As we’ve previously discussed, the automotive industry is one of the most competitive mobile advertising vertical globally. Auto companies must continuously jockey for global consumers’ share of mind as they introduce new cars, making ad spend on all channels necessary for successful brand efforts.
General Motors (GM) in particular has been widely recognized as a one of the earliest adopters of mobile ads within the auto industry. As the world’s third largest advertiser, GM’s annual spend of over $3 billion is wholly managed by Aegis’ Carat, and is divided proportionally among Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and other GM brands. GM’s mobile strategy has helped them to come back from its bankruptcy in 2009 to retain its position as the world’s largest automaker by vehicle sales since 2011.
For example, in October 2012 GM utilized a rich media banner ad to promote GMC and Chevy trucks. By simultaneously displaying both branding elements and financial disclosures, the campaign targeted price-sensitive small business owners looking for new trucks. It achieved click-through rates of 1.31%, and allowed users to peruse GM’s promotional financing options without clicking through the ad.
More recently, GM has returned to advertising on Facebook’s mobile ad platform. GM had divested from its Facebook advertising presence in May 2012, citing Facebook’s inability to influence purchase decisions at the time. In April of this year, however, GM reversed its decision, and began running mobile Facebook ads for its subcompact Chevy Sonic. As a mobile-only pilot campaign that will utilize Facebook’s new targeting and measurement capabilities, this represents a first for the traditionally TV, print, and digital-oriented auto industry.
General Motors’ mobile advertising adoption and strategy thus set it apart as a leader within the auto industry. By heavily investing in mobile ads, GM is able to engage and interact with global consumers on the platform that they are spending more and more time utilizing. Going forward, GM will be able to leverage its mobile expertise to maximize its advertising returns, allowing it to retain its dominant position within the automotive industry.