The selling power of online contextual ads is proven

In a Yahoo! study released in December 2006, comScore Networks reported that campaigns combining both search and display advertising were far more effective than individually viewed ads. They found that online shoppers exposed to both search and display ads increased their online time by 66% and their page views by 68%.

Those findings have not escaped automakers and dealers, who are fully aware of the power of search advertising. However, recent reports say they are not integrating search into their ad campaigns. That’s despite the fact that 60% of automotive consumers conduct their pre-buying research online.

The specialists call it “Contextual Targeting” and dealers are getting two to three times better response by orienting their online media buys in this manner. According to Denis Archambault of Alix Toyota, “Online media offers great reach and low CPMs, but when I use contextual targeting, I get much higher returns.”

Denis Archambault’s advice? “You can approach targeting many ways. You can place ads adjacent to content that attracts certain customer groups. Or you can place ads contextually by studying how people act at specific sites. If I want to reach consumers interested in SUVs, I can target those surfers who have visited SUV sections of car sites. It can be very accurate. And it can bring in impressive results.”

What you should do

  • Determine which vehicles to promote and which buyers you want to reach
  • For short term results, place online ads on automotive sites where your potential buyers are searching for information on the selected or competitive models
  • For ongoing visibility and branding, place ads also on non automotive websites that have a high reach for your targeted buyers
  • Evaluate your complete media mix with a tracking tool and get real time performance measures

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