I have worked in the auto industry for over 27 years for both OEMs and Tier 1s.
Instead of possibly hours of painful researching, the User Experience touchpoint of “Discover” has been revamped thanks to data lakes, correlations, and “Over the Top” digital advertising. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)
Imagine having just assembled an Amazon Wish List for a baby shower next month and to accommodate your burgeoning family, you are considering a new vehicle with a third row of seats. Those musings are reinforced repeatedly by having to buy too many service parts for your older compact car lately. You’re not talking aloud about your inclinations. Just thinking. And just like the majority of the world, your sheltering behaviors have drastically changed your User Experience’s (UX) earliest touchpoint of “Research,” i.e. you aren’t traveling from dealership to dealership to understand options and prices. Suddenly, while watching streaming commercials on Hulu inside your ‘Rona Cocoon, you see the exact vehicle you want.
Not the theoretical vehicle. The exact vehicle. On the lot.
Amazon and Digital Air Strike have revolutionized the advertising landscape by recognizing the power of data to design around the user-centered needs of all stakeholders. Data compiled from hundreds of Amazon correlations suggest when you might be searching for a specific car and that information is communicated to nearby dealer groups. They then stream an advertisement to your smart TV’s app that includes as part of the commercial the specific inventory available on the dealer’s lot that would meet your inferred needs. This invention was built atop a category of digital advertising called “Over the Top” (OTT), although it deserves a new moniker akin to “Autonomous Inventory Reveal” (AIR) since the vehicles are autonomously driving themselves to your eyeballs. Per Jordan Barrett, the Digital Marketing Director of the Liberty Automotive Group in Peoria, Arizona, “At the beginning of October, we had 12 new Yukons in stock and we now only have four left having run no ads other than Digital Air Strike’s.”
And so, the first of five winners in this UX extravaganza is the buyer of the vehicle. Instead of watching random advertisements of questionable relevance or with annoying content, he gets the benefit of a tailored world. “It creates a relevant ad. If I’m not in the market for a new vehicle because I just signed a lease six months ago, I don’t want to see all of these ads because it’ll only create frustration and buyer’s remorse,” says Erica Sietsma the Chief Operating Officer of Digital Air Strike. “But a little while before someone’s lease is ending, they want to see what’s relevant.”
The second of our winning stakeholders is obvious: Amazon. The bedrock of their empire is built upon monetizing data, creating usability that surpasses all others and delighting the customer into return business. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 35% of Amazon’s sales come from personalized recommendations with nearly 56% converted into repeat buyers based upon a predicted zettabyte (i.e. a trillion gigabytes) of available data by the end of 2020. “I think it’s amazing to watch. The explosion of data that we’ve seen is because an explosion of sources of data,” says Mai-Lan Tomsen Bukovec, Amazon Web Services’ Vice President. “We find it’s incredibly important to build capabilities that let you manage a terabyte of [data] so that as you are evolving the simplicity of your capabilities ….” And as the public purchases a record amount of goods from Amazon during Covid-19, that data becomes even richer. Literally.
The third winner is the dealership, but not just for the evident reason of selling existing inventory. There’s also a significant savings on cheaper, effective advertising with nearly real-time feedback. “An average dealer spends approximately $75,000 per month on traditional television between the ongoing shooting of commercials and the subsequent air-time charges,” says Sietsma. “Those self-made entrepreneurs really don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for something that has no tangible results. Whereas, for a fraction of the cost, digital advertising options like this have quantifiable results.” Additionally, there has been a 28% increase in streaming per month with 71% more people “cutting the cord” from their TV service in 2019, so the numbers quickly make sense.
All of this matches what Barrett says about the value to dealerships. “The reality is that our dealerships are family-owned, mom and pop shops, so regular TV buys could eat up 80% of my advertising budget. I have to play Moneyball with my spends. My calculations are that the returns on investment for digital marketing are typically 300% higher than traditional media buys, and that’s only based upon a flimsy, correlated lift in Google-listed searches and calls after the traditional media buys. The [digital marketing] savings allows me to use the remainder of the budget on directed mail or email campaigns to get impressions to the interested buyer rather than a hope and a prayer, spray-fire approach.” And these results are truly quantifiable. “Per my Amazon report, we had 47 people visit our store locations last month that were shown these ads. Ten of them self-identified and confirmed the data. I know exactly how well these commercials are working.”
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Digital Air Strike is the leading social media, intelligent lead response, and consumer engagement technology company helping 5,000 businesses increase consumer response and conversions in digital and social media environments while generating measurable ROI. A pioneer in digital response, social media marketing and online reputation management solutions, Digital Air Strike deploys industry specific mobile apps, software, intelligent messaging and managed service platforms, as well as the first to integrate inventory technology into OTT ads for streaming services. The technology allows DAS to monitor, engage, improve and manage consumer interactions for businesses in the United States, Canada and 33 additional countries, including working with seven of the largest automotive manufacturers. More information is available at www.digitalairstrike.com and engage with DAS at www.facebook.com/digitalairstrike.