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How The Right Ad Intelligence Can Help Automotive Advertisers Speed Past The Competition

Agencies, Automotive, Marketing Teams

In the Spring of 2021, Google and Bing announced a new ad format—Vehicle Listing Ads (VLAs). These feed-based product ads (similar to Product Listing Ads for retail) allow automotive dealerships to expand their reach and conversions. By simply uploading their inventory (make, model, year, etc.) their listings will be served up on Google and Bing search results and give the buyer a better search result and jumping off point.

They also give automotive marketers the ability to own more of the SERP—every advertiser’s dream come true. And, as we have learned with every industry, the more data available around competition and ad performance, the better decisions marketers are able to make, if they can access it.

So, why should automotive advertisers utilize Vehicle Listing Ads? Below are a few of the benefits we see from this format.

  • Own more of the SERP page: Each ad format that you can utilize means more opportunity to dominate search results. The more presence you have, the more competitive you can be.
  • Increase conversion: With VLAs you can reach shoppers who are further along in their buying journey and are closer to making a purchase. We have seen these results with Product Listing Ads as well. They convert at a higher rate than other ad formats.
  • Richer experience: Showcase your vehicle photos, prices and more to help increase your click-through-rate (CTR) and qualified leads.
  • Save time: Automation is essential to staying competitive in the automotive market. With VLA feeds, you can automate your efforts and ensure ads are accurate and consistent as inventory and prices change.

Sounds great! Here is the performance that Bing is seeing for advertisers so far:

  • Click and conversion lift: Third-party sites and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have seen on average a 6-15% incremental click lift and 3-8% incremental conversion lift when running Automotive Ads. Channel partners have seen an average incremental click lift of 8%+.
  • Lower CPCs: For OEMs, Automotive Ads have had 7-16% lower CPCs than their corresponding non-brand targeted text ads, and third-party sites have seen a whopping 28-40% drop in CPCs for their Automotive Ads.

Source: Microsoft internal data

That’s an impressive uplift for the first 6 months in the wild. But, the only way to take complete advantage of the format and dominate the SERP is by utilizing the power of search intelligence in your marketing mix.

This fall, The Search Monitor added support for Vehicle Listing Ads on Google and Bing. That means automotive advertisers now have unprecedented access to the data they need to compete effectively in the online marketplace, and beat their competition for the click.

You can learn more about VLA ad monitoring and other features by visiting: or by taking a demo test drive yourself, at

Happy Motoring!