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Google’s Automotive Ads Help Auto Marketers Rev Up Their Mobile Marketing

Katherine Buchholz Product Marketing Manager, DialogTech

Auto marketers everywhere are rejoicing over Google’s newest ad format for mobile, Automotive ads. Consumer research has gone mobile, and Google recognizes it. With this update, they are enabling auto marketers to capitalize on mobile auto searchers. Get the details on this new ad format below and the new attribution tools auto marketers must embrace to boost their ROI.

Google’s New ‘Automotive Ads’ Format

Google has released a new mobile ad format for auto marketers: Automotive ads. They’ve effectively created a mobile showroom that includes:

  • Exterior and interior images of cars searchers can swipe through
  • Details about vehicle performance and features
  • A find a local dealer section
  • Links to navigate to a dealer site, and to call or get directions to a local dealer

1 out of every 2 automotive searches on Google now occur on smartphones – which is up 51% year over year. Google’s response to this with Automotive ads gives auto marketers more opportunity to engage with car buyers when and where they are searching.

It’s simple: you need to be where your customers are. And auto shoppers are mobile.

Mobile’s Growing Role in the Car Buying Process

Google has identified 5 key digital moments an auto shopper has on their path to purchase.

google automotive ads

And mobile plays a significant role in each: one in four car buyers turn to their smartphones every day to research vehicles. Here are some of the top searches they’re making:

google automotive ads

Don’t think the use of mobile in the car buying process ends by the time a shopper visits a dealership – it doesn’t. Half of auto shoppers with mobile devices use their smartphones while they are on the lot at the dealership.

Even after auto shoppers use their smartphones to research prices, look at pictures, and read reviews, many still have questions that are better answered in conversation. The chart above shows how search interest in dealer phone numbers has grown 78% in the past year (and Google tells us the majority of these searches happen on mobile too).

google automotive ads

Searchers are clicking through to OEM websites, or even local dealer websites. And after initial research is conducted on a smartphone, auto shoppers find it easier to get more information by calling.

Call Attribution Is Critical to Improving ROI for Auto Marketers

When an auto shopper calls a dealer, most auto marketers lose all attribution. That’s doesn’t have to be the case anymore. We’ve seen significant growth in the number of automotive clients who recognize the importance of tracking every conversion – including customer calls.

Auto marketers using call attribution can track calls back to the web pages, ads and campaigns, social media, and even keyword searches that drove them. And when you use dynamic number insertion (DNI) you can get session-level data on every caller. Not only will you know the exact keywords or phrases they search for in Google, you will also see the caller’s activity on your website. You can then understand how much time they spend with different content and determine what ultimately drives them to convert. Many also integrate call data with the web analytics and bid optimization tools they already use to manage clicks.

For auto marketers wanting to learn more about using mobile click-to-call to their advantage, check out our Click-to-Call Playbook for Paid Search.