So far, we have tackled three different industries (namely: apps, shopping centres, and groceries) that can benefit from the digital funnel. Now, we take a look at one of the biggest industries out there today, the automotive industry.

Perhaps the most important aspect to take note of when creating a strategy for a dealership or a car brand is the buyer’s journey. Think about it, unlike other products, a car is something that the average person will not just buy on a whim. A lot of research is put into buying a vehicle before making the actual purchase. This is why the buyer’s journey plays a significant part in deciding which strategies a business would like to place.

What exactly is the buyer’s journey? According to a study made by Google, there are 5 moments that happen in an automotive shopper’s buying journey, namely:

  1. Which-car-is-best moments
  2. Is-it-right-for-me moments
  3. Can-I-afford-it moments
  4. Where-should-I-buy-it moments
  5. Am-I-getting-a-deal moments

As digital marketers, we have to meet our potential customers where they are at on their journey. Using the funnel, we can target these moments one-by-one, starting from the top of the funnel when customers are starting their buying journey all the way until the bottom of the funnel when customers are closer to converting, that is, making their purchase.


At the start of the buyer’s journey, this is when your consumers are researching what car is best for them. They are on their phones or laptops looking at different models and brands. Most of them may still be unsure of what it is exactly that they want. In this beginning stage, we can target them with programmatic ads. These kinds of ads are used best to create brand awareness. We want to tell the customers that your brand exists and that they should consider buying from you. Through this sort of tactic, we are able to target people who are doing their research on cars, reading blogs about reviews, looking at different dealerships near them, watching different walk-around car videos, and the like.


Now that the consumer has somewhat narrowed down their search, they have made an internal list of what they want. They will now list out the pros and cons and decide if it is right for them and whether or not they can afford it. Using the retargeting strategy for our programmatic ads, we can remind them to consider certain brands. For instance, a customer may have been reading multiple blogs about trucks, we can now retarget that person with more trucks instead of every kind of vehicle out there.

These programmatic ads don’t just have to be static ads, there are many options out there such as dynamic retargeting ads which take your inventory and create an interactive carousel ad in which customers can scroll through to see more than one vehicle at a time. ­


Now that we have followed our consumer on their journey, they are almost ready to make their purchase! The question now is, how do we use our digital marketing knowledge to get them off their phones and into our store (whether it be for a test drive, an in-store visit, or an actual purchase)? When your potential customer searches for dealerships, we want to be at the top of the search results page. How does that happen? Through SEO your website can rank high and be visible to your consumers. Take note that this doesn’t happen overnight. As long as your website is searchable and has the quality content that people are searching for, you can rank closer to the top.


Now your customer has found a couple of dealerships and has been visiting those stores. The only problem is, they are your competitors. How do we get them to visit your dealership instead? This is where geo-fencing comes into play. When people actually get into the stores, visiting dealerships, we may want to geo-fence competitors to get them to make a purchase from your dealership instead. Perhaps you have a better financing option, or a good promo for the month that would entice them to go to your store. Your customers are always after the best deal they can get, you just have to let them know that you have what they are looking for.

In digital advertising, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. The industry, the environment, and your consumers are always evolving. With the digital funnel, there are many options that you can adapt. It is important to keep in mind the consumer and try to meet them where they are at on their purchasing journey.