In-Market Shoppers are a Hoax

Stop buying into the hype surrounding “in-market” shopper targeting, and allow me to tell you what DOES WORK.


Any seller that claims to be showing your adverts to customers just when they are about to make a purchase is lying.


Which is that? Do they all say that to you? I, therefore, advise you to read my opening line again.


One of two things is true about the claim that “we target shoppers right when they are ready to buy.”


We are all doing it, which is the first conceivable reality. We can all reach the same conclusions because we have access to the same information. The truth is, if we CAN target these customers, then every vendor and every dealership is already doing it. Your generic inventory ad that directs a customer to a VDP is in direct competition with every dealer in your market at the same time.

The second possibility is that retailers simply are unable to foresee when a customer would make a purchase, and the idea of “in-market shoppers” is just a sales tactic. What gives you the impression that Slick Jones at digital-ads-r-us knows any more than the biggest online retailers in the world, who are unable to predict when their customers will make purchases?

Targeting in-store customers is not a novel idea. Advertisers have been boasting they could do so for years, and by doing so, they would reduce your advertising budget by using your ad spend more effectively. How are things going for you with that, is the true query.


Dealers have been spending more on advertising per vehicle sold every year, with the exception of the last two years (pandemic, supply chain, chip shortage, etc.). Where did all those cost reductions and savings go? I’ll explain what took place. You fell for a scam! Bamboozled! Duped!


exclusively the auto business considers that its advertising should exclusively target “ready-to-buy” customers. The majority of shops use year-round advertising that is tailored to particular events or products.


The majority of vendors think that your content should consist entirely of “highly targeted inventory ads” throughout the entire year. Sure, they have meetings with you to discuss creative strategy during which they propose including a “Black Friday sale” in the ad content. Alternatively, they can get inventive and propose advertising a lease payment!


The truth is that you must constantly market to everyone, and your material must take into account the demographics of your target audience as well as where they are in the car ownership cycle. That’s correct; your advertisements must target both the person who made a purchase from you 90 days ago and the person who bought a car from a rival three years ago, and they must be very different from one another.


The capacity to build new audiences based on how your advertisements are being interacted with is one of the most potent features of digital advertising. Customers who visit your website and navigate to the credit or finance page, for instance, should see a different audience than customers who visit and go to the scheduling service page. Both shouldn’t be in the same room as a customer who looked at your merchandise. Unfortunately, the majority of auto advertising doesn’t support their dealers in this way.


Exactly why not?


It requires a lot more work than simply running the same old, boring carousel advertising that everyone else does. It requires effort, innovation, technical knowledge, and testing. There are many wonderful agencies out there, but there are also plenty that want to automate your marketing rather than make the necessary investments.


What can you do as a result of everything?


Well, asking what you can do after reading this post is a good first start. Understanding how crucial the consumer is to your advertising plan will be helpful whether you’re working with your in-house marketing team or an agency.


Getting curious about the procedure is the first and easiest thing to take. If your agency provides you with advertising samples (and they should! ), don’t merely proofread them. Instead, take action. Pose inquiries.


Who is this advertisement aimed at?


When people interact with it, what are we doing?


Do we divide up our audience into segments and create relevant adverts depending on those divisions?


How does all of that appear?


These are crucial inquiries that your agency must be able to address for you, and you must comprehend the answers if you hope to expand your dealership more successfully. Find someone who can if they are unable to satisfactorily respond to your questions.


Are you prepared to advance, or do you simply need some free marketing advice?  Reach out to SimpSocial at or SimpSocial (888) 829-1110

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