According to eMarketer, the U.S. automotive industry is projected to spend $9.94 billion on digital ads in 2017 and digital ad spend will reach $14.14 billion in spending by 2020. WIth this kind of money being spent, how to auto dealers and their advertising partners know what’s influencing what, and how they can they prove it?
In August 2017, Semcasting, a tech firm in North Andover, MA and creators of the patented IP targeting technology Semcasting Smart Zones®, announced the acquisition of Orlando-based Transparency AI (TAI), an automotive marketing attribution company. The transaction was a purchase of assets for an undisclosed amount.
Since September 2015, Semcasting and TAI have worked successfully together to bring attribution and media solutions to auto dealer groups and the top online auto-listing publishers. Transparency AI uses Semcasting’s IP matching and Universal Data Exchange (UDX) to connect online and offline customer activity on online publishers’ sites that host individual and dealer group inventory for sale. Auto dealers can measure the impact of their promotional marketing spend against the traffic on publisher platforms and track it directly to the purchase of a car.
With Semcasting technology, clients can deterministically identify an auto buyer across the entire customer journey. It links a customer ID across multiple online platforms; matches consumers to dealer repair, test-drives and website visits, and matches audiences served on behalf of the dealer and to select pages in online auto listing sites.
Semcasting acquired TransparencyAI, a data analytics firm which has come on strong in the last year helping publishers measure the effectiveness of their digital advertising platforms. Semcasting and TAI offer a deterministic attribution solution for publisher’s and dealer’s ad spend.
Transparency AI was formerly known as Visible Customer, a Minneapolis-based company, once owned by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association. Jon Lamb invested in the company a couple of years ago, and last year changed its name and focus while bringing on Darren Haygood, a former Dealer.com executive, to be president.
Lamb, as will the partnerships that TAI has with third party publishers along with all of the services they provide will continue with Semcasting. The company, founded by Ray Kingman, focuses on IP targeting which is identifying customers based on Internet-protocol addresses — instead of using cookies or pixels — and matching their online behavior with offline transactional behavior.
According to The Banks Report, the acquisition makes sense for Semcasting, which did not have a direct play in automotive, but now will have a strong presence with several of the online publishers such as CarGurus, Autotrader and Cars.com.
Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Kingman about this acquisition and the role that Semcasting will now have in the auto retail space.
Have a listen…