PureCars Launches Platform For Auto-Specific Ad Retargeting On Facebook

January 25, 2016 0 Comments

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Effective ad retargeting for cars on Facebook requires different tools than are used for other types of products. To meet this need, auto-focused advertising tech company PureCars has released SmartAdvertising Social to allow auto dealers to serve ad retargeting on the social network that is specific to the actual car on the dealer’s lot, right down to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

When a user looks at a product on a retailer’s website and then goes to their profile page on Facebook, they may see a retargeted ad for that product in their News Feed. It often doesn’t matter to them what the specific product is that’s being displayed in the ad, as long as it’s the same type of product. However, this is generally different with a car. Because a vehicle is usually the second biggest purchase that a consumer makes, after a house, they don’t typically buy cars online yet. Therefore, a retargeted ad is not necessarily pushing for an immediate purchase, but may instead be intended to prompt the consumer that the car is still available, as a way to keep it in the forefront of their mind as they get ready to buy it.

In other words, it may be most valuable for the retargeted ad to display the exact new or used car that the consumer looked at and to indicate that it is still available on the dealer’s lot at the same price or at a new price.

“A dealership has a website provider and a separate inventory provider,” said PureCars’ director of marketing, Nancy Lim. She explained that the inventory software is like a customer relationship management system for cars, and the inventory data cannot be used for Facebook ads. PureCars’ SmartAdvertising Social employs its proprietary technology to translate the inventory feed so that Facebook can read it.

PureCars’ Facebook ad can display a photo of the exact car that the user looked at on the dealer’s site, and by taking the data from the inventory feed instead of from the dealer’s website, the price and all other details in the ad will be accurate regardless of whether or not the website has been updated.

The SmartAdvertising platform was launched in 2012 to handle VIN-level retargeting for search and display ads, and it is now expanding into social networks. Lim explained that other ad platforms for cars don’t have a programmatic way to look at inventory and serve ads, but instead simply present generic retargeted ads for the make and model. While competing ad tech platforms for the car industry are typically built on third-party platforms that are not auto-specific, Lim says that PureCars’ technology has been developed for the auto industry to be able to effectively handle the data that comes from dealerships.

The company says that 84 percent of car buyers are on Facebook, with a quarter of those consumers conducting research about auto purchases on the social network. PureCars says that its beta testing indicates SmartAdvertising Social on Facebook can increase leads from five to 30 percent, and while Lim says that the conversion rate has been positive, there are no statistics available yet.

“The social feature is really leveraging some amazing things in the sense that now that we can market specific inventory to an audience on social, we can hit about 84 percent of car shoppers,” said PureCars CEO Jeremy Anspach. “And that’s a huge percentage. So what dealerships have been asking us for is, how do you generate more quality traffic? How do you generate more opportunities for us? And that’s what put us on to social.”

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