Automotive Advertising: How the Right Data Can Help You Reach the Right Customers

04.06.2021 Cox Media

The pandemic may have sparked an increased use of online shopping and research tools to support the car-buying process, but online automotive shopping is far from a new development: As of 2019, 80 percent of vehicle buyers were visiting third-party sites to conduct vehicle research.

At the same time, 41 percent of buyers were only visiting one dealership before making a purchase, suggesting that more and more buyers are doing their homework online before approaching the dealership with strong buyer intent. With this online research and search activity comes a wellspring of valuable first-party data that can help businesses understand their customers and target ads more accurately to interested buyers.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of the wealth of first-party data to your own benefit: through a partnership with Cox Automotive, Cox Media has access to first-party data that shows what customers are seeking when they take their car hunt online. Through this information, you can build more effective ad campaigns that can meet your customers wherever they’re at in their car-buying journey.

Here’s a look at how Cox Media’s access to first-party data can inform your advertising strategy, making you better equipped to reach your customers in the right places at the right times.

1. Harnessing the Power of First-Party Data

Through 65 proprietary audience segments licensed from Cox Automotive, Cox Media is able to target audience segments based on up-to-date consumer behaviors using their activity on automotive websites. This data is refreshed monthly to make sure it’s relevant to today’s auto shoppers, making it easy to stay current with your audience targeting.

This partnership provides insights to Cox Media clients on potential leads collected by tracking shoppers across two of the most popular third-party car shopping websites, and Kelley Blue Book (

This shopping activity makes it easy to build profiles that can then be targeted through television advertising on cable TV and also through over-the-top (OTT) services. As this data is collected, Cox Media can segment the audience based on its behaviors and websites to build auto advertising campaigns that are relevant to each target.

Consumers shopping for family-friendly vehicles like sedans and minivans, for example, might then be targeted through ads delivered alongside family entertainment. Similarly, someone shopping for motorcycles or other adventure vehicles may be targeted through adventure content or video content focused on high-end vehicles, automotive customization, and/or extreme sports.

While this targeted approach has always been part of our advertising service, first-party data can deliver deeper insights that weren’t always obvious or observable in the past.

2. Reaching Buyers Through Cable TV and OTT

Research across more than 2.2 million ad impressions shows that, when compared to third-party campaigns, video campaigns powered by first-party data achieved a superior video completion rate that increases the ROI potential for your campaigns.

In short, this data helps create more relevant campaigns and when campaigns are more relevant, buyers are more engaged with the content. With first-party data improving greater cost-efficiency and overall audience engagement, all that’s left is to create compelling content that resonates with viewers and refers them to your dealership.

3. How First-Party Data Benefits Your Linear and Digital Campaigns

Whether you’re building and launching ad campaigns for cable TV, OTT, or a combination of these channels, Cox Media’s exclusive access to first-party consumer data offers unmatched power in your ability to understand your audience and target ads accordingly.

With this data driving your ad campaigns, your business can run segmented ads across cable TV channels and programming with confidence that the data behind this segmentation is reflective of the audience you’re targeting through your campaigns.

On the digital side, the audience segments built by Cox Automotive’s first-party data can then be used to target OTT campaigns on different platforms. Combined with additional insights that Cox Media teams have access to, this automotive insights can ultimately improve your ability to target ads and drive engagement from your audience.

As more and more car shoppers go online for the bulk of their search, your dealership needs to find new, digital avenues to create visibility and highlight relevant inventory that reaches prospects at the perfect moment. Contact Cox Media today to see how we can help you achieve these goals.

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Cox Media

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