Let’s talk about a shifting trend in the auto industry: the average visits to auto dealerships have never been lower. In fact, did you know that the average US auto buyer is only visiting 1.9 car dealerships when shopping for a new vehicle? At Locala, we know it’s a challenging landscape out there, and to navigate this competitive market auto brands need precise and scalable media strategies to not only attract fresh consumers but also nurture lasting customer loyalty. To help, we’ve compiled five best practices for auto brands to achieve long term growth in 2024 and beyond. Ready to dive in?

1. Optimizing Attention & Reach

In a world where ads are everywhere, capturing and retaining consumer attention is more challenging than ever. That’s why establishing a strong brand presence through local, upper-funnel strategies is crucial for any auto brand looking to stand out from the crowd. Our latest strategic partnership with DoubleVerify allows us to combine advanced Attention metrics with Locala’s unique offerings like affinity insights and precise audience segments so advertisers can significantly enhance their campaign performance and media quality. 

By optimizing for user attention, we not only increase brand visibility but also set the stage for future conversion tactics. This helps brands make meaningful connections with potential car buyers and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

2. Dealership-Based DOOH Planning

Traditional approaches to Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) planning often cast a wide net with broad targeting, but at Locala, we believe precision is paramount. By overlaying our advanced affinity audiences into the DOOH planning process, we help auto brands pinpoint panel locations where car buyers are most likely to convert with a given brand. By using advanced audiences in the DOOH  planning process, we are able to help brands move beyond broad targeting to reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

3. Last-Mile Tactics

The path to purchase for auto buyers is filled with many touch points across various channels. With so many steps to the funnel, it’s crucial that brands are seamlessly guiding them through their purchase journey. By combining mobile and DOOH advertising, Locala creates a ‘last mile companion’ that extends DOOH reach and engages buyers wherever they are. 

Additionally, personalized retargeting helps to reinforce brand messages, ensuring that potential buyers stay engaged even after they’ve left the dealership. Taking things a step further, our Store Navigator format simplifies and enhances the overall customer experience by providing creative that directs users to the nearest auto dealership. This helps auto brands deliver a seamless and personalized journey from initial awareness to dealership visit.

4. Dynamic Inventory-Based Ads

As auto brands gear up for national campaigns, it’s critical to remember the significance of engaging local consumers. This entails having a deep understanding of the local markets and audience preferences of a consumer in a given area. 

Locala’s Dynamic Creative ensures that messaging is tailored with the available stock at individual dealerships. And by promoting second-hand and discounted models customized to each dealership’s current inventory, we can enhance the impact of advertising campaigns and drive more qualified leads. In essence, delivering personalized ads that caters not only to the local dealerships but also the buyer, results in a higher return on investment.

5. Boosting Customer Lifetime Value

In the automotive industry, the relationship with a customer doesn’t end after the initial purchase. Continuing to nurture the consumer relationship is essential for maximizing the lifetime value of each customer and driving long-term success. Using data-driven insights, we help brands retarget past buyers with personalized offers for service and maintenance upgrades. By transforming single sales into ongoing service engagements, we foster customer loyalty and build lasting relationships that turn customers into brand advocates.

How Brands like Hyundai and Audi use Location-Based Advertising

Now, let’s talk about real-life use cases! How have other leading auto brands used location-based advertising to drive growth?  

  • Hyundai developed a multi-location advertising strategy based on 17 activations spread over the year to support 202 dealerships across the country. Using affinity audiences, personalized retargeting, and ads that resonated at the local level, Locala was able to drive 49K visits to Hyundai dealerships resulting in a 23% uplift in footfall.  This campaign received the GOLD award in the “Mobile-to-store” category in March 2023 awarded by Les Cas d’Or in partnership with Alliance Digitale.
  • Audi leveraged an omnichannel strategy to increase foot traffic to a selection of 144 dealerships spread over 3 regions.  Locala used affinity insights to increase awareness among the right consumers, and then retargeted them across mobile and audio to drive them down the funnel. This resulted in over 10K visits to the dealership and a x6 uplift in footfall. 

To learn more about how other automotive brands are leveraging location intelligence and consumer insights to power their media strategies, contact us now!