Dave Meindl

Advertising for Auto: Interview with Dave Meindl from Mudd Advertising

Advertising in the auto industry is complex, with more traditional mediums like radio, television and outdoor ads still prevalent, companies like Mudd have worked to offer robust services for both traditional and digital advertising.

We had a chance to ask Dave Meindl, Systems Designer and Business Analyst at Mudd Advertising about what their business does to stay ahead in the dynamic auto industry. 

"Emilie Olson Photography www.emilieolson.com"


Q: You spoke at the Acquisio Summit about “Inventory Aware Campaigns in the Automotive Industry” can you give us a little teaser of what you shared with the audience?

The main point I brought up in my session was that dynamic campaigns are great at creating and managing ads at scale, especially for the auto industry where inventory is constantly changing.

Dynamic campaigns create an opportunity to analyze and optimize ads, keywords and overall campaign performance at scale because a lot of the management work is automated and the SEM team can focus on growth and improvement. Particularly when combined with Acquisio’s BBM you have truly infinite scalability, a scalable system where the sky is the limit.

In my session I discussed my strategy for analyzing the performance of these dynamic campaigns at scale. It’s about trying to look at all accounts together rather than each individual account, to see the bigger picture.

Q: Mudd Advertising has a background in more traditional media, what role does direct mail and traditional marketing play in the automotive industry?

Back in the day, 30 years ago, that’s all there was. You put your marketing message out there and hoped for the bets. We’ve come a long way.

It’s hard to say if direct mail performs well. If you include in your direct mail something that the user can take in to a dealership, you can attribute it to the direct mail, but attribution, even in the digital space, is so complex.

The key is the interaction between online and offline. We’re really far from a truly effective system that can clearly show the relation between someone who walks into a store and their interaction with the brand online.  Measuring each brand interaction and measuring performance for every marketing element that contributed to the ultimate sale is the goal, but there’s still work to do.

For now it’s about reach and impressions.

Direct mail is a lot like display advertising in the sense that you show someone something, and even if they don’t interact with it, even if they throw it away, at least they saw it. The person can still see your company’s brand name and that works for branding.

Q: Automotive marketing is heavily local, how have you adapted strategies with the growth of mobile?

Automotive is extremely local and calls are huge when it comes to paid search. Phone calls are your biggest key performance indicator for paid search when it comes to automotive, because one of the main transactions you are looking for is for someone to call.

We’re tracking mobile calls and have our ads include call tracking numbers and call extensions. Ideally you also want to have a system in place that can track where a user initiated their session.

The call tracking system we use is Marchex and they have keyword level tracking and something called call DNA where the call tracking vendor can digitally analyze the quality of each phone call.

We are able to attribute, if the user makes a phone call from the dealer’s website, back to the keyword, the ad and the campaign, and see where we’re getting the highest quality calls.

Jillian Zacchia

Jillian Zacchia

Jill is a professional writer, editor and social media procrastinator. With a degree in Literature and Communications from McGill, she started her journalism career writing about lifestyle and entertainment for teen magazines, and after dabbling with wedding and travel writing she began the transition towards content creation for start ups, marketing and tech companies.

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