Promotion plays an important role supporting the 4Ps of Automotive Marketing™: product, price, place, and person. The performance of ads during the big game is a case in point. Fewer automotive manufacturers advertised on TV during the big game — but Cars.com analysis shows that our site saw a significant spike in site engagement during the game. Auto manufacturers that ran ads during the big game saw an average 898-percent lift to the Cars.com pages of specific models advertised.
As the big game unfolded, Cars.com analyzed site traffic in real time to determine which auto advertisements inspired the greatest amount of online activity during game time. We found:
- The night’s top performer was the Red Stinger featured in Kia’s spot. Within eight minutes of its airing, visits to the advertised model’s page on Cars.com saw a 4,053 percent increase in comparison to the same time period prior to the airing of its spot.
- The Lexus LS pages also saw an overall spike in traffic, generating a 921 percent lift of visits.
- Other top performing brands and car models included: Jeep Wrangler with a 542 percent increase, Jeep Cherokee with a 175 percent increase, Toyota Tundra with a 142 percent increase, and RAM 1500 with a 69 percent increase.
Our site analytics also provided insight into how people search for vehicles after they see ads. As noted in a press release, millions of consumers are using a second screen like a phone or tablet to visit Cars.com during the game to research and shop in real-time. Mobile visits continued to grow in popularity throughout game day, with 71 percent of visits coming from a mobile device during the game, up from 67 percent before the game started.
As we have noted on our blog, promotion is alive and well – it just plays a different role at a time when consumers want more information about product and price throughout the purchase journey. As the results of our real-time study of the big game show, promotion can raise awareness for product in a powerful way, driving eyeballs to sites such as Cars.com where consumers can learn more.
But promotion in and of itself does not create customer relationships.
Dealerships should use the 4Ps of Automotive Marketing – product, price, place, and person — to optimize their presence on Cars.com to take advantage of these big brand moments.
When shoppers start checking out Red Stingers, Jeeps, and Lexus LS vehicles during the game, were they able to find your vehicles? Merchandise your inventory to ensure it is appearing in search results. Be specific about feature and differentiators to ensure the price is understood. Highlight key differentiators about your dealership and inspire trust between your staff and buyers with salesperson reviews.
To support your product with promotional moments, keep your online inventory merchandised and “search ready” at all times across the 4Ps of Automotive Marketing to drive traffic to your VDPs as well as your lot. For more insight on how to maximize the value of the 4Ps of Automotive Marketing, check out our recently published thought leadership on the topic.