Shatter Your Automotive Sales Ceiling with Dynamic Inventory Advertising

Shatter Your Automotive Sales Ceiling with Dynamic Inventory Advertising

By Marketing / November 16, 2022


Meet the New Automotive Shopper

If you’re an automotive marketer or dealership, you’ve likely experienced the ups and downs of the automotive industry over the past few years and wondered what the future might hold. According to a recent article from eMarketer, automotive digital ad spending has increased by 13.7% in 2022 and is currently operating at pre-pandemic levels. This is an exciting indicator, as we have also seen the supply chain woes in the automotive industry lessening. We anticipate the pricing for new models will begin leveling out to more favorable prices, to help balance out the market and allow potential buyers who have hesitated in making a purchase in the past to re-enter the market and complete their purchase.

With these shifts in the industry comes a change in the way in-market auto buyers are consuming content and information while preparing to make their purchase decisions. Roughly 95% of vehicle buyers are now using the internet as a source of information during their purchase journey1, and they are using their mobile devices to do so more than ever before. In total, today’s automotive shopper is spending roughly 14 hours performing research online2 prior to making a purchase decision, which means auto dealers stand to capitalize on reaching in-market auto shopper audiences online with unique digital ad campaigns in a big way.

What is Dynamic, Inventory-Based Advertising?


In the automotive industry, the vehicle detail page, or VDP means everything to an auto dealer. This is the page on the dealership’s website where consumers can find all of the information available for a specific vehicle. The VDP contains a wealth of information including the year, make, model, mileage, trim level, VIN detail, and other features of each vehicle.

AffinityX is pleased to offer a robust solution suite for automotive advertising, including dynamically-generated ad campaigns using the live inventory on a dealership’s lot to produce relevant ad campaigns that drive results!

Dynamic, inventory-based advertising takes the vehicle’s VDP information and pulls it into a database to be used in advertising creatives. This ensures the dealership is making the best use of their budget by offering advertising creatives with the most up-to-date and in-stock inventory they have available on the lot for sale.

Using several factors, such as the shopper’s search and content preferences, we can then use the data available about each vehicle to determine which should be shown to each shopper. This ensures that the ad experience is tailored specifically to the vehicle shopper’s preferences.

Each ad type offers the ability to update automatically: as new vehicles are added to the dealership’s inventory, they will be added to the database for advertising. When vehicles are sold and removed from the inventory, the system will automatically remove these from the advertising, as well. Additionally, price changes or feature updates will be updated as these changes are made to the vehicle detail pages of the dealership’s website. Typically, no separate data feed is required to run these ad types, so long as there is a unique identifier on each VDP for each specific vehicle.

What Types of Advertising Are Available Dynamically?

Dynamic automotive advertising is available across programmatic audience-targeted display advertising, email marketing, paid social media advertising, paid search advertising, and OTT/CTV advertising. Let’s take a look at each of these opportunities in greater detail.

Dynamic Display Advertising

Dynamic display advertising takes the dealership’s inventory, and powers a set of IAB standard display creatives with the inventory as the main focal point of the display ad. Each ad can contain specific information about the dealership and brand, such as colors, logo, and sales messaging, which sits around the specific vehicle details contained in the ad unit.


Dynamic display advertising takes the dealership’s inventory, and powers a set of IAB standard display creatives with the inventory as the main focal point of the display ad. Each ad can contain specific information about the dealership and brand, such as colors, logo, and sales messaging, which sits around the specific vehicle details contained in the ad unit.

Depending on the type of advertising being used and the ad size for display campaigns, the ads may contain either one or multiple vehicles at a time. Each vehicle in the ad then links to the specific vehicle detail page (VDP) for that vehicle, ensuring the user experience is seamless and that the user can find what they are shopping for with ease.

Ad content can be filtered by vehicle type - (new, used, or certified pre-owned), make, or model - (truck, van, sedan, or SUV).

The team at AffinityX can build a profile of the specific shopper type to ensure that when the ad is displayed, it is displayed to a user who is most likely to be in the market for that type of vehicle.

Dynamic display ads can also be used for other types of display advertising utilizing IAB standard formats, such as running on local publisher and media sites to ensure they have a broad, local reach with their campaigns. In this type of ad campaign, unless there are audience data points available for targeting, the ad will run as a mass-reach campaign with the goal of delivering impressions to local users with the dealership’s live inventory.

Dynamic Email Advertising

Similarly to audience-targeted display advertising, the team at AffinityX can help dealerships reach a massive audience by targeting vehicle shoppers in their inboxes through audience-targeted email marketing campaigns.

With email marketing campaigns, dynamic email creatives are generated using the inventory items that the dealership wants to focus on the most. Branding and sales messaging can be added to the top and bottom of the email, and the body of the email contains the inventory information with each vehicle’s year, make, model, and pricing. When a user opens and clicks on a vehicle in the email, they are taken directly to the vehicle they selected, minimizing the steps interested shoppers need to take in order to learn more about the item of interest.

Email creatives are generated as HTML email files, and can also be deployed through first-party lists, such as a local publisher, media company, or even the dealership’s email subscription list.

Dynamic Paid Social Advertising

We all know how impactful paid social advertising can be to a local business. With dynamic inventory-based advertising, we’re able to maximize the impact of reaching users within their social content feeds across both Facebook and Instagram, using dynamic, inventory-based ads that are created using the dealership’s live inventory.


Social ads take on the look and feel of a typical carousel ad, with images and text related to each vehicle. Users can scroll through the inventory items, and click to view their vehicle of choice. When clicked, users are taken to a dynamically-generated landing page, which contains many of the vehicles that were previously shown in the ad content. Once a selection is made, the user is taken to the actual VDP for that specific vehicle. Using a dynamic landing page helps cut out unnecessary and false clicks which often pose a challenge with ads that are geared towards reaching primarily mobile audiences - ensuring each user brought to the VDP is a qualified visitor who is interested in the vehicle they chose.

Dynamic Paid Search Advertising

Paid search is one of the most powerful aspects of any lead-generating ad campaign. It’s no coincidence that most auto dealers prefer paid search campaigns to any other form of advertising, since a whopping 76% of new and used vehicle shoppers search online before making a purchase decision3.


With dynamic paid search campaigns, dealers can rest assured that their marketing dollars are going to good use by capturing low-funnel searchers who are ready to make a purchase decision through long-tailed keyword and adword combinations. Using dynamically-generated ads sourced directly from the dealership’s inventory, we create both keyword and adword copy to associate with each vehicle. This helps ensure the minute details of every in-stock vehicle receive the same attention and are promoted in-depth during a searcher’s query for that specific vehicle.

Imagine searching for a 2020 Honda Civic in silver with low miles, and getting a search result returned to you stating a dealership has “100’s of pre-owned sedans in-stock”, vs. receiving a search result that contains the exact year, make, model, and color of the initial search you made. Chances are, you’ll click the one with the actual detail of the vehicle to see if this might be the one you’ve been searching for!

This is a prime example of how granular the search engine results will appear for dynamically-generated automotive paid search campaigns, which helps buyers to locate the vehicle they want

Dynamic OTT/CTV Advertising

In the heyday of local television advertising, dealerships advertised their current specials, and would often highlight a number of available vehicles they had for sale. This achieved two goals - 1. To brand the dealership locally, and help them stay top of mind when shoppers made the decision to purchase a new vehicle, and 2. Helped dealerships promote their available inventory. While lightly effective from a branding point of view, these were very costly advertising methods that often required heavy production costs to create the commercials and often required frequent revisions as those specific makes and models were sold off the dealership’s lot.


With the growth of highly-targeted digital advertising capabilities also came the ability to measure those campaigns in a more effective manner for automotive advertisers. This, in turn, caused a shift in the marketing dollars being spent on television advertising, which were often moved towards those trackable, targeted options now offered by digital advertising.

This is where OTT (over-the-top) and CTV (connected TV) come in. These two technologies offer the ability to run highly-targeted advertising in video format, targeting viewers as they stream their favorite shows and movies. This gives dealers the opportunity to target users based on their shopping habits, while simultaneously tracking their ad campaigns.

With dynamically-powered OTT and CTV campaigns, dealerships now have the ability to promote both their brand as well as their in-stock inventory, without the heavy production costs required to produce actual commercials. This technology utilizes the dealership’s VDP data to import the available inventory from the dealership and places the information about specific vehicles into a scripted video featuring the dealership’s brand, location, and sales messaging. This ensures the commercials are always up to date with the latest vehicles, and gives the dealership powerful targeting and tracking capabilities with their video ads.

These ad types always appear to local residents, ensuring the dealership is staying present in their local geography. Ads will automatically update when new vehicles are added or removed from the inventory.  Additionally, ads will feature the year, make, model, and price of the vehicle, as well as the stock number which some manufacturers require for co-op approval.

Choosing an Automotive Advertising Agency

When working to promote vehicles for sale, there are a wealth of digital options available to help automotive brands stay top of mind with local consumers. At AffinityX, we pair our talented staff with marketing tools and technology to help automotive businesses succeed and ultimately grow. Let the team at AffinityX help take your automotive marketing to the next level with our industry-leading, dynamically-generated advertising solutions. Contact us today to get started!


  1. Google
  2. Cox
  3. LSA