Posted on: September 4, 2019

Google Micromoments for Automotive

Decisions are made throughout a series of different micro-moments of intensive thought. Whether evaluating lunch options or stock options, we all rely upon these micro-moments to make decisions.

Google Micro-moments is a framework for interacting with consumers that was developed a few years ago in an effort to make digital marketing more effective in an environment where consumers are getting more and more overwhelmed with constant digital interaction.

The team at Google contextualized micro-moments specifically for automotive like this :

They went on to get even more specific, demonstrating how a specific campaign and keyword strategy aligns with micro-moments. The orange box below indicates the micro-moments that Google thinks should be the focus of dealerships and dealer groups.

This raises two important questions :

1) How does this strategy align with the way the automotive industry is currently doing digital marketing?

2) Does this proposed strategy actually work?

At Wizely, we set out to answer these two questions by analyzing a total of $339k in Google Ad Spend over 90 days across 12,000 keywords.

We started by writing code to analyze keywords and campaigns and classify them into the appropriate micro-moment based on Google's outline.

A few things jump out of this data right away :

1. The highest spend level is on keywords that don't fit into the micro-moments framework.

2. The highest spend level within the framework is on the "Where to Buy" micro-moment, which is dominated by keywords associated with the dealership name.

3. The remaining two micro-moments that are intended for dealerships (Can I Afford It? and Am I Getting a Deal?) are vastly under-represented in both spend and keywords. In our opinion, this represents the biggest opportunity for dealerships to differentiate their strategy.

We used our Dollars and $ense tool to answer the question of whether or not the micro-moments strategy works. Dollars and $ense associates digital traffic with sales and revenue by generating "simulated sales" based on consumer activity.

Again, a few things jump out here :

1. For "Where to Buy" and "None," there is a significant difference between the spend level and the percentage of simulated sales. This suggests it makes sense to both continue investment in "Where to Buy" micro-moments and shift some spend away from "None" into other micro-moments.

2. For the remaining 4 micro-moments categories, there's a close relationship between spend level and simulated sales percentage. This suggests it would be a good investment to shift spend into these micro-moments.

3. This chart continues to demonstrate the fact that "Can I Afford It" and "Am I Getting a Deal" micro-moments are underinvested.

Finally, we looked at "Zero-Assist Keywords," or Keywords that aren't associated with any simulated sales, in order to find the waste.

What we learned :

1. The "Where to Buy" micro-moment has a notably lower zero-assist percentage than spend percentage, supporting the idea that spend in this area is a good investment.

2. The "Is it Right for Me" micro-moment has a notably higher zero-assist percentage. Since this micro-moment contains all of the "Year + Model," "New Model" and "Used Model" keywords, it's not surprising that the data is showing a lot of competition and diminishing returns on investment.

3. The remaining micro-moments show a relatively consistent relationship between overall spend and zero-assist spend, indicating that moving spend into these under-invested micro-moments is likely to produce positive results.

Overall summary :

- Google's Micro-moments framework is an effective tool for managing your SEM spend.

- Currently, almost half of all SEM spend by dealerships is outside the micro-moments framework.

- The "Can I Afford It" and "Am I Getting a Deal" micro-moments are incredibly under-invested and represent profitable opportunities for dealerships to differentiate their strategy and meet an unmet need.

- Wizely's Dollars and $ense tool can help you implement the Google Micro-moments framework, optimize your spend and connect your advertising strategy to sales and revenue.

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