Facebook revs up targeting of automotive brands for 'always-on' marketing

Facebook is ramping up its attempts to woo automotive manufacturers by claiming it has made significant strides in helping car brands with both overall consideration and lead-generation.

Renault: used Facebook's lead-generation channel in the UK
Renault: used Facebook's lead-generation channel in the UK

Speaking to Marketing, Facebook’s UK auto lead, Steve Adams, discussed a series of new case studies published by the social network involving brands such as Renault, Opel and Ford – and the drive to move to an "always-on" approach with automotive firms.

In the case of Renault in the UK, the French marque used Facebook’s new lead-generation channel via News Feed advertising to tailor messages for its Clio and Twingo models based on users’ demographics and content preferences.

Facebook claims the cost-per-acquisition of the campaign is 2.8 times lower than the average for display advertising, and Renault UK digital brand communications manager Matt Lamprell said Facebook lead-generation is now "one of the first things on the plan".

Branding is the biggest opportunity for us to grow, if you think about how we can be a real brand platform for these companies, in the way TV has been for years.

Meanwhile, in Germany, General Motors-owned Opel tied up with Facebook for an eight-week campaign to boost brand familiarity and purchase consideration of its ADAM and Astra models – the former aimed at under-35 year olds and the latter over-35s.

It claims the use of "frequent" and "lightweight" interactions on the News Feed saw a 44% increase in purchase consideration for ADAM and a 27% increase for the new edition of Astra, offering a cost efficiency of 3.4 times superior to Opel’s digital display CPM benchmark.

Facebook has also released a third case study detailing how Ford recently sold 500 limited edition cars across 11 countries exclusively through the network, and, as a result, will be kicking off the campaign for its EcoSport range on Facebook.

"Automotive is a very traditional vertical, and it is a lot slower-moving than FMCG," says Adams. "A lot of brands used to approach Facebook in an inherently social way, by running competitions, giveaways, and the kind of peripheral stuff. As the brands saw their followings grow, they increasingly began to question how they can get more value from these people."

Referencing the Opel case study, Adams says it proves that Facebook can "really change how someone feels about your brand" over a longer period of time, and that more brands ought to view the social network as an alternative to above-the-line media.

"These brands are always-on in print, radio and search, and it’s about seeing where we can work with these platforms and showing where we can be more efficient," he says.

"Branding is the biggest opportunity for us to grow, if you think about how we can be a real brand platform for these companies, in the way TV has been for years. Our reach is huge and we have the tools to do this."

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