By Thomas Pearce, Senior Director of Interactive UX Strategy, J.D. Power | Autodata
In 1956, American science fiction writer Philip Kindred Dick wrote a short story (later turned into a movie) set in futuristic 2054 about a police department that specialized in stopping crime – before it even happens. He coined this police division, “PreCrime.” With the help of mutant soothsayers plugged into giant machines, the department had the data to predict and prevent crimes as they were about to be committed.
Imagine putting this proactive concept into an advertising context! How powerful would it be if we could predict the specifics of what consumers were about to purchase? If we could foresee the needs of a consumer and decipher why they are “in-market,” we could advertise a product as they were about to start the purchase cycle, straight out of 2054.
Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)
With programmatic ad platforms connected to real-time data, persona audience targeting – running on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and dynamic creative, we can achieve “PreShop” today. The programmatic advertising industry doesn’t call it “PreShop” – it is called Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), and what we can achieve with video advertising is only limited by our imaginations. Taking predictive user behavior information, we can use that data to anticipate what the customer is about to shop for and tailor video advertisements to their specific needs.
This approach dynamically presents relevant, personalized video messaging to specific individuals and predicts their “intent” right when the video advertisement plays. Emerging technologies, innovative video platforms, and data intelligence has given us a huge opportunity to reap the benefits of this blue-sky video strategy. Static image forms of DCO have been used by various marketing verticals, but the application in the automotive industry is especially exciting.
Beyond the One-Size-Fits-All Video Advertising Approach
Both OEMs and automotive dealerships know car shoppers are individuals that are diverse and multi-dimensional. Why would they settle for a one-size-fits-all approach to video advertising? Every consumer is in a different phase of their lifecycle, each with their own goals, personalities, interests, likes, and dislikes.
According to an Epsilon research study of automotive shoppers, 86% of respondents say they are much more likely to do business with automotive websites offering personalized experiences.
Car shoppers expect content designed for their needs. They want relevant, relatable, and personalized content that predicts what they want from their next vehicle.
Consumer Behavior & Data
At J.D. Power, we are the “guardians” of consumer behavior and data. By leveraging that information, dealerships can serve specific video creatives based on car shopping and online behaviors. With demographic data alone, we can predict what to include in a video so that it will resonate with a segment of consumers.
On average, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal. The best way to prevent car shoppers from feeling this frustration is to deliver the right video message, at the right time, and in the right context.
The Power of Real-Time DCO
If a car shopper (let’s call her Becky) is a foodie, a new mother, recently took a family trip to Glacier National Park (where she had to replace her radiator), loves yoga, paddle boarding, drive-dances to Meghan Trainor songs – and because of that last item – has started to perform searches related to “lane keep assist,” well now we have a whole lot of information to tailor a video message that will be relatable to Becky and ultimately help her find the right car.
This example illustrates the power of real-time DCO and how much more effective video ads can be to engage “Becky” during her car-buying journey.
86% of marketers have seen a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns.
Dynamic Creative Optimization takes predictive data and user behavior information to customize video advertisements at scale. Car shopper data can drive various video layers like messaging, pricing, visuals, and audio to create predictive video ads that are relevant to millions of individuals. The video elements are all brought together as the video ad plays to produce custom video ads for each unique car shopper.
According to a Sizemek study, (recently acquired by Amazon), “The average consumer’s car purchase cycle lasts between 45 to 60 days and goes through multiple stages. During that time, DCO can help advertisers deliver relevant and continuous messaging based on where the consumer is in the funnel.”
Just like the predictive concept of “PreCrime” set in 2054, we can now anticipate what the car shopper wants with DCO “PreShop.” When advertisers can create and target video ads at this sophisticated level, scale, and reach, there is a much greater chance of attracting car shoppers to your website, dealership, and inventory.
Don’t miss Thomas’ session, “Welcome to the New Normal – Online Car Shopping with Digital Video” during Digital Dealer Virtual, a two-day conference and expo (100% online), Oct. 6-7, 2020. Join us to attend 50+ actionable educational sessions, demo solutions, and connect with industry professionals through various virtual networking opportunities!
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This article was published in the August 2020 Issue of Dealer Magazine. You can view the August 2020 Issue here.
About the Author
Thomas Pearce, Senior Director of Interactive UX Strategy for the Autodata Solutions Division of J.D. Power, has over 20 years of interactive marketing, data-driven video, UI/UX online strategies, including 10+ years leading interactive marketing teams in the automotive vertical. He has worked with/for many recognizable brands such as Ford, GM, FCA, Seagate, Google/YouTube, and Napster.