In a blog post published after the event, Jerry Dischler, Vice President, Product Management, AdWords, went into detail about how customers are increasingly picking up their smartphones in order to discover new information and find out answers to everyday questions. “Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments,” he said.
In fact, Dischler went on to reveal that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan, which is quite a remarkable statistic and just goes to show how significant this platform has become.
While some may feel like this is yet another obstacle to overcome, Dischler believes mobile is a “tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach people throughout all the new touchpoints of a consumer’s path to purchase.”
So, to help marketers make the most of such an opportune moment in time, Google has created new ad experiences for mortgages, hotels, and for the purposes of this article, automotive.
As opposed to carrying on with tried and trusted techniques, marketers must now adhere to the immediate wants and needs of mobile users. After all, today’s consumers have extremely high expectations when browsing for products and services online.
It doesn’t matter where your audience are or what they type into a search engine, relevant results will be delivered to their mobile device in an instant. Therefore, if marketers are to implement an ad campaign specifically for smartphone users, its content must conform to lofty consumer expectancy.
Thankfully, Google’s “investments in mobile are driven by consumers’ expectations for immediacy and relevance in the moment,” according to Dischler. This has resulted in a “whole new generation of ad experiences that are richer, more engaging and designed for screen-swipes instead of mouse-clicks so we meet consumers’ needs, right when they are looking.”
These ad experiences, which include mortgages and hotels as well as automotive, have taken into account the feedback of PPC marketers and Google’s own insights on how people search for information. But what do the Automotive Ads look like and consist of?
According to automotive buyer research by Polk, consumers spend up to 15 hours researching, comparing, and learning about cars online. But apart from looking up performance specifications and optional extras, the vast majority of people browsing the web for automobiles want to see pictures and visuals of their dream car.
Internal data from Google even goes so far as to say half of searches for cars contain images. This particular piece of information is the reason behind a key feature of Automotive Ads – a carousel of car images.
This enables your audience to gain a unique and in-depth insight into what the interior and exterior of their ideal automobile looks like. Users will be able to find out if the paintwork meets their expectations or whether they can see themselves behind the wheel.
However, Automotive Ads isn’t just an exercise in aesthetics, as tapping on an image will bring up details about the car such as horsepower and estimated MPG too. But perhaps the most important feature for marketers is the “Dealers” link, which takes the user to a page with nearby showroom listings.
American manufacturer Chrysler was the launch partner for this new ad format, which will only roll out on mobile at first but then become available on all screens.
In spite of the extensive advantages that Automotive Ads can potentially afford for both manufacturers and dealerships, creating individual ads for each and every model is bound to be a rather timely exercise.
This doesn’t even take into account the behaviour of your audience, who will probably be viewing ads for a number of other cars, accessing countless pieces of automotive content and interacting with various sites and apps that don’t even relate to your products and services.
However, Google is to the rescue again. In response to this hive of activity, it has introduced new automation features that allow you to “master the complexity and show exactly the right ads for consumers’ intent and context,” as claimed by Dischler.
Even though the facets and features of Automotive Ads should increase consumer engagement and encourage target audiences to visit your site, you will never know how effective they actually are without appropriate measurement.
But owing to the complex path to purchase, which can take places across numerous platforms, utilising the right methods and metrics is imperative. To this end, Google has introduced some new analytical products that bring together consumer touchpoints so marketers can “measure the full impact of their campaigns and make better decisions for their business,” says Dischler.
The final word on Automotive Ads
“Google is a company built on intent and immediacy,” notes Dischler. “Our mission has always been to connect people with what they are looking for in the exact moment they are looking. These are moments that matter to consumers, to marketers and to us at Google because they are when decisions are being made and preferences shaped.”
This is what Automotive Ads are attempting to achieve. Google has used its own data as well as the thoughts of marketers to create a new ad format that addresses the browsing behaviour of mobile users. This active group of consumers want relevant content at the tap of a touchscreen and won’t accept anything less.
With Automotive Ads, marketers are given the opportunity to generate engaging and interactive experiences that still encourage conversions. At the same time, additional features streamline the creation process and offer up resources to tweak campaigns for maximum effectiveness.