shown more often to online car shoppers more likely to convert into a phone call or lead form completed.
Likewise, with animated display advertising, the use of tracking codes in the form of browser cached cookies combined with social media profile information can be used to identify which consumers are most likely to be in the market for a vehicle. In display advertising, Behavioral Targeting works in a similar fashion to bidding higher on search query keywords known to be used by in-market vehicle shoppers.
However, website based animated and multimedia display advertising can be more cost effective to put in front of a wider swath of consumers... When messaging is appealing enough, dealers can actually pull some customers into their purchase funnel (sales funnel?), in some cases triggering the consumer to do a search query that otherwise would not have been done. After all, consumers do not spontaneously search for words such as "Phoenix Ford dealers" without something triggering their interest, such as website placed display advertising touting an appealing offer, such as "0% APR on New Ford F-150" or "Drive a New Mustang GT for $379 a Month".
As it turns out, multiple research studies show that a significant number of consumers will do a search query immediately after seeing a display ad, rather than clicking on the website placed display advertisement itself.
Data from Eyeblaster on cross-channel search and display advertising campaigns demonstrates the synergy of combining the two channels. While 23% of sales lead conversions came after a customer saw a search ad only, 5% were from search ads in combination with display. Strikingly, 72% of sales lead conversions occurred after the consumer saw a display ad and subsequently went to the website without doing a search engine query to get there.
That means almost one-fifth of users who converted after search had done their search after seeing at least one website placed display advertisement.
“This data proves that cross-channel synergy expands reach and brings greater scalability to digital campaigns,” said Ariel Geifman, research analyst at
Eyeblaster, in a statement.
“The consumer funnel takes users along a journey — awareness, favorability, consideration, intent to purchase and purchase." -- Ariel Geifman
“Display works at all stages of the funnel, bringing new prospective customers in, while search works on the lower funnel targeting those that already show interest,” Mr. Geifman said. Eyeblaster noted significant variation across verticals in the proportion of conversions from search and display.
The “Search and Display: Reach Beyond the Keyword” report explained that some industries such as travel focus on Web users already in the market, meaning they lean heavily on search to target the lower funnel.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, verticals such as consumer packaged goods aim to bring as many users into the purchase funnel as possible through website placements of display advertising (banner ads). Of particular interest to car dealers and OEM's, Automotive ad campaigns using website placements of display advertising results in more sales leads (62%) than search engine advertisements (PPC), which led to 38% of website visitors that converted into website form completion sales leads.
The report noted that the share of search versus display conversions were the result of past budget allocations in the respective verticals and did not necessarily represent best practices for search and display cross-channel optimization. Understanding the relationship between search and display ad campaigns is vital for car dealers and their marketing partners working with tight dealership advertising budgets.
The “Search Ads + Banner Ads: A Powerful One-Two Punch” white paper from ad technology firm AdReady discussed several limitations to Search Engine Advertising that could be overcome with a cross-channel display advertising campaign, including a competitive search market, difficulty scaling and the limited branding and awareness benefits of search engine ads that are limited to 3 lines of text.
The AdReady white paper also pointed out that search can be effective only when Internet users are searching — which they do less than 5% of the time they are online, according to the Atlas Institute. Other research shows that the amount of time consumers use traditional search engines is being encroached upon by social media search engines embedded within their respective social or User Generated Content (UGC) networks, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media sites.
Facebook Shows Across the Board Usage Gains
In addition to its surging population of users, Facebook grew substantially across nearly every performance metric in 2009. Unique visitors, page views, and total time spent all increased by a factor of two or more. Frequency metrics such as average minutes per usage day (up 6%) and average usage days per visitors (up 37%) also saw gains.
As more people use Facebook more frequently, the site has grown to account for three times as much total time spent online as it did last year. The only metric by which Facebook decreased was the average minutes per visit (down 11%), which comScore says can likely be attributed to the increasing frequency with which people are visiting the site.
Social Media Has Direct Influence on Brand Search
Conducted in tandem with social media agency M80, the study, “The Influenced: Social Media, Search and the Interplay of Considera...,” revealed a direct correlation between discovery of brands through social media and search behavior, especially more lower-funnel searches and increased paid search click-through-rates (CTR).
Additional study findings: