The mid-funnel is often the most neglected phase in the marketing funnel. While much of the budget is spent on generating new leads from top-funnel, and sales efforts are driven towards closing new deals i.e. low-funnel leads. A good chunk of the audience is left hanging in the mid-funnel. There’s more potential in the segment because they are already in your marketing funnel in the consideration phase, and are on their way to making a purchase decision. It makes sense to nurture these audiences by serving relevant content and gathering substantial behavior and intent data. This lets you pass on leads that are sales-ready, and your sales team gets a more accurate picture of the prospects. In this blog post, we look at some of the retargeting and geofencing capabilities that enable you to track and reach audiences in the middle of the funnel effectively.
Let’s start with retargeting your website visitors. To retarget the right people, AKA the ones who will actually buy from you, you can use time-on-site filters to qualify your audience. For instance, those who spent at least a minute actively looking at your site.
From there, you can add filters based on the frequency of site visits to further rank your audience. If you want to remind your previous visitors of your dealership, opt for a cost-effective tool like mobile display. When you combine display advertising with geofencing, you get the added capability of optimizing based on geolocation. Remember, during this stage, your customer is also browsing through review websites like Cars.com. Your dealership will likely be in the background for at least a little longer before they’re ready to contact you.
At this stage, you can also layer third-party data to refine your targeting further. Whether you need to expand or narrow, this information can provide clarity to your strategy. For example, addressable geofencing can incorporate public data, such as income or purchase preferences. This kind of information allows you to choose from multiple aspects of audience targeting.
When you can tailor your marketing in this way, your efforts will be that much more accurate. Geofencing also gives you the capability to create lookalikes based on audiences who have visited your dealership or a competitor’s dealership.
No matter what stage of the funnel you’re in, there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution. This really rings true in the middle though. Before you meet the customer at the bottom of the funnel, here are your main options to keep customers engaged.
- CTT/OTT: As more and more people pivot from cable, over-the-top platforms become more valuable to advertisers by the minute. Ads on YouTube, Hulu, etc. can be an effective way for local dealerships to communicate with an audience who hasn’t quite made up their mind. With precise geofencing, dealerships can reach local audiences on large screens in a cost-effective way.
- Digital audio: Sirius, Spotify, Pandora: plenty of your customers might be listening to ads on these channels. Local customers might appreciate getting more information about your latest sale or rebate offer.
- Amazon: This behemoth has two auto-specific offerings that might be of interest to dealerships: Amazon Vehicles, a destination for car research, and Amazon Garage, an online “garage” that saves users’ vehicle details in their profile. These can be a great way to gather more data from customers who are already on the hunt.
- Video ads: Video ads that show off your inventory and keep your brand top of mind can be a great way to really ‘stick’ in the customer’s minds. That catchy jingle might be what reminds them to visit your showroom as they’re driving on the highway.
No matter which combination you choose, there needs to be measurable goals in mind from each media channel. In some areas, your video ads might pale in comparison to your audio ads, while other locations are just the opposite.
Dealerships can experiment with different media combinations, and customize their marketing mix accordingly. But it’s wise to talk with an agency that might already have a working recipe that fits your goals or use-cases. The right agency can help you avoid the experimentation cost and lets you hit the ground running. Having seen the successes and failures of different strategies firsthand, experienced agencies can guide you and educate you through the process, it often makes sense to leave it to the experts.
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(This blog post is an excerpt from the eBook ‘Automotive Marketing Playbook’)