Edmunds.com Goes Programmatic, Giving Non-Auto Brands More Ad Opportunities

Edmunds.com has rolled out a programmatic advertising platform that allows it to work more closely with a variety of consumer brands not specific to the automotive industry such as Cartier, Prada, and even Target. These brands previously had the opportunity to buy advertising on the site, but historically have been "crowded out" by automakers buying up ad inventory.

"There are brands who would like to gain access to our audience that are not in the auto industry," said Avi Steinlauf, CEO at Edmunds.com. "For instance, a high-end luxury manufacturer of watches wants to gain access to the people shopping for Porsche and Maserati. Now they have the opportunity to buy inventory much easier than before."  

The Krux platform allows Edmunds.com advertisers to tap into data to build audience segments that can unlock specific insights from site visitors. It provides more power to ad targeting across devices, as well as managing and personalizing content to serve across multiple screens. The technology integrates data across all screens, from smartphones to PCs to connected TVs, gaming consoles and wearable devices. It provides a complete, real-time view of user behavior.

During one test run in 2014 prior to implementing the platform, Steinlauf said an unnamed advertiser said they were three times more successful in finding shoppers on Edmunds.com while using the platform, compared with the past. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. car shoppers use Edmunds.com, and over half of visits to its Web site result in a purchase, per Datalogix.

The data used to target advertisements on Edmunds.com comes from anonymous shoppers searching and viewing pages on the site. The technology analyzes the behavior, Steinlauf said. Desktop cookies or unique identifiers provide the data when someone in the market for a mid-size sedan comes to the site and spends time looking at Honda Accords, for example. Krux gives marketers at Honda, or their competitors, the data to target ads off the site as well.

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