Facebook vs TV Smackdown Just Began: Auto Dealer Ad$

Facebook confirmed it’s adding Auto Dealer listings to the Marketplace tab by integrating auto dealer inventory feeds through Cars.com, Edmunds (and more to come).

Marketplace vehicles have historically been the sole domain of individual listings like Craigslist.

Local TV has witnessed the grand theft of ad dollars by digital for two straight years in the automotive vertical.

With Facebook (having a market cap 2.5X greater than Comcast and AT&T) adding Auto Dealer car inventory one thumb touch away from car buyers, Zuckerberg has showed his hand to steal even more of those TV ad dollars.

Size of the local Auto Dealer market in the US = approximately 25% of the $21-$24 billion market. $6 billion of local Auto Dealer TV spend.

TV’s Kryptonite

TV’s kryptonite has been research & proof.

Digital rests on mountain of statistics (mostly single silo and flawed last click) to sway Auto Dealers amid the absence of data from TV.

So much absence that TV rivals are now banding together to discuss catching up to digital measurement with secret initiatives like “Thor.

“Unfortunately, delivery reports TV media sellers provide to Auto Dealers haven’t changed in 30 years,” said COO of C3 Metrics advertising attribution data cloud Jeff Greenfield. “those delivery reports tell Dealers: here’s how many units you bought, here’s the cost, here’s your reach, here’s your frequency. It’s virtually the same delivery report that was written on a typewriter. Even if the digital stats are single silo, non cross-device joined, not viewability corrected, and not-fraud corrected…there’s a mountain of data. But compare that mountain of wrong data to the data that local TV sellers deliver…and it’s a mole hill.”


The Fight

Facebook’s fighting for those $6 billion ad dollars unless TV can come from behind and demonstrate its upper funnel value in a way that that a 60 year old non-digital dealership owner can understand.

Compound that coming from behind with another demographic that TV sellers have to convince: the dealer’s 25 year-old digital native marketing manager.

Think 25 year olds are spending a lot of time with linear TV?

Where does that 25 year old marketing manager spend a lot of their time these days? Facebook. Instagram.

TV has to speak to both those 60 year olds and those 25 year olds in a language (and a TV attribution dashboard) that’s familiar, simple, and data-driven.

Can TV lift the hammer of Thor to fight back?

The smackdown of Facebook vs TV just began.