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In May 2015 Google announced the testing of its specialised Model Automotive Ads beta program in the US giving original equipment manufacturers (OEM) automotive advertisers the opportunity to show large format mobile ads for car makes and models. This week Google have announced that this will roll out of beta in the US for automotive dealers and manufacturers.

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What are Model Automotive Ads?

PPC hubbub - Model Automotive Ads

This large mobile ad features sliding imagery for the vehicle searched, with details on performance and links to either the manufacturer’s site or local dealers.

Google’s promise to make ads more relevant and insightful is heavily showcased here by providing all vital product information and statistics, high resolution imagery and options to either click to the retailer’s official site or select a local dealer via location extension listings. Google have reported a 30% increase in engagement on Model Automotive Ads vs standard ad formats across automotive.

Google really help to provide users with all the relevant information they might require to take action before even needing to visit the official site, perform independent research on vehicle spec, or visit the nearest dealership. Searches for “car dealerships near me” though are up by 100% YoY with over 80% of these searches coming through mobile devices. Despite this increase, foot traffic has actually declined 57% however the value of every store visit has increased by over 2.5. It’s now more important than ever to capture & help drive this more valuable footfall into store. This ad format will therefore go a long way to help achieve this.

But the age old question remains, how do we prove the causal link between online to store footfall?

Rev up your campaign with in-store visit data alongside Model Automotive Ads

PPC hubbub - In Store Visits - Model Automotive Ads

Businesses that rely on footfall and wanting to prove ROI across paid search can also take advantage of the Google in-store visits beta in conjunction with these mobile ads.

Ever increasing pressure from businesses to link online investment with offline sales means this product could be a perfect solution; providing highly relevant and detailed content to users on the go with a view to drive offline actions which can be attributed back to ad clicks.

Using Model Automotive Ads with In-Store Visitations can really help tie online performance media and offline behaviours together allowing automotive advertisers to see the true benefit of mobile ads. To participate in either of these Google programs, talk to your Google representative who will provide details on eligibility and technical requirements.

The big question is, will Model Automotive Ads successfully make its way to the UK market? Will we eventually see large mobile ads across other verticals such as electrical; where competition is fierce and technical product details are essential when making that all important decision to purchase? You can only begin to imagine how valuable this kind of mobile ad format could be for the likes of telecommunication companies with bricks and mortar stores.

What should I take away from this?

The growth in mobile usage and the growing confidence to buy from mobile devices has been a leading topic in recent years, and with more & more trend data emerging to support this argument it’s paramount that Google continue to revolutionise the information we see when performing a search on mobile devices. By continuing to develop a more comprehensive range of mobile ad formats (some which are suited to dealing with specific industry / product based inquiries), Google can continue to see growth from this device.

The clear message to take from reading this is that Google are clearly aiming to provide users with all the relevant information they require without the need to physically visit the advertiser website on Mobile.

Eligible advertisers can benefit from significant real estate that is rich in content encouraging online and offline actions. Now that we have instore visit data to utilise, advertisers have the ability to tie offline conversions back to online investment.

There is no doubt that mobile ad formats will continue to evolve considerably over future months, and the launch of this mobile ad format offers a small clue towards the direction in which Google are moving; giving users the answers to their questions, without having to leave the SERP.

Author: Chris Hodgson

PPC hubbub - Our Authors - Chris Hodgson

Chris is a PPC / SEM expert with a background in strategic media planning, implementation and delivering innovations in a corporate environment.

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