Summer Car Buying: The Role of Predictive Contextual Advertising in Driving Sales

May 31, 2024

Authored by Danielle Hennes, Senior Product Marketing Manager

Summer Car Buying: The Role of Predictive Contextual Advertising in Driving Sales

After a hectic few years, the automotive industry is celebrating what many are calling a “return to normalcy” when it comes to seasonal car-buying patterns. That means it’s time for auto marketers to be preparing for a hot summer car-shopping season.

With 2024 car sales remaining strong despite high interest rates, auto manufacturers and dealers can expect to see plenty of consumers cruising for deals at summer sales events in the coming months. To capture this interest at every stage of the journey, marketers need to be putting the power of audience and contextual targeting to work in their summer campaigns.

Supercharging Auto Campaigns with Contextual

Contextual advertising can help auto marketers connect with potential buyers at the earliest and most impactful moments of their journeys. By targeting consumers based on content consumption and niche interests, contextual auto advertising helps brands discover and engage ideal consumer segments, while safeguarding personal information. 

Contextual advertising, particularly when fueled by an auto brand’s first-party audience insights, represents a full-funnel approach to influencing auto purchase decisions. Brands can leverage user behavior and online conversations to pinpoint consumers who are actively researching specific aspects of car ownership and tailor their ads based on care features, lifestyle attributes, and milestones to promote better engagement. 

Additional benefits of contextual for auto brands include:

Relevance and timeliness: With contextual targeting, the ads a person sees are relevant to the content they are currently viewing, increasing the likelihood of engagement. For example, an ad for a rugged SUV placed on a site about outdoor adventures or camping will resonate more with the intended audience.

Enhanced targeting: By analyzing the context of the content users are engaging with, advertisers can better understand their interests and behaviors. This allows for more precise targeting compared to demographic or geographic data alone. Automotive advertisers can target ads based on specific interests or activities that align with their vehicle offerings, such as sports, travel, or family activities.

Cost-effectiveness: Contextual advertising results in better ad performance and higher conversion rates due to its relevance, making ad spend more efficient. By targeting ads contextually, advertisers can reduce the waste associated with displaying ads to uninterested audiences.

Improved ad performance: Ads that are contextually relevant tend to have higher click-through rates because they resonate more with the user's current interests and needs. Also, when ads align with the content users are consuming, they are more likely to convert, whether that means signing up for a test drive, visiting a dealership, or making a purchase.

Brand safety: Contextual advertising also ensures that ads are placed in suitable and brand-safe environments, reducing the risk of ads appearing alongside inappropriate or harmful content. At the same time, ads placed in relevant and high-quality content contexts can enhance an auto brand's image and create positive associations in the minds of consumers.

Combining Audience and Context to Heat Up Summer Campaigns

During summer sales events, competition for the attention of car shoppers is fierce. By taking contextual a step further to incorporate audience insights and predictive modeling, auto brands can help their campaigns stand out in the crowd. 

Joint contextual and audience targeting solutions—what Semasio calls ContextualPLUS—enables auto marketers to extend the reach of their campaigns by combining the accuracy of custom audiences with the reach of privacy-friendly contextual targeting. Through this combination, auto marketers can discover previously untapped consumers that share interests and behaviors with current customers. 

For auto brands, 2024’s summer sales season represents a welcome return to known seasonal car-buying trends. To take advantage of strong summer buyer interest—among those early in the consideration phase and those ready to make a purchase—brands should leverage the power of contextual advertising and precise audience targeting to significantly enhance the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. 

With the right combination of audience insights, contextual relevance, and predictive intelligence, auto marketers can ensure their 2024 summer sales are as hot as the weather. 

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