We LOVE Data: Auto Dealers vs. Brands
We studied the auto industry last Labor Day 2017. The auto industry is interesting to us because it is complex. The sales process starts with brands at a national level, but the actual buying occurs at the local level with either a Dealership or a Used Car Retailer holding the relationship. This three-legged stool faces tough competition and geo-specific sales boundaries. We track all of this with our geo-targeted system - down to the zip code!
We were curious to see how the savvy auto industry works together. Here is what we found:
We Love This Data... Why?
- It’s Coordinated! Dealers and manufacturers work great together. Dealers push the offers 3 to 1 over the Manufacturers, while the Manufacturers offer support by touting features and benefits. It will be interesting to see who is actually spending more - Dealers or Manufacturers? We bet the dealers do as a group... we will explore this next time.
- Used Car Retailers are Losing. Used car retailers are lagging behind the dealers. The ad copy does not push offers nearly enough - Dealers push offers 168% more than the Used Car Retailers. Maybe they have less margin or don't realize that they need to compete with offers. 0% APR is a good offer, quick show of hands -- most of us will buy new over-used any day at that price (even with the depreciation). What do you think this means?
- Brand vs. Brand - Competitive Bidding. The biggest surprise comes from brand vs. brand competitive bidding. 8.5% of copies are car manufacturers brand bidding on each other. This is great, and we push this practice of competitive brand bidding here, but it has to be done right to work.
Look at these mistakes:
This Toyota dealer makes the mistakes of:
- Not including a ‘compare’ in the title or body
- Not including the branded keyword, ‘‘Mitsubishi’, in the URL
- Failing to present any distinguishing features or offers to separate itself from the Mitsubishi SUVs
We love this copy from Ford, for the keyword ‘nissan leaf’, because:
- They offer to ‘compare’ to the competitors in their title and body
- Ford notes several features of their C-MAX Energi Plug-In-Hybrid,
- The use of the branded search term, ‘NissanLeaf’, in the URL
Are you curious if similar anomalies and opportunities exist in your industry? If so, let us know and we'll take a look for you.
About this Research
We LOVE Data™ is a research series published by The Search Monitor to provide industry insights for online advertising activity on search engines and other online marketing channels.
About The Search Monitor
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