Here’s How Automakers Can Achieve True TV Attribution in Time for the Holidays

September 18, 2017 Steve West

In these digitally-driven times, the automotive industry has stuck to their guns and continued trusting TV to drive sales in their busiest of times. If you turn on a TV at any point in the months of November and December, it’s hard to miss a local or national automaker spot, touting their holiday or Black Friday deals.

Automakers understand that TV is still the most trusted medium among consumers, and reaches 87% of people over 18. But when it comes to the automotive marketing funnel, TV is typically dubbed an awareness channel, due to the seemingly never ending attribution challenge.

Tons of ads will run, and tons of cars will move out of dealerships across the country throughout the rest of 2017, and the auto industry knows those TV spots heavily influence the purchase decision. In a recent study by Video Advertising Bureau, TV has the greatest influence on the final purchase decision in 2 key demographics—millennials and 25-54 year olds. But the big issue—proving tangible ROI on those efforts. Another study by 9 Clouds revealed that proving ROI is still the biggest marketing challenge at dealerships nationwide.

And consumers haven’t necessarily made it easy to understand how TV actually affects their shopping and buying behaviors. With car purchases occurring so infrequently, and consumers demanding more dynamic shopping experiences across a myriad devices, automakers are faced with the ultimate test: achieving optimal reach and accurately measuring each consumer’s specific path-to-purchase.

Lucky for them, TV’s gone digital. It’s outgrowing its awareness label and transforming into a measurable part of the automotive marketing funnel.

GRAB LOCAL DATA BY THE HORNS!

Wondering what the secret sauce is to achieving automotive TV attribution? It’s all about local viewing data, and we’re not just talking simple demographics and reach. Marrying ad occurrence data within a specific DMA with household-level data from a massive network of millions of Smart TVs finally establishes targeted viewing habits that deepen audience behavioral profiles while also uniquely marking households based on its IP address. Households can then be mapped back to any resulting digital behaviors–such as website visits.

If automakers want to achieve TV attribution, household-level viewing data is critical. With this data, they can begin asking questions such as “How many times did my target audience see my ad?” “What was the resulting action from that household: did they visit a nearby dealership or go to our website?”

Once automakers begin to make attribution a priority, they will truly understand the automotive marketing funnel from beginning to end.

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