The Big Three: How Mobile, Video And Personalization Transform The Dealer Marketing World

Mobile-enabled communications, when enhanced with relevant and localized video content and delivered in a personally relevant way, is an explosive business opportunity that is certain to transform the retail dealer advertising space for many years to come.

The Big Three: How Mobile, Video And Personalization Transform The Dealer Marketing World

Let’s take a deeper look at the big three in more detail.


Mobile is more than another device or screen, it is an extension of each of us. Beyond just being entertaining, the internet-enabled smartphone is central to our daily lives, businesses and friendships. We openly share our lives on Facebook and have our digital fingerprints on practically everything. Marketers and auto dealers can now use this data to serve far more relevant content at the right time to each individual, resulting in a “win-win” for the consumer and the dealer.

Automotive dealers and their digital marketing companies need to design smartphone content like we used to create billboards. Here is the similarity: a billboard is seen by a person driving 70 MPH on a freeway within a space the size of a thumb on an outstretched arm. Billboards that get attention require simplicity, large graphics, interesting visuals, and a short and pithy message.

The same holds true for a Facebook video ad.

The goal is to slow a person’s thumb down as they scroll through their newsfeed so that they watch the entire short video ad, even if it is in muted form. The ad needs to be interesting and engaging enough to capture a user’s attention within about 1.7 seconds.

The next goal is to get that consumer to actually tap the screen to view the entire video with audio. About 85% of Facebook video ads are viewed in muted form, which is why it is essential to create interesting video content with large graphics and type so that the message will resonate even if when viewed without audio.

Lastly, we want the person to be so intrigued that they tap the “learn more” button below the video and get directed to a deeper video experience embedded in the dealer’s website.

Mobile content is different than other forms of advertising, and each type of mobile application needs to be created to fit the platform and context on which it’s being viewed. Most dealer marketing companies focus solely on targeting and not enough on the creative messaging, content, and execution that really generates engagement on a mobile device.

It is time to raise the bar on mobile creative content across all mobile media platforms and applications.


Online video advertising at the dealer level is poised to grow dramatically in the coming years as dealers realize the need to extend the reach of TV and complement heavy search budgets with online video campaigns. Right now, this is still a very affordable tactic, because the market has not been saturated.

But you can bet that as video pre-roll campaigns through DoubleClick, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram continue to expand, the cost of advertising on these key platforms will also. Just look at how quickly dealer SEM costs escalated when OEMs began pushing and subsidizing dealer SEM programs.

This means that dealers get a near-term cost advantage by getting on board now with online video as a core and consistent media channel, both in sales and service advertising.


The final key trend that will continue to improve dealer marketing ROI and consumer relevance is personalization. This is a data-driven capability that allows a dealer to specifically direct communications to a single individual based on who they are and where they are in the customer journey.

This goes well beyond dropping in a person’s name in an overlay graphic. It is a completely personalized video experience, dynamically created from video assets and content.

The best way to offer this capability today is from a data-driven dynamic video landing page that allows the video content, video playlist, offer, text, customer’s name and specific model, etc. to morph into a personal video experience. These data driven video pages can be the core destination for all dealer marketing channels and activities. Since this is all data driven, everything can be adjusted to specifically speak to each prospect or current owner. The result is more effective marketing that can drive incremental sales and service business and a more valuable and productive relationship with the dealer.

Outperform Your Competition

Pay close attention to the Big Three — mobile, video and personalization —which will become increasingly more important as time passes. Align your marketing efforts to these key trends and you will outperform your competitors and sell more cars, trucks, parts and services.

About the author

Tim Copacia is Executive Vice President of Strategic Development at UnityWorks. He is a former agency CEO and automotive pioneer in Digital marketing, CRM, Customer Experience Management and Data Driven Video Experiences. He has held executive level roles at BBDO, Wunderman/Young & Rubicam, Campbell Ewald and Ross Roy/InterOne Marketing Group. He has led multi-million dollar Omni-channel marketing programs across all marketing tiers for several major OEMs. Email: