I walked away from an attempt to buy a car earlier this spring shaking my head. Automotive marketing, I reflected, is a science still being perfected. Inundated with ads from almost the first listing I viewed, none seemed to advance any cohesive marketing message or provide me with any information that was truly helpful in guiding a purchase decision. It annoyed me as a consumer, but also as a marketer. How many useless impressions were being wasted on me? Why was no one able to use the fact that I was actively searching for a car to learn more about me and show me information that would actually be helpful?
Now, a tool exists to ensure that marketing communications related to an auto purchase are useful, timely and on point: Nielsen Auto Cloud, fueled by J.D. Power. This is good news for consumers and for marketers alike.
Knowing just what a potential car buyer is interested in, what specific information they need to make a decision, and how they want this information served is much harder than it sounds. But it can be done. Nielsen Auto Cloud cracks this nut by combining the power of its marketing cloud marketing and measurement capabilities with J.D. Power’s car buyer intelligence and intent data.
In 2016, Nielsen launched its marketing cloud to deliver intelligent data that marketers can use for enhanced targeting and attribution. This platform provides access to data sources and marketing effectiveness products enabling end-to-end marketing management for marketers, agencies and publishers. The Nielsen Auto Cloud takes the best of both worlds, combining the breadth and depth of Nielsen’s audience data and advanced cloud technology with J.D. Power’s auto insights to deliver a one-stop-shop marketing effectiveness platform specifically for the auto sector.
“Nielsen and J.D. Power are ushering in a new era for the auto industry," said Damian Garbaccio (seated on the left in the video above), Executive Vice President, Nielsen. "We’re empowering auto marketers and agencies like IPG with immediately actionable intelligence, whether for better consumer targeting or deep analysis of marketing performance."
Nielsen Auto Cloud does three things that inherently change the game. First, it exponentially expands the amount of targeting data auto marketers have at their fingertips. Instead of leveraging a handful of targeting criteria that comes mostly from DMV records, marketers now have more than 250 car attributes they can use to ensure pinpoint targeting in real-time. This includes Nielsen persons-based purchase data (including all CPG and retail purchase data), media consumption data and NADA guide data, which provides highly detailed information regarding car buyer intent and consideration.
Beyond this, the platform ensures that the available data is fresh. For the first time, marketers are able to leverage intelligence that is updated daily. Other existing automotive marketing systems are typically using data that is three to 10 weeks old.
Finally, the introduction of artificial intelligence allows marketers to act instantly and automatically based on real-time consumer behavior. Combined with the platform’s cross-channel capabilities, this means that customers will see the best, most relevant information available to help them make informed purchase decisions, regardless of what media they happen to be engaged with. Nielsen Auto Cloud’s cross-channel capabilities also provide accurate channel cost attribution. The inability to do this well has plagued marketing efforts and wasted advertising dollars for years.
“Nielsen and J.D. Power are ushering in a new era for the auto industry,” said Bernardo Rodriguez, Chief Digital Officer for J.D. Power. “We’re empowering auto marketers with immediately actionable intelligence whether for consumer insights, cross-media planning and targeting, or campaign measurement."
The capabilities Rodriguez describes have long been desired, and advertising powerhouse IPG was quick to see the upside; they have become the first agency group to leverage the Nielsen Auto Cloud platform to maximize the value they provide their clients.
“What I’m truly excited by is that [the Nielsen Auto Cloud] will bring in data that is really valuable and has a very high level of quality attached to it, especially coming from J.D. Power, which is a very recognized brand in the auto space," said Arun Kumar (seated on right in the video above), Global Chief Data and Marketing Technology Officer of IPG. "[This includes] information about car buyers, their styles, the features they prefer, whether they have a lease, and whether the lease is expiring. That kind of information [is valuable] from a targeting perspective but also from just understanding who consumers are and what kind of journey they are going through.”
This ability to understand and react to the consumer journey is valuable for shoppers, too. As we all know, good marketing empowers consumers by giving them the information they want, when they want it, in the format that is most useful to them. This is particularly important with high-cost items like cars. Shoppers want information that helps find the vehicle and the offer that best suits them, and they don’t want to be haunted by fears they are making the wrong purchase decision because they haven’t been properly informed. Further, they don’t want to be annoyed by irrelevant or unhelpful ads that create clutter, waste time or add confusion.
What auto manufacturers, advertisers and consumers all want is relevant automotive marketing communications that provide value to shoppers. This simply means getting back to the basics of advertising: presenting the right information at the right time, on the right screen. Until now, this has been much easier said than done. As it stands, however, the Nielsen Auto Cloud gives me a reason to be optimistic that the next time I’m in the market for a car, the experience will be much more positive.
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