Roadmap to Success: Implementing Microtargeting for Auto Marketers

February 23, 2024

Authored by Chrisanne McCoy, VP, Commercial Data

Roadmap to Success: Implementing Microtargeting for Auto Marketers

The automotive industry has witnessed a dramatic shift towards digital channels, a trend that is expected to intensify throughout the year,  as the market transitions to favor buyers. With supply chains stabilizing the industry is set to offer more inventory options and lower prices, creating a unique opportunity for marketers to leverage this increased availability and consumer interest. 

This shift is further bolstered by anticipated decreases in auto loan interest rates, making financing more accessible and potentially expanding the pool of engaged auto shoppers. 

In addition, an expected increase in electric vehicle (EV) sales, driven by a $7,500 federal tax credit, highlights a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers. Marketers can tap into this trend by targeting messages around sustainability and the long-term savings of EV ownership. 

As automakers roll out more incentives to attract customers in a competitive market, marketers have a new arsenal of promotional tools to highlight in their campaigns. The ability to dynamically adjust messaging to highlight these incentives can make digital ad spend even more effective.

With all these changes, marketers are adjusting where they invest their advertising budgets. More available vehicles and lower prices, along with growing interest in electric cars due to tax incentives, are changing what consumers want. This means marketers need to rethink where they spend their digital advertising money. They have to use these trends to their advantage, emphasizing sustainability and new incentives to reach and engage customers in a more competitive market.

Navigating Auto Marketing Challenges: Empowering Solutions through Contextual and Audience Targeting 

Automotive marketers need to be able to reach their target audiences efficiently and effectively. Let’s take a look at some of the current challenges faced by automotive marketers that contextual and audience targeting solutions can help address:

Fragmented user journeys: In 2024, fragmented user journeys and siloed data continue to challenge automotive marketers, underscoring the need for integrated digital strategies that leverage both contextual and audience data for sharper targeting.Through contextual targeting, marketers can follow a consumer's journey and advertise the right kind of automotive product or service at the right time and in the right context, thereby increasing their chances of converting potential customers.

Siloed data: Automotive companies typically operate in separate areas like marketing, sales, service, and financing, each focusing on their own tasks. However, in the digital realm, these divisions hinder communication across departments and sharing important data about customers, like responses to ads, website visits, service history, and past purchases. Marketers struggle to access this data, even within their own company. While some automotive leaders have started connecting their systems, there's still a gap between manufacturers and dealers, as well as within departments. A comprehensive framework to track marketing, prioritize potential buyers, personalize messages, and ensure complete customer information is lacking. Contextual and audience targeting solutions can assist auto marketers in bridging these data gaps to communicate effectively.

Increasing privacy concerns: With evolving privacy laws and existing regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, marketers face challenges in leveraging third-party data for targeted advertising. Contextual targeting, however, does not rely on personal data. It instead employs information about the content a user is currently engaged with, thereby alleviating privacy concerns.

Lack of personalization: A one-size-fits-all marketing approach isn’t terribly effective in the automotive industry. Each potential customer has unique needs based on their lifestyle, budget, location, past auto purchases and preferences. Contextual advertising can accurately target via demographics and other characteristics based on the content they consume. This enables more-personalized advertising, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.

Brand safety issues: Placing automotive ads next to unrelated or inappropriate content can harm a brand’s image. Contextual targeting ensures that ads appear in relevant and safe environments, thereby preserving and enhancing brand reputation.

Inefficient ad spend: Without effective targeting, automotive marketers can waste significant ad dollars on individuals who are not interested or intending to purchase a vehicle. By using contextual targeting to place ads in relevant environments, marketers can reduce inefficient spend and improve ROI.

By addressing the above challenges with contextual and audience targeting solutions, marketers can increase the efficiency of their advertising efforts in the automotive industry, improve brand image, and better connect with potential customers. 

Microtargeting Strategies for Auto Marketers

Today’s auto marketers need advanced targeting capabilities to identify and engage audiences that convert in order to achieve effective ROI in a highly competitive market. These advanced microtargeting strategies include: 

  • Contextual targeting strategies
  • Audience targeting strategies
  • ContextualPLUS strategies

In the evolving landscape of automotive marketing, a strategic fusion of audience and contextual targeting is not just possible but essential. Fyllo | Semasio's microtargeting strategies, combining these elements with ContextualPLUS, have become critical for engaging the right consumers effectively. This approach, aligning with privacy standards, allows marketers to navigate digital shifts and connect with their ideal audience through nuanced, data-driven campaigns.

In the auto industry, marketers have the opportunity to take advantage of unique capabilities that allow for precise advertising based on specific car makes and models, behavioral insights drawn from car search and research history, and geographic targeting that promotes local dealerships. On top of that, contextual targeting can provide even more reach to highly relevant audiences. By placing relevant ads on car review or comparison sites, for example, marketers can engage potential car buyers who are actively involved in the purchase-making process. 

For auto marketers looking to supercharge results further, ContextualPLUS allows them to make the most of their first-party data by taking what is known about existing customers and using those insights to find net new customers—all without the use of third-party cookies. By using first-party data and semantic profiles of users and pages, auto marketers can craft a universally applicable semantic definition for their target audience and then apply that definition across campaigns and tactics to find new customers who share attributes with their high-value customers. 

An Automotive Microtargeting Success Story

With only 35 percent of Danish consumers targetable on a user level, Audi Denmark was seeing increased competition for users considered to be in the market for a new car. They faced similar competition for premium automotive and business-related content that users were expected to be consuming online. 

Reflecting on Fyllo | Semasio’s successes in 2023, notably our partnership with Audi Denmark, we've seen the significant impact of leveraging Semasio's AI technology and microtargeting solutions. By employing a strategic blend of audience and contextual capabilities, inclusion and exclusion strategies, the campaign harnessed first-party data to model and target users with similar semantic profiles to actual converters. The exclusion of least-likely buyers and the subsequent focus on more probable prospects can significantly enhance campaign effectiveness.

Audi Denmark's campaign, through its use of microtargeting, drove 70 percent of conversions for audiences with targeted exclusion. Contextual Audience Extension leveraged first-party data with greater cost efficiency, achieving an 81 percent lower eCPA. 

How Fyllo | Semasio  Can Help

Joint contextual and audience targeting solutions represent an ideal solution for automotive marketers looking to overcome the many challenges facing data-driven marketing today. At Fyllo | Semasio, we’ve seen these strategies prove to be the most effective advertising method for the auto industry, with ads driven by contextual boasting an impressive average viewability rate of 71 percent.

Our proprietary AI technology analyzes page content to understand meaning and create unique semantic profiles for both people and pages, enabling auto marketers to use semantic topics to find the people and pages that matter. For example, you can build campaigns around:

  • Consumers researching your car (Audi, best car)
  • Consumers researching car financing (car financing, car loan)
  • Consumers researching electric vehicles (electric car, EV)
  • Consumers researching specific models (Audi model, Q4 e-tron)

In 2024, Fyllo | Semasio leads with innovative ad solutions for the auto industry, enhancing marketer capabilities in targeting and personalization. Leveraging unique datasets, including location-based and near-market signals for dealerships and consumer interactions with automotive-focused influencers, Fyllo | Semasio offers advanced targeting that precisely identifies and engages ideal consumer segments, ensuring marketers stay ahead in the dynamic digital landscape.

Today’s automotive marketers face a number of challenges that Fyllo | Semasio  can solve through its proprietary advanced microtargeting solutions. Want to learn more? Get in touch today.

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