Revving Up Car Sales: How Auto Dealers are Shifting into High Gear with CTV 

May 29, 2023
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Author: Peter Jones, Head of Local Sales, Premion.

With the pandemic supply chain constraints in the rear view, the tide has turned for auto dealerships — and they now find themselves in a position of abundance. Car inventories have nearly doubled since reaching their lowest point in February 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

With rising vehicle inventories, car dealers are instead battling for the attention of the auto intender in an increasingly competitive market. No longer fixated on inventory sourcing, automotive marketers are seeking more effective ways to reach in-market auto intenders, while ensuring that their ad dollars work harder and smarter.

In the quest to reach relevant in-market car buyers, Connected TV (CTV) advertising has emerged as a channel of choice for auto marketers for driving outcomes. This year, eMarketer forecasts that 85% of U.S. households are projected to be Connected TV (CTV) households, and that nearly 40% of daily TV time will be spent on a connected TV*.

Additionally, according to a March 2023 Cord Evolution study, 82% of people planning to buy or lease a vehicle in the next 12 months watch ad-supported OTT. Of those auto intenders who view ad-supported OTT, 71% of them are looking to buy a new car, 61% are looking to buy a used car, and 21% of this audience is ready to lease a car. Furthermore, 52% of all U.S. auto-intenders cannot be reached via traditional pay TV**.

The availability of advanced targeting, measurement and attribution capabilities is driving more auto advertisers to shift more ad dollars to CTV as they can now measure the effectiveness of their campaigns in more precise ways and connect CTV viewership with vehicle sales.

Driving SUV Sales for a Local Auto Dealership

A local dealership had a specific goal of driving sales for their increasing inventory of SUV models, and they wanted to measure how their CTV campaign contributed to their sales—and identify any sales they may have lost to their competition.

As a consultative and insights-driven partner, we empowered the dealer to reach highly targeted prospects—auto intenders grouped by body styles such as Sedan, Minivan, and SUV, and to competitively conquer specific brands. Additionally, leveraging our Polk Attribution solution, we measured the number of new car sales influenced by our campaign.

By analyzing performance insights, we determined which creative message, each promoting a different car model, was the most effective in generating website responses. Through strategic targeting of the SUV audience, optimizing and making creative adjustments, we were able to elevate the dealership from the 6th position to the 2nd position in sales rank compared to competitor dealerships in just one month.

All told, the Premion campaign drove 17 new car sales, a 112% Lift in vehicle sales versus non-Premion exposed audiences. The dealership ranked #1 in sales for people exposed to the Premion campaign and ranked #2 in overall attributed vehicle sales regardless of car brand/make. The campaign drove both interest and qualified leads to the website at a $7.61 cost per website visit — 969 exposed website visits with 594 (62%) taking further action to visit individual vehicle description pages.

For more automotive and CTV advertising insights, let’s have a conversation.

Read more on MediaPost here.

*eMarketer, Connected TV Households US, 2023-2027, February 2023; eMarketer, Average Time Spent per Day with TV vs. Connected TV by US Adults, 2019-2024, April 2023. Copyright © 2023 Insider Intelligence. All Rights Reserved.

**MRI-Simmons, 2023 March Cord Evolution
© MRI-Simmons 2023. The data herein derives from a confidential, proprietary syndicated product owned by GfK US MRI, LLC.

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