Last year, I bought my first car. It was an
exciting time, but as someone who likes to partake in a lot of research before making a purchase, it was also a little bit stressful.
I was looking for resources to make it as easy for me as possible and I naturally turned to online sources to assist my decisions.
After looking at various car sales websites, review sites and forums, I can honestly say that my head was fried.
I’m also a bit of a Facebook addict (maybe that goes with the job territory!) so as I was regularly flicking through my timeline, I noticed a gradual increase in targeted ads.
The one that struck me the most and sticks in my mind to this day was a Facebook ad to highlight the introduction of the new Ford EcoSport to the market.
Although we all like to think of ourselves as people who aren’t easily swayed by advertising, I have to say I was really taken with this
particular one. My thought process was something along the lines of –
- Yes, it looks nice and shiny
- Ooh look, I could get credit and pay it off monthly
- I’d be the first to have a new product – cool!
- It would solve my undeniable problem of having no transport
Although I didn’t end up buying one, at the time the ads addressed all of my problems. Isn’t that what a targeted ad should do? It was near on perfect.
Having since done a bit of research into the Ford EcoSport advertising strategy, it turns out they did intentionally make big waves in social advertising that year. They focused solely on social ads to get the word out about their brand new product.
It worked a treat, as Ford sold all 500 limited edition cars before the campaign was due to come to and end. Check out more details on the Ford strategy here.
Facebook tends to agree that it is the ideal platform for sales leads in the automotive market. It reveals these stats as having a role in its influence to purchase vehicles:
- 60% of people are “in market” for a car for at least 6 months
- 27% of people report doing most of their vehicle research on a mobile device
- More than 7 in 10 mobile-first consumers report feeling overwhelmed by all the information that is available
- 65% of these mobile-first consumers worry that they’re going to make the wrong decision
It also highlights the potential problems that current advertisers face and how they can further capitalize on their advertising spend:
“By the last month before purchase, most people have narrowed down the type, size, fuel source, brand and other vehicle features for their car-purchasing decision. In fact, 59% of average car buyers have narrowed down their choice of vehicle to 1–2 cars by the last month before purchase. But this last month is when people say they are exposed to the most car ads on digital. This signals an opportunity for marketers to reach and influence car buyers on digital earlier in the purchase cycle, when they are still trying to decide on their choice of vehicle and features.”
Let these be small lessons towards understanding the needs of a potential customer. Go the distance to identify the problems that your products and services offer and be sure to address them in ads using imagery and clever wording.
While we agree that to only use one medium to advertise is a risky strategy, this success story proves that if done right, social streams are powerful selling tools.