Things About In-Market For Search That Car Dealers Need to Know

What are in-market audiences?

You may have noticed that we’re pretty excited about “in-market” for search from Google ads. If this is something that’s new to you, then let’s begin by defining how Google determine who’s “in market”.

To qualify someone as being in-market for a specific product or service, Google takes into account clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, along with the content of the sites and pages they visit and the recency and frequency of the visits. In this way, Google accurately categorises users so you can target those most interested in your offerings.

For example, if Bill searches Google for “Jaguar XKR”, “Jag XKR” and then “Black Jaguar XKR” you could say with some degree of confidence that Bill is in-market to buy a Jaguar XKR. But what if Bill searches for “Jaguar XKR scale model” or “1:16 Scale XKR plastic Kit”?

Although finding exact details as to how Google determines who is or is not in-market isn’t easy, we have to believe that the algorithm behind this is pretty sophisticated. The clue to this lies in the “and subsequent conversions” piece of the above statement. Due to the widespread use of Google Ads conversion tracking and Google Analytics goals across the web – if anyone has a handle on which keywords convert, it has to be Google right?

What types of in-market audiences can car dealers use?

At the last count there were 170 unique in-market audiences available for you to target in Google Ads. For car dealers, this narrows down to the following broad categories:

  • Car Parts & Accessories
  • Car Repair & Maintenance
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Vehicles (other)

And then thinking slightly more outside the box you also have:-

  • Car Loans
  • Car Insurance

Within each of those categories, you then have sub-categories:-

  • Motor Vehicles
  • Motor Vehicles (New)
  • Motor Vehicles (used)
  • Motor Vehicles by Brand

Within “Motor Vehicles by Brand” we have 42 of the top selling brands from Audi to Volvo.

“Motor Vehicles by type” covers 19 types such as saloon, Sports Car, Vans & Minivans etc. Each of these sub-categories has a further sub-category for both new and used vehicles.

What information can we see?

This is all pretty new so we’re still experimenting, but it’s not hard to see the possible implications of “in-market” audiences.

Let’s say we’re running a search campaign for a “Mazda MX5”.

We would create our keywords, ad groups and ads as normal but we would also “attach” any in-market audiences we think might behave differently to the standard person searching this term.

So the immediately obvious in-market audiences that would be relevant to this car would be:-

  • Motor Vehicles by Brand > Mazda
  • Motor Vehicles by Type > Sports Cars (used)
  • Motor Vehicles by Type > Convertibles (Used)

But we could also look at more general categories such as

  • Motor Vehicles (New)
  • Motor Vehicles (used)
  • Car Loans

The key factor being that we can attach these audiences to each campaign or each ad group in “Observation mode”. What this means is that our ads are shown to the wider audience as normal, but we can see the KPI data broken down by the audience.

This allows us to monitor the performance of our campaign when shown to each category of in-market audience.  

Let’s assume we’re trying to see how in-market audiences impact click-through rate. The grab below shows how the CTR changes depending on which audience is viewing the ad.

In the example below, we can see that the ad is at its most compelling when shows to people in-market for a car loan and at its least compelling when shown to people in-market for the Mazda brand.

What’s more interesting perhaps is that even the least engaged audience in our example is leaps and bounds ahead of the general audience, which has a click-through rate of less than half of one percent!

How can we use that information?

Here’s the really clever part. We can adjust the amount per click that we’re willing to bid for each audience.  

If we’re willing to pay 25p per click for just anyone who searches for “Mazda MX5”, wouldn’t we be willing to pay more for someone that we “know” is in market for a “used sports car” – or for someone who we “know” is in market for a “used convertible”?

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Things About In-Market For Search That Car Dealers Need to Know

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