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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Lindsey Auguste and Dennis Galbraith

Lindsey Auguste and Dennis Galbraith Investigative Reporters

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Facebook Refines Targeted Ad Categories to Include "Auto Intender"

The world is becoming increasingly more targeted.  Remember when we used to only have 11 channels on the TV and it seemed only every other one actually came in clear.  We’d wait all day for the local ball game to be on wishing, “I wish I could just watch my favorite teams play all day long.”  Cue ESPN.   Finally, a channel that televised sports, sports, and nothing but the sports, so help us hockey fans.  We loved it because we got to watch our teams play all day and marketers loved it because they got to advertise to a targeted audience all day.

A defined, targeted audience makes your marketing dollars that much more effective, so let’s tip our hats to Facebook once again for making this process even easier.  As Ed Brooks indicated yesterday, Facebook just recently rolled out more refined options in targeting messages to a particular population – expecting parents, people who just moved, and even recently engaged couples.  But the most essential category for our industry is “Auto Intenders.”  You guessed it, people who are most likely interested in purchasing a new vehicle. 

This opens a whole new kind of targeted marketing than what we’ve seen before.  Now dealerships can advertise to people who are openly considering vehicles for purchase.  This can have an impact on not only new and used car sales, but also accessories, finance, and especially trade-ins.

Is anybody using this advertising method just yet?  What are your thoughts on getting involved?

Jim Bell
I'm not using it and am a little unsure about it. Like I commented on Ed's post, so many are posting and doing their status updates through mobile devices. I have no idea what that number is, but I am sure that using Facebook is starting to dwindle.
Brady Irvine
It's a very interesting development from a targeting standpoint but my initial feeling is that it won't make much difference. Of course the numbers could prove me wrong, but the ads I'm used to seeing from dealers on facebook don't fill me with a ton of confidence.
Ed Brooks
Jim, Facebook is set to roll out some major enhancements on the 29th of this month. These include six new ad units called photo, video, questions, status, events, links ( http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-new-ad-options--what-they-mean-for-brands-2012-2 ) AND rumored to include mobile as well ( http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-launching-mobile-ads-next-week-rumor/9372 ). It looks like they are really stepping up their game!
Lindsey Auguste
Brady, that surprises me coming from the targeted ad man - is it because the message itself isn't hitting the targeted audience as best it could?
Brady Irvine
Pretty much. The ads most dealers are using on Facebook aren't even keeping up with the targeting that is already in place (and the mindset of the person while they are on Facebook) let alone the fancy new stuff... If someone (even someone who is looking for a new vehicle) is on Facebook playing a game, sending their grandmother a message or stalking an ex are they really going to be distracted by your company logo with a couple of lines about "low prices and great customer service"? Have you ever seen a really crappy salesperson spouting off stats to a customer who doesn't care? With a glazed over look in their eyes, the customer is searching for a way out of the situation without looking rude. "Thanks for all the information, we'll think about it..." Our advertising does the same thing most of the time, but without the 1 on 1 aspect they can just ignore it and walk away without thinking twice.

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