Blog | Advertisers
April 22, 2020

Automobile Advertising: Keeping Dealers In Alignment

Phil Voelker

Automobile manufacturers advertise the experience of driving and using a car. Automobile dealers do too, but more importantly they advertise the experience of buying and owning that  car from their dealership. Together, both manufacturer and dealer are working to court new car buyers in a concerted effort to win loyalty on multiple levels – and if everything stays on track, over multiple car purchases. In fact, according to a 2019 white paper by AutoPoint*, the post-purchase experience means 52% more to brand loyalty than in any other industry. So, when it comes to advertising, dealers need all the love they can get from the carmakers they represent.

As advertising gets more complicated, and ad destinations get more diverse, the need for manufacturers and dealers to be in alignment has never been greater. At the top, brand continuity and marketing quality benefit immeasurably by helping the ad operations at the dealer level to operate smoothly. And, it must be stated that the sophistication of those individual dealers varies from shop to shop. An individual outlet needs the same media as a high-powered  dealer network with multiple brands and locations, and needs to get their ads completed and in-market just as quickly, but likely with a smaller budget. The easier it is for each constituent in the advertising workflow to find, share, and manipulate ad creative, the better.


An “Internal Collaboration Engine” for Advertisers

For one of our clients, a major global automotive brand, improving the speed and accuracy of media management with dealers is a two-way benefit: for the brand, it’s easier to keep campaigns on course, and for the individual dealers it’s improving their ability to get their work done and delivered on time.

Big-budget creative is filmed and created by the manufacturer for a wide variety of vehicles, from sports cars to sport-utility vehicles. Dealers need this footage as the foundation for their own spots by adding their own messaging: promotions, incentives, sales floor footage, service center specials, etc. Like every advertising effort, every commercial must be transcoded into a multitude of formats. Multiplied across products, and with multiple campaigns active simultaneously at any given time, it gets really complicated for dealers to find and access the media files they need.

“As we explored how to improve this internal relationship, we recognized this fantastic synergy between a problem our partner needed solving, and a similar problem we had already solved for internally in a completely different area,” explains Simon Morris, Senior Director of Product Sales, Advertiser Solutions. “We had built a tool that made it easy for our broadcast partners to find our ad creative easily through a secure cloud-based tool, and then grab the right version with the correct aspect ratio and coding. So, to create something for automotive dealers, the foundation was already there, and that meant it was easy to organize and display content in a way that worked for our automotive partners. We continue to focus on building tools that solve wider industry needs, and in particular ones that are focused on driving operational efficiencies, speed and transparency.”

The portal isn’t just a static “box in the sky,” but also a vehicle to improve communication within the internal ad ecosystem. No one wants to use creative that might be outdated, and all content needs to be in accordance with talent and other contractual rights associated with it. Integrated with the Ad Management Platform, the new portal accomplishes this, giving dealers a straightforward way to get automatic updates and notifications of newly available creative.


New Article: The Great Car Chase

The manufacturer – dealer relationship is not unique to the automobile industry. Many industries have similar advertising relationships with franchisees that stretch globally: consumer-packaged goods companies, restaurant chains, or other complex product creators whose ongoing consumer relationships will be nurtured and maintained at a local level.

In our new paper, The Great Car Chase, we use the automotive industry as our vehicle to examine advertising complexity at the highest level, and how to gain control of it. Global companies can – and must – shift to a centralized architecture that improves both transparency and control across all of their global ad traffic. In doing so, they can also position themselves to incorporate new technologies that will deliver tailored content in real time; elevating the performance of every campaign. Read it to learn more about how to:

  • Maximize ROI by optimizing through a unified solution that promotes collaboration and informs better decisions across the entire workflow to elicit stronger, positive buyer responses
  • Optimize on the fly to meet tight deadlines, handle versioning needs automatically, and respond quickly to changing opportunities
  • Simplify access and management of creative assets for local dealerships.
  • Deliver campaigns worldwide using one centralized platform. 
  • Take back control and become the conductor of your brand across any market, any screen. 

*Customer Loyalty Drivers – Current and Future, AutoPoint, April 2020