RALEIGH, N.C.Tire and automotive service businesses can benefit greatly from the efficiency and precision digital marketing affords, and MaxPoint Interactive Inc. is offering a solution.
The Raleigh-based digital marketing firm uses proprietary hyperlocal intelligence technology to op-timize its clients' marketing efforts, providing targeted advertising through local media sources aimed at the most ideal shoppers. No stranger to the automotive aftermarket, MaxPointwhich launched nine years ago as a platform to drive car buyers to their nearest dealershiphas since branched out to provide services to tire and service businesses on a national, regional and local scale.
According to Tricia Parris, general manager of national agency sales for MaxPoint, hyperlocal advertising allows companies to reach consumers in precisely defined micro-neighborhoodsMax-Point calls these Digital Zipsand the firm has re-mapped the U.S. into 44,000 of these.
Ms. Parris said MaxPoint's Digital Zips are much more granular than an official zip code, shifting along with the makeup of the surrounding community.
We've taken a look at communities and gone with that 'birds of a feather flock together' mentality, making the assumption that people tend to live near people like themselves, and that translates further into their purchase habits, she told Tire Business.
Carolyn Altomare, MaxPoint general manager, automotive vertical market, said these Digital Zips help advertisers boost foot traffic in stores by targeting ideal consumers within their local market, comparing the process to a sniper rifle in a world of TV and radio spray-and-pray advertising.
(Dealers) can choose to run on TV, and when you're advertising on TV you're reaching everybody, Ms. Altomare said. You're not really able to narrow in on the right audienceyou're just paying a lot of money to reach everybody. You can do direct mail, and in that case, again, you're reaching pretty much everybody and also paying a lot of money.
Digital advertising, she said, allows smaller businesses to maximize their advertising dollars without unnecessary costs.
We're very, very cognizant of the fact that a lot of the dealers we work with are not large national brands. They're regional brands, they may be family owned (and) they don't have millions of dollars to spend on advertising.
Micro-neighborhoods serve as a basis for where MaxPoint starts building advertising audience profiles, but it's only the starting point, Ms. Parris noted. The next step would be to take the qualifiers our clients provide usthey give us the targeting parameters they're looking to do for their online campaigns in terms of demographicsand we take the data partnerships that we have...that we can overlay onto campaigns.
Ms. Altomare said MaxPoint offers dealers the ability to understand and reach the right consumers in their market, mapping their store location, creating a radius around it and overlaying thousands of different data sets on top of the neighborhood to identify consumers to target for each campaign.
One such data set includes vehicle information from industry analytics firm IHS Automotive, driven by Polk.
With Polk data, we're able to understand all these neighborhoods in that radius and which types of cars they have, she said. We're able to understand within a radius of any retail location which neighborhoods have a high concentration of SUVs or compact cars, we can do it at a category level and we can even get down to the brand.
This information can be helpful in Buffalo, for instance, where Ms. Altomare said there are pockets where members of the Buffalo Bills football team lives.
They're going to require a very different message, because they're diving Porsches, they're driving Land Rovers, they're driving a higher-end luxury car that's going to require a much more premium tire, she said, adding that targeted digital marketing allows advertisers to pinpoint and deliver a message to only people within those neighborhoods.
Seasonality also can be factored into a given ad campaign.
(Dealers) may have creative that's designed to get people to go get snow tires in the October-November time range, so what we would do is we would then use data that makes sense, including weather trigger data, Ms. Altomare said.
We could overlay weather data where certain weather conditions are happening, so we can serve an ad for snow tires when it's snowing outside or for when it's less than 40 degrees. We have the ability to run that filter.
Furthermore, unlike more traditional advertising avenues, MaxPoint is able to gauge the effectiveness of digital ad campaigns through analysis of store foot traffic and can offer dealers various insights about their customers.
We have run many tire campaigns in the past, and something we pride ourselves on is we're very consultative in our approach, Ms. Altomare said. We certainly don't want to dismiss anybody if they feel like their target audience is one thing, but one of the things we like to do...at the end of a campaign is identify and provide back to the dealer which neighborhoods performed the best with the message, and these are the characteristics associated with them.
So we may think going into a campaign thinking that their target audience is an adult, 25-54 years old with a household income of $50,000, but we may find out that in fact the people who actually responded to your message skewed a little older and had a higher household income. The great thing about that is those are insights we're able to provide back to the dealers about their audience that they can use for their other marketing messages, but also to make their campaigns smarter with MaxPoint with each subsequent campaign.
We're providing advertising and we're providing measurement for (clients) to understand the impact of the advertising, but we also function as a research an analytics group as well by being able to provide back to them insights about the people that are actually engaging with their ad.
Ms. Altomare said each digital ad campaign is completely customized, with campaign costs ranging anywhere from $15,000 for a single-location shop to hundreds of thousands of dollars for large regional or national customers running larger scale campaigns for a full year.