By: Adam Stone

Why car dealerships need to advertise with CTV over cable

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It’s the language of cable companies vying for more business in an industry that’s losing subscribers by the millions. In 2018, 33 million people did away with pricey cable bills and cut the proverbial cable cord, according to the research firm eMarketer. That’s up from 24.9 million from the year before. More than half of U.S. households do not subscribe to traditional pay-TV platforms, including cable and satellite.

Enter the cable television alternative Connected TV, or CTV. Defined by a television that connects to the Internet and gives users access to streaming service providers and publisher applications (Fox, MSN, ESPN, etc.) CTV viewers can receive video content nearly identical to cable television. CTV is a conduit for Over-the-Top (OTT), a term used to describe content providers that distribute streaming media via the Internet without the use of a cable or satellite provider. OTT ads are delivered to people who are consuming video content through connected devices that would otherwise be impossible to reach via traditional cable TV advertising.

The future of video advertising is CTV and the impact it can have on car dealerships can’t be ignored. According to Marketing Drive, CTV advertising makes up 49% of all video impressions served to viewers. “Audiences are generally young, highly engaged, affluent and paying attention,” said Todd Gordon, Director of Programmatic TV at Adobe Advertising Cloud. “With more than half of the US population now owning a connected TV device, it’s critical that advertisers pay attention to the targeting opportunities offered by this growing medium.” We’ve all seen them when streaming our own videos at home. There are usually one or two different advertisements running together. They all seem to be advertising products or services that we actually find pretty interesting—and that’s by design.

Unlike regular cable advertising buys, CTV ads are hyper-targeted. A lot of automotive dealerships use radio and television ads that target general demographics such as age and gender, but that’s about as detailed as they get. When car dealerships partner with a marketing agency that has the ability to utilize high-quality data, then the game changes completely. Cable television ads allow dealerships to pick the placements where they think their audience is watching. CTV ads target the audience first, then deliver ads on whichever apps those consumers are watching their content.

CTV allows the same advertising experience for consumers in a much more targeted way. Third party premium data providers, such as Oracle, know the ID’s of your devices, where you live, what kind of car you’ve been searching for online and whether or not you can afford that car. All of this information is provided anonymously, meaning automotive agencies don’t have your name or personally identifiable information, but they do know that you’re considering a specific kind of SUV for your family. And they’re going to advertise that car to you while you’re streaming your favorite program.

If you’re a dealership looking to place your first CTV ad, you will need an agency partner that can tie the data, media, and creative together to run these campaigns. Run a 3 to 6-month campaign targeting same-brand shoppers that influences consumers to do business with your dealership — and consistently target these people with online video. Track the critical metrics like completion rate and reach/frequency, to continue refining your campaigns, and eventually, you’ll see more and more people coming into your store. The numbers are clear—people will be watching.