By Brian Pasch
If you had any doubts that Facebook wants to increase its share of OEM advertising dollars and build a world class advertising solution promoting car sales, meet Michelle Morris. Michelle recently left Google, where she was the head of Google Autos which was focused on OEM and third party business relationships.
Industry Note: Michelle was not responsible for the Google Cars program, which was in another Google division. Dealers across the country are eager to learn more about the Google VIN level advertising program as it rolls out in 2014.
Her new role on her Facebook profile is described as: US Industry Lead, Auto at Facebook Inc. A recent article in the Examiner.com gave additional details on Michelle’s past accomplishments and future direction. (Read Examiner Post)
In the past year, PCG has been testing hundreds of advertising campaigns for car dealers on Facebook. The ad targeting options and the ease by which I can advertise to mobile users is very attractive to my clients. Facebook advertising works and often at a fraction of the per click cost of Adwords.
The ability to target advertising using Polk vehicle ownership data is one of the unique advantages automotive marketing professionals have on Facebook that is not offered by Google. OEM’s and dealers can present ads in the Facebook news feed based on the brand of vehicle, age of vehicle, price of vehicle, and style of vehicle in their driveway. Are you interested in that type of targeting?
I am looking forward to seeing the progress with Facebook’s automotive advertising strategy now that Michelle is on board. She brings the OEM relationships and advertising experience to Facebook, which is just what they needed.
Social Media Advertising Growth
Is Facebook advertising perfected for the automotive industry? No. Right now social media advertising is in its infancy. The percentage of advertising dollars going to Facebook or Twitter compared to Google Adwords, by the average car dealer, is still very small.
As much as I have been pounding the table on social media advertising, dealers are reluctant to invest. Why? Because for years dealers were told not to “sell” on social media and focus on building “likes”. I still have not seen any reasonable study that links likes to car sales.
Social Media Advertising (SMA) debunks that old adage! You can influence car sales using social media advertising and reach your target audience very precisely. Have you been seeing the OEM ads this week on Twitter from the LA Auto Show?
My Twitter newsfeed was blown up by OEM posts and Promoted Tweets yesterday but not my Facebook news feed. I bet with Michelle’s influence, more OEM advertising dollars will be pouring into Facebook, and I think that it will be the right thing to do.
Digital and Social Strategies in Automotive
So, let’s keep an eye on Michelle’s contributions. I would love to have Michelle speak at the 2014 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) on March 16-18th in the Napa Valley.
This first class automotive conference is focused on digital marketing and social media advertising for the auto industry. DMSC would be the perfect forum for Michelle to outline Facebook’s automotive strategy for car dealers.
Of course, I would hope Patrick Workman would be there as well! Patrick encouraged our agency to invest in Facebook advertising and for that I am very grateful, because it is working for our clients!
P.S. (Dec 15th) Michelle has confirmed that she will deliver a keynote address at DMSC!
Brian Pasch, CEO