Luxury cars are a big-ticket, high-consideration purchase, often including a relatively long decision process. There's a process to marketing and selling to selective buyers in a highly competitive market that the manufacturers—or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—know well.
The OEMs must engage potential buyers in multiple ways during the consideration and preference selection process. A car buyer invariably wants to see the vehicle and validate their choice with a test drive, be catered to by a dealer, and feel comfortable with both the product and the ongoing service and convenience.
While companies can spend many millions of dollars on TV and other broadcast advertising, the messages are only part of the equation. Driving awareness and consideration is just the start.
Defining Outcomes in a Sophisticated Way
The obvious desired outcome of all marketing is to drive a business forward. To achieve that, luxury car companies' marketing programs are remarkably nuanced and refined. Multiple measurable factors ultimately contribute to definable steps in the purchase journey.
One such luxury car company worked with Xaxis to develop a multifaceted, omni-channel marketing campaign, successfully measuring each component that helped drive the desired outcomes. Those factors included:
- Advertising impressions deliver reach, driving awareness and curiosity.
- Finely targeted programmatic advertising impressions delivered to car purchase intenders likely to be in the luxury vehicle consideration segment.
- Signs of their interest and intent, such as:
- Visits to the brand and nameplate website.
- Configuring a vehicle for themselves.
- Committing to visit showrooms and test drives.
The OEM, with Xaxis, analyzed its data to understand and identify which steps were most effective in driving engagement and sales.
Each step was weighted and assigned a score. Requesting a test drive, not surprisingly, was assigned the greatest value, as this was found to be the strongest indicator of a subsequent purchase.
It was up to Xaxis to achieve the right values at the right price, using a mix of off-the-shelf outcome-based products and specific measurement metrics such as CPCV (cost per completed view), viewable CPM (vCPM), plus other custom metrics for the client’s objectives.
“By having a weighted average index of actions, the client was able to look at the efficiency of their media spend, their cost per incremental unit. It's really their cost per weighted action," says Xaxis CEO Nicolas Bidon. “That's the custom outcome they must value and the key metric we drive towards."
Simply put, the client was able to attribute sales at dealerships to specific components of their marketing spend.
Attribution models were deployed so that every time someone took one of the actions, it could be properly correlated to the marketing spend. The campaign was continually optimized and refined over time. It used customized AI algorithms to capture and correlate data and bid on the appropriate programmatic advertising while active human input constantly tweaked and refined the process.
The client paid for the campaign based on the defined outcomes, not simply on a media spend commitment, so they were assured of cost-effective marketing investment. Leading car manufacturers can spend many thousands of dollars in marketing for every vehicle sold, so increased effectiveness can lead to big gains on the bottom line.
Outcome-based marketing and attribution is what market leaders are now working towards. Delivery of solutions to match that desire are essential. A recent study by The Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Xaxis found that CMOs are increasingly data-driven and also increasingly accountable for goals at the strategic level, well beyond simple marketing metrics.
Every smart marketer can emulate the luxury auto brand by developing strategic goals, gathering data and optimizing toward those goals. The best outcomes-driven media strategies lead to increasingly cost-efficient sales and effective marketing investment.