Saturday, February 28, 2009

Measurement Matters More Than Ever

"I know that 50% of my advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half," retail guru John Wanamaker famously quipped in 1886.

It wouldn’t be a marketing blog without quoting Wanamaker at some point. iMedia just released a new report showing how important marketing dollar effectiveness is in this downturn. Clients are more interested than ever about how effective their dollars are being spent. With fewer customers, reduced demand and making the most of every dollar spent in a financial crunch are the utmost importance in every industry, especially automotive.

As an industry, automotive online media teams typically don’t suffer from a lack of data. So now is the time to bring those analysts in to see how media is performing and to move your buys more to behavioral targeted communications that have higher conversion rates. According to Jupiter Research, “When conducted on lower-funnel researchers, behavioral targeting increases online automotive ads’ effectiveness in capturing consumers’ attention—and therefore generating response.” (August 2007 Report on “Online Automotive Advertising”).

For the cost, homepage takeovers typically do not perform well. Why? Because most people are just not in-market and even if you do attract a higher click-through rate (CTR) with your creative, the quality is low when measuring shopping behaviors for an automotive brand. Autos are highly considered purchases. Focusing more on in-market, conquest and segment online media buys makes more sense in a marketplace where active shoppers are contracting. Better to focus your media on impacting these buyers than trying high cost awareness buys.

Also, if your media team is only looking at CTR effectiveness, than you need them to refocus their attention to measure shopping behaviors like build & price, dealer searches, and other shopping engagement activities. Understanding the quality of your click-through rate is imperative to making better decisions.

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