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If only audience buying was always this easy

20 May 2021 Joe Kyriakoza

Oftentimes the best ideas start on the back of a napkin.

I was enjoying a business lunch in 2020 - pre-pandemic, of course - with longtime friend and business partner Bob Lanham from Facebook. Since watching Facebook's simplification of campaign management for small businesses dramatically propel the company, I asked Bob one final question before wrapping up our meal - how can we make it incredibly easy for auto dealers to access Polk Audiences on Facebook?

That one question led to about two additional hours together, stealing the wait staff's pens and scribbling on napkins. And that one conversation led to significant brainstorming with our team here at IHS Markit to decipher the challenge of simplifying the complexity of audience buying for dealer advertisers.

The brainstorming yielded what we are incredibly excited to launch on behalf of the Polk Automotive Solutions team at IHS Markit -, a self-serve e-commerce platform for dealers to quickly and easily access Polk Audiences and reach them via Facebook ad campaigns. It's available now, and it's quite user-friendly.

Eliminate Waste … Simplify Complexity … Sell More Cars

Why is this launch important? Prospecting new customers is always a key priority for dealers. And the ability to reach the most relevant consumers with the greatest likelihood to respond to a dealer's ad is critical in a hotly competitive auto market. delivers on this need.

This launch is also important because ad tech is complicated. A small business owner doesn't have the time or the resources to dedicate to sophisticated platform integrations - so instead, they turn to the basics for new customer acquisition - search engine marketing, local television, or geographic Facebook ads. While these are good options, they are either too limiting (SEM is only geared toward specific keyword searches) or too broad (90%+ of Facebook geo-targeting or local TV will be spent on consumers who are not in the market for a car). Facebook advertising coupled with Polk Audiences eliminates significant wasted ad dollars and drives a true return on investment while reaching out to new potential customers.

At IHS Markit, we offer a wealth of best-in-class consumer attributes on car buying and consumer behavior. We have been delivering digital audiences to Auto OEM marketers for more than a decade. But due to the challenges of ad-tech, it's been difficult to break through to the tens of thousands of auto dealers who spend money on marketing. Until now, of course.

Our goal is to be clear and direct - with transparent pricing, a variety of audiences to choose from through a seamless interface. A dealer can reach distinct audiences of real people looking to purchase a vehicle right in their region. We are democratizing people-based advertising and delivering it directly to a dealer's fingertips.

We have chosen Facebook as the first media platform to deploy our audiences. There are a few simple reasons for that choice -

  • Reach - Facebook represents the largest collection of consumers of any media platform available.
  • Performance - Facebook delivers a positive user experience that yields higher ad effectiveness thanks to a variety of sight, sound, motion, and inventory options.
  • Familiarity - Facebook is a platform many dealers are already utilizing.

We are so confident in this solution that we are providing a sales match report free of charge … every month … for every single audience you buy from us via the program. This is not a catch. We all win when we help you sell more cars. So, we'll prove it.

The bottom line is that we know good audiences work for digital advertising. We know unequivocally that our audiences perform better than any others in the industry to the most important measure - vehicle sales. We know this with zero dependence on clickstream data and a complete view into 30+ years of vehicle buying history that helps us understand clusters of real consumers and their current and future attributes and buying actions.

Thinking Different

Every pundit said that the pandemic would drive new ways of thinking and new ways of doing business. For us, it was not the pandemic that influenced the creation of … it was simply the right time to give dealers an "easy button" for audiences, and IHS Markit is the right company to deliver it with our vast trove of automotive data and 100 years of industry expertise … the pandemic ultimately offered our teams the opportunity to pursue something interesting and exciting during a difficult time in the world.

We couldn't be more excited about this launch. This is just the beginning - there is much more to come. We will be developing new audiences focused on areas like vehicle service and electrification, and partnerships with new media platforms, providing access to more channels for dealers to reach Polk Audiences.

We will exert our energy toward developing deep partnerships with dealers, dealer groups, and their trusted partners to deliver these audiences directly—no more third-, fourth-, or fifth-party access to data that comes in a mysterious black box. Dealers will purchase the audiences directly from IHS Markit, with unlimited volume, at the same price everyone else is paying.

There isn't an offering in the industry that's as turn-key for reaching in-market audiences on Facebook.

The support of our leadership here at IHS Markit and development efforts from so many members of our team helped turn a back-of-the-napkin idea into what promises to be an industry game-changer.

The launch of the platform is step one, but the possibilities are limitless. We look forward to listening intently to each of our customers and partners to continue bringing you the best possible audience and measurement solution for auto dealers. Let us know how we can help.

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