Agencies and their auto clients are leaning into AI

“If you think about all the different factors that go into buying a car, there’s inventory on the lot, there’s what models are selling, there’s weather, there’s all sorts of things that are going to influence if we’re going to get somebody into that dealership,” says Kasha Cacy, U.S. CEO of UM. “[There are] more variables than frankly a human can really keep control over.”

That’s why UM, which counts BMW as a client, is using AI to optimize media buying and planning. BMW also works with IBM’s marketing-focused cognitive computing system Lucy to fine-tune the correct messaging to the right person when it comes to auto marketing, says Gabe Dunn, media communications manager at BMW of North America.

“Several years ago, we had a dozen models, now we have over 100 different variants—so how do we come up with getting the right model to the right person for the right reason?” he asks. “Is it safety; is it performance; is it luxury? Is it a person in a warm weather climate or a cold weather climate? What’s the weather going to be like that weekend? Is it going to rain? Maybe we don’t suggest that we take them for a test drive that weekend in a convertible.”