Market Focus: Auto Shoppers in the U.S.
Efficiently reaching auto shoppers at the right moment is critical for automotive marketers and their agency partners. While there are many proven marketing tactics that drive car sales in the US, one approach is being exploited by just a few very shrewd OEM marketers: Data driven direct marketing.
A direct marketing data audience is defined as a list of individuals (and their contact information) who share a specific set of attributes or activities that have been collected and codified into a database that can be re-sold for marketing purposes, with the proper consents from the data subjects to allow for this use. Contact methods include email, direct mail, telephone and SMS.
The data on these audiences are gathered in many different ways, including specific product buyers, loyalty card holders, book buyers, magazine subscribers, logged in website visitors, charitable donors, consumers conducting online research into a product they’re considering purchasing, and consumers taking surveys and exchanging their interests in certain products for various incentives.
When gathered legally and with the proper consents in place, marketers are able to access to these highly responsive lists of consumers for specific marketing campaigns. This method offers marketers one of the most efficient and precise methods of reaching target customers given the many, very granular selection criteria available for targeting purposes. Direct marketing, and in particular email, also has the benefit of being one of the most measurable media channels available, offering very clear response rate tracking and reporting — something marketers increasingly value in today’s omnichannel, attribution-focused marketing world.
That’s the good news. The challenge, at least in the U.S., is finding which audience sources are the best for a given campaign. This is a nontrivial task, since there are more than 30,000 separate consumer direct marketing audience sources and 20,000 B-to-B audience sources in the U.S.
The chart above is a high level summary of the available audience options for the Auto category, developed by Infocore’s Audience Analyst team. The analysts identified eight categories into which auto-related consumer audiences can be classified. Each category contains several, separate audience groups quantified in the bar graphs. The largest sized group is referenced on the far right table (“Maximum Audience Size”) and specifies the maximum number of individuals reachable in the largest audience group in a category.
- Active Shoppers are sourced from networks of websites that bring buyers and sellers together as the consumer researches new vehicle options. These are exceptionally motivated, serious shoppers that have expressed an interest in a new vehicle and have requested to be contacted by a local dealership. These consumers may have registered at a website, submitted request for quotes for target vehicles, and opted-in to receive promotions. They are pro-active in searching websites for more information about autos of interest. Importantly, these sources allow marketers to reach consumers based on the make and model of the car they’re searching for, and similar vehicles in that competitive set.