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Performance Driver: How CTV Gets Auto Dealers to Fire on All Cylinders

Why dealerships are shifting their ad strategies to OTT

Performance Driver: How CTV Gets Auto Dealers to Fire on All Cylinders

6 Min Read

Connected TV has supercharged TV advertising into a sleeker, measurable, and fully targetable performance channel – and savvy brands are using it to rewrite the advertising playbook. So, what does this mean for your auto dealership? 

According to Borrell’s Auto Advertising Outlook, automotive dealerships are projected to spend $9.5 billion on advertising in 2022. Where are the bulk of those ad dollars going? $7.2 billion of them will be spent on digital advertising alone – with just $2.3 billion being spent on traditional media outlets with highly limited measurement (if at all), like newspapers, radio ads, and cable TV ads.

That fact may not shock you; the newspaper, radio, and even broadcast TV ads have been slowly fading into obscurity for years. What may surprise you is that most dealerships are also passing up paid search. Per the report, “By 2023, [auto dealers] will spend more on OTT than they will spend on paid search. Of 17 different types of media, targeted banners (which includes paid social media ads) will remain dealers’ largest single spending category, with OTT rising to No. 2 within two years.”

And it’s not just one lone report forecasting the rise of OTT. BIA Advisory service forecasts that: 

  • Total auto spending in local OTT will reach $302 million in 2022 – then rise 80% to $545 million in 2025. 
  • They project by that time that tier 1, 2, and 3 auto dealerships will make up nearly 90% of forecasted OTT in this category.

So, what’s going on? To put simply, OTT advertising platforms like Connected TV give dealerships the unprecedented ability to directly target customers with their TV ads, track conversion rates, and prioritize their ROAS and lead goals – and many (including your competitors) are capitalizing on it to stand out in a crowded landscape. For dealerships large and small across the country, the race is on to spend more on CTV – generating better ad performance and boosting the bottom line.

What’s Driving Dealers to CTV

Every dealership advertiser is used to casting a large net to catch a few fish. Ads get sent out, customers wander in, and salespeople hope they leave in a new car. But the reality is that many customers are wandering into the showroom – and most will wander right back out. Maybe they’re looking for a domestic when you mostly offer imports. Perhaps they’re looking for a specific model or pricing. And maybe the customer who is searching for what you have didn’t see your ad at all. CTV eliminates these frustrations by locking in on the relevant customers who are likely to convert – targeting your key audiences and serving them ads while they stream their favorite shows.

Let’s say you’re a dealership looking to move some Japanese coups and sports cars. While popular, they’re obviously not the right fit for every customer. With CTV, you could create a campaign to promote your inventory and then target it specifically to import sports car enthusiasts within five miles of your dealership. The benefit is immediately clear: you’re zeroing in on your next customer, delivering an ad that’s specific to their personal situation. That personal touch is not only effective, but it’s also well-received by audiences – 60% of viewers enjoy shows with ads customized to their tastes.

Life in the FAST Lane

More good news: As CTV advertising opens up new opportunities for automotive dealerships, consumers are flocking to the channel in exponentially increasing numbers –213.7 million viewers watch CTV every month, for an average of 80 minutes a day. And not only are consumers cutting the cord and watching more CTV than ever, streaming is getting more ad-friendly by the day – and consumers aren’t just okay with more ads, they’re embracing them.

The last few years have seen an explosion in streaming service popularity, particularly the free-ad-supported-tech (FAST) model. No longer relegated to some of the smaller services, the biggest names in streaming – Disney+, HBO Max, and even Netflix – have either rolled out ad-supported offerings or announced an intention to do so. And as more services continue to pop up with must-see content, these ad-supported offerings – often provided at a discounted cost – are becoming increasingly popular as consumers look to keep costs down. 64% of CTV viewers polled prefer ad-supported content to save on monthly subscriptions, and 80% of viewers are more likely to pay attention to CTV ads than linear TV.

How MNTN Goes the Extra Mile

While most dealerships previously focused on digital so they could prioritize ROAS and lead goals, they also wanted to be on TV – as evidenced by their OTT spend being second only to digital. While TV/OTT buying is currently disconnected from goals, MNTN marries sales goals to every ad dollar spent. By bringing together the tactics of display ads with OTT, MNTN helps auto dealerships drive ads that work smarter and generate more revenue.

While CTV drives performance through precision targeting, not wasting impressions, and cost efficiency, it can be so much more – and just like cars, every CTV ad platform doesn’t belong in the same class. MNTN Performance TV takes CTV one step further with the largest U.S.-based audience possible – giving you access to over 120 million households. But it’s not just about audience size. Some of the top ways MNTN helps auto dealerships are through:

  • Living Room Quality: MNTN Performance TV gets your ad associated with only the most top-tier networks, ensuring you’re more likely to be seen, mitigating the risk of fraud, and tying your practice closely with the hottest shows of the moment.
  • Affinity-Based Targeting: Performance TV takes targeting even further by allowing you to reach customers who may have never set foot in your showroom – but have a strong interest in your inventory or your competitors.
  • Creative Optimization: MNTN Performance TV automatically analyzes and optimizes your ad’s targeting thousands of times a day, ensuring you are always getting the best return on ad spend.
  • Cross-Device Verified Visits: MNTN’s proprietary tool tracks the viewer’s experience from when they first watch your ad to when they visit your website – regardless of what household device they use – to help you track engagement and convert customers.
  •  Customizable, Real-Time Reporting: Get fully transparent, 24/7 access to campaign performance – and choose what metrics matter most to you. See what’s working, what isn’t, and optimize or update creative on the fly to get better results.

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

Today’s world of auto sales is fiercely competitive – not only are there more dealerships to compete with, but you’re also competing for sales from online outlets like Carvana and eBay. That’s why it’s no surprise that the dealership industry is relying more than ever on CTV to save precious ad dollars and ensure they’re being seen by the customers that matter most.

Don’t get lapped by the competition – see how premier CTV platforms like MNTN Performance TV can help your dealership maximize the platform’s true potential through state-of-the-art targeting and measurement solutions. Request a demo today.