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Best Use of Data 2018

Congratulations to Auto Trader, who are winners of Best Use of Data

Best Use of Data 2018

Your ’Elevator Pitch’

Media often focuses on quantity at low cost. Unsurprisingly, media owners can become frustrated by continuous price pressure and increasing performance demands.

The disconnect lies in how we define good performance. It’s time we worked to develop relevant metrics for success in our industry. We believe media owners can play an active role to bridge the gap between advertisers’ business objectives, and the right, user-centric measures for success.

We are taking on this challenge - using our vast analytics into real-time changes in brand preference, level of engagement, and understanding users’ path to purchase to provide meaningful insights to advertisers.


Set The Scene

We have been in the business for 42 years and our challenges included - Auto Trader’s legacy as a used car magazine was undermining our position as the largest online marketplace for new and used cars; and traditional KPIs in the industry (e.g. brochure requests, clicks) no longer reflected the way consumers shop for cars today.


With over 55 million cross platforms visits and more than 2/3 of our users open to buying a new car – we set our analysts the task of using sophisticated data techniques to uncover deeper insights to build a stronger value proposition for car brands.


Tell Us The Story

Auto Trader today is a data and technology company – delivering data-driven products for the automotive retailer market. Three years ago, we took this approach into the advertising function. We began by implementing a data management platform and developing a commercial data strategy. We built a team of analysts and scientists delivering insights for sales, operations, and product development. Through direct conversations with car brands, we developed a better understanding of their business objectives and began to build our Proactive Insights Toolkit for brands.


We want to take advertisers on a journey of discovery – to challenge conventions within the automotive industry and provide insight into how car buyers shop for cars today. One of our first reports, dubbed ‘Bubbles’ provides brands with a view of their competitors from a user perspective. Using a particular model as reference, this report maps all other car models that a user is shopping for. This insight challenged car brands’ traditional view of competitor sets, which typically focused on body type or industry-defined groups. The report clearly showed how this rarely matches the way users buy cars.

Among our principles for developing our Toolkit, was to make the insights accessible and actionable for our teams. Our analysts used big data tools, and then used an open source app platform to build simple yet powerful visual representations that could be accessed on-the-go.


The tools are helping us to build long-term relationships through insight; inform the products we build for advertisers; and ensure campaigns are optimised to relevant performance metrics.


The Results

Incorporating insights into product development, and campaign operations has meant we are able to deliver stronger performance for advertisers and more relevant advertising messages for car buyers. For example, our ‘Snakes’ tool – which shows how a user’s basket of car models change over their car buying journey, provides insight into how successful an advertiser may be in protecting its brand, or in conquesting intenders from other brands.


The biggest impact of this work has been in changing customer perceptions of Auto Trader and the automotive industry as a whole. Bringing these compelling new insights to the market significantly opened new doors and fostered more meaningful conversations with customers. We believe that the tools directly enhanced all our agency and client direct relationships, in many cases leading to more investment with Auto Trader, and smarter planning across all media channels.


Best use of Data sponsored by Deloitte

In Partnership with


In Partnership with

AOP - Association of Publishers