Auto retailers are taking a closer look at the connected television medium because of who is viewing CTV, as well as how often, not just the overall households.
It is estimated that 39% of adults are watching video on a CTV device on a daily basis. This is up from 31% in 2019, according to data from Leichtman Research Group (https://www.leichtmanresearch.com/39-of-adults-watch-video-via-a-connected-tv-device-daily/).
This represents a large audience with spending power and the desire to shop for a vehicle.
This growth in CTV also represents good news and a leveling of the playing field for advertisers who historically have purchased traditional TV, and those who could not previously afford it due to budget constraints or efficiency concerns.
The programmatic targeting capabilities of CTV allow for large advertisers to buy more efficiently through diversification of their media mix and better data fidelity in their audience reach.
It also allows smaller or more niche advertisers an opportunity to “punch above their weight class” by reaching the big screen in the living room and reaching the right audiences, without the high cost and ad waste associated with traditional media buys.
Opportunities to Optimize Efficiencies
The decision for auto retailers and their advertising agency partners to consider CTV is less about reallocating digital media budgets to video, which most dealers already execute through programmatic and social video campaigns.
This doesn’t mean every dealer should pull all of their money from traditional media buys. In many cases, those dealers who begin to explore a reallocation of portions of their traditional media investments over to CTV see significant improvement in the performance of their overall media mix and experience a positive impact on their cost per unit sold and serviced.
Gains in Scale and Market Penetration
The first CTV benefit is scale, where dealers can leverage large programming opportunities and access across major recognizable logos with strong coverage across networks and devices.
Secondly, dealers and their partners in CTV are continuously working to understand the market penetration they are gaining or losing, and have access to unique data technology to ensure campaigns are on par with the reach of top cable providers.
These partners also offer dealers access to digital media purchase technology that leverages a Demand Side Platform (DSP), which is software that allows media buyers to buy each impression based on whether the viewer meets their audience parameters. They can also help ensure ad content is not played alongside or in tandem with violence or other sensitive subjects that would be detrimental to a dealer’s overall brand values.
Actual Results are What Matter Most
While all of this sounds promising, results are what matter. One midsize regional dealer in Florida recently tested an Amazon DSP against other traditional media platforms and ran a two-week CTV campaign, directed to in-market shoppers on FireTV, within their store’s PMA. Their campaign measured correlative metrics holistically against all digital media channels including search, fixed ops, social, sales and ROs.
The dealer saw significant gains in performance across every measured metric when looking both at period-over-period and month-over-month. Furthermore, to test the fidelity of the data, they also measured key metrics when the campaign was terminated and saw almost a 15% decline in impressions and clicks in search, coupled with a distinct drop in shopper engagement on the website.
This included a 57% increase in sales, 17% increase in closed ROs and a 16% month-over-month increase in dealership revenue.
While many dealers have already started to consider more digital advertising through CTV, questions still surround the effectiveness of its potential. With the results of this dealer’s campaign, along with the continued growth and widespread adoption in households across the U.S., CTV will only continue to grow as a viable opportunity for dealers and their agency partners as an effective advertising choice that helps to grow revenue while reducing wasteful media spending.
Patrick Curran (pictured, above left) is product marketing manager at PureCars, an automotive dealer advertising and attribution technology provider.