• We’re back from the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles where we held our automotive industry focused road show. If you weren’t able to attend, we’re sorry we missed you. Here’s what we learned from our speakers who shared how they solved challenges in automotive marketing measurement.

    Insight 1: The car is now a living room on wheels.

    Oren Abrams, an account executive at LiveRamp, opened up our event with this insight, which sounds strange at first until you realize automakers have been moving toward this goal for years. Automakers have always designed cars with cabin comfort in mind, continually adding features like CD changers, Bluetooth integrations, and screens on the backs of headrests.

    The difference between your car and the ones your children will drive—if they do get their driver’s licenses, a rite of passage now on the decline—is the actual act of driving. The younger generations may not need to drive with autonomous vehicle testing on the rise globally. This possibility—and frankly, eventuality—makes it vital for those in the automotive marketing industry to determine how best to approach in-vehicle advertising and keep the car as sacred as the living room, lest the transportation industry devolve into this nightmare scenario.

    Insight 2: Before you get to the marketing side, you need to solve for the technical side.

    Andrew Christe, our first speaker and a data manager at Southeast Toyota, shared this key takeaway from building their data lake. As any marketer with the word “data” in their title knows, there can be no end to the litany of questions others ask them to answer—How many people who came into my store saw an ad? What is this audience segment’s average lifetime value? Did our new creative perform better than the control with young moms? While all of these questions are valid, they can prevent data and analytics teams from completing more time-intensive, technically complex projects.

    To actually do something as monumental as building a data lake, quiet the questioners. Focus on collaborating with IT to build the foundation from which marketing-related questions can be answered in a much more streamlined manner.

    Insight 3: Attribution is many things.

    It’s easy to think of attribution as the act of finding out what marketing tactics contributed to a sale. The reality is much more nuanced. James Grace, senior director of analytics products at Cox Automotive, shared three sample questions that Cox was able to answer through attribution:

    1. How many consumers that saw an advertisement from this campaign ended up buying a car from me?
    2. Which referral source is the highest source of traffic from consumers who get service done at my dealership?
    3. How many consumers who interacted with Digital Retailing ultimately ended up buying a car?

    So while the end goal of marketing is eventually revenue generation for most companies, it’s important to think of attribution as a means to understanding a variety of KPIs.

    Bonus insight: Check out the Porsche Experience Center.

    While there’s never a shortage of things to do and places to go in L.A., the Porsche Experience Center should be added to your list. Set on 53 acres, the center features a driving track mimicking country roads where you can work on your sports car driving skills with a Porsche Drive Coach. Our attendees were treated to trips around the course with Drive Coaches driving, and many regarded it as the cherry on the top of their time with us.

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