Through AutoLiFT, automotive brands may start looking to Facebook for extra ad horsepower

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Courting automotive brands has been a major focus for Facebook. When General Motors pulled its $10 million ad campaign from Facebook in 2012, many industry leaders took it as a sign that there’s not enough ROI from Facebook advertising. However, a lot has changed in 2 years.

Facebook’s pitch got a significant boost in November 2013 when the company hired Google’s Michelle Morris to lead automotive marketing.

Now, as Facebook has built a robust advertising platform, Menlo Park and Detroit are working together quite well. Facebook Marketing Partner BLiNQ Media, a G/O Digital company, recently announced AutoLiFT, an ad targeting solution for auto brands.

Morris, in a press release, discussed AutoLiFT:

It’s great to see our developer community begin to specialize their platforms to meet the needs of specific industries. Automotive marketers are heavy users of programmatic technologies, and BLiNQ has built an intelligent and dynamic, cross-device platform for tier 2 and tier 3 marketing programs on Facebook.

So how well are car makers working with Facebook and what can AutoLiFT do for the industry?

Raj Choudhury, the CEO of BLiNQ Media, told Inside Facebook recently that Facebook adoption rates within the industry have been touch-and-go, but trending upward as the platform matures:

The auto industry is one of the more complex industries to tackle. It’s been somewhat slower among the verticals to really get on board, because of the complexity. … The adoption rate within the industry, among tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, has been very sporadic and different. Facebook has a challenge to try to educate those verticals across those three tiers, each requiring different levels of touch.

Seeing a chance to bridge the divide between Facebook and automotive brands, BLiNQ Media developed AutoLiFT, which utilizes Facebook, Cars.com and Datalogix data to provide ad targeting more tailored to industry needs.

One of the biggest hurdles Facebook has to clear with auto brands, Choudhury said, is proving that Facebook can deliver adequate scale and reach. Many dealerships and brands have been content with TV, display and traditional media buying, but now more brands are considering allocating more money to digital advertising. Facebook plays a huge part in that, Choudhury told Inside Facebook:

Still, the automotive industry is somewhat stuck. They’ll talk that they want to spend more on digital, but you see the ad dollars still in TV, still in print, and so forth. The shift in mentality is there, and I think there’s a big change there. It’s about educating and enabling these OEMs to take that leap of faith.

BLiNQ has already been winning some companies over with AutoLiFT, which aims to make Facebook a more attractive option for ad buying.

RPA, a Honda agency, used AutoLiFT in beta. Mike Margolin, Sr. V.P., Director of Audience Strategy at RPA, discussed the platform in a press release:

At RPA, we pride ourselves on embracing innovative technology to reach multiple audiences on behalf of our clients. By enabling us to deliver the most targeted messages to highly segmented audiences, AutoLiFT will allow us to optimize our Facebook ad campaigns for maximum efficiency, thus streamlining the selling cycle and improving the buying experience for our Honda and Acura Dealer Association clients.

Readers: How else could the auto industry utilize Facebook?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.