Automotive Marketing: Cross-Funnel Solutions for a Mobile World

In an industry that has shifted to mobile at record speed, automotive marketers must follow suit with new strategies to connect dealers with consumers and build lifelong relationships in new and innovative ways. What are the keys to success in each part of the sales funnel for automotive marketing in a mobile world?

Solutions Across the Funnel

Brand Awareness

Creating awareness is the first step towards building and maintaining a strong brand and potentially driving sales, particularly in the automotive industry. Making sure that an ad campaign captures an audience’s attention and engages them is critical to driving down-funnel movement. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

Ad Placements – Facebook Feed/Marketplace as well as Instagram Feed/Stories are great social media tools for dealerships to use in order to exhibit inventory and build awareness. Generic Paid Search is also useful in this stage to find those already searching for vehicles or related services.

Ad Formats – Visual formats such as single image, video and carousel are useful in the brand awareness stage. Instagram Stories are also a good way to tell your brand story.

Targeting – Reach potential customers based on demographics, interests and behaviors. Use detailed targeting to reach people based on the characteristics of your current customers.

Campaign Optimization – Optimize for impressions, reach or video views.

Destination – Send visitors to your mobile-optimized website or a branded landing page to learn more about your business.


Searching for/researching vehicles online and access to new vehicle information have reshaped the way people make auto purchases. Consumers now consider more vehicles and visit fewer dealerships than ever before. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is critical for driving consideration.

Ad Placements – Continue using Facebook/Instagram Feeds as well as other social platforms to keep your dealership top-of-mind. Branded Paid Search is also useful in this stage.

Ad Formats – Use video, carousel, or image to create context around what you have to offer/ what you want people to sign up for, entice people to get in contact or showcase your inventory.

Targeting – Retarget users who engaged with your website, landing pages or form.

Campaign Optimization – Optimize for leads — deliver ads to people in your target audience most likely to complete your form, click on your ad, or view your landing page.

Destination – Send visitors to lead forms on your website or landing pages in order to acquire customers with intent and build relationships.


As consumers discover information, products and experiences across mobile, auto marketers need to understand the new ways purchase decisions are being made. Marketers now have access to a spectrum of intent signals that indicate a customer may be ready to convert.

Ad Placements – At this point, ad placements on search and social channels should supplement nurture strategies on direct channels such as email.

Ad Formats – Use video, carousel or collection to reinstate what you have to offer and entice people to visit your store.

Targeting – Use Custom Audiences to reach people who have viewed vehicles, added to cart or purchased from your website or dealership. Or, use location targeting to target people near your dealerships.

Campaign Optimization – Optimize for conversions — deliver messages to people likely to purchase on your website or in-person at the dealership.

Destination – Send visitors straight to your store or dealership.

The digital transformation of the automotive industry is well underway. The shift to mobile and the changing habits of vehicle shoppers are changing the way auto marketers can effectively communicate with and nurture consumers. In response, marketers must learn what works at each stage of the customer journey and to use the technology and tools available, especially on mobile, to optimize their strategies.