Cars.com One Year Post-Launch, Industry Innovator FUEL™ Sets Benchmark for Digital Video Success in Auto

Allison.Phelps

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Feb 8, 2021
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FUEL Customers Prioritize New Digital Video Solution as Primary Marketing Tool as it Delivers Impressive Results, Including 2X the Average Click-Through Rate Compared to Industry Averages​

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2021 — FUEL, a Cars.com Inc. company (NYSE: CARS) and a leading automotive digital video provider, announced today impressive success rates from first-year operations. Launched at the 2020 National Automobile Dealers Association Conference , FUEL again exhibits this year at the 2021 virtual NADA Conference as the market vanguard. It delivers a click-through rate for dealers that’s two times the average industry benchmarks, confirming the value in superior pure shopper data and its premium engagement capabilities.1

The 2020 rollout of FUEL invented a market category in auto: customized, high-production-value digital video delivered to active car shoppers using pure, first-party audience data from Cars.com in an exclusively owned ZIP code. As originator and leader of this unique form of digital video, FUEL possesses a significant competitive advantage: a mix of strategic solutions and owned first-party data to prove the cost efficiency and sales-driving success of its solutions.

“A prime-time television car advertisement or radio spot may raise brand awareness slightly and could potentially identify a few car shoppers, but it won’t move the needle on ongoing and consistent retail sales share gains,” said Dean Evans, CEO of FUEL and executive vice president for Cars.com Inc. “Only about 5% of the U.S. market is actively shopping for a car at any given time, and FUEL empowers dealerships to reach those in-market shoppers by leveraging pure audience data and interactive video assets. FUEL is a rock-solid solution to reach increasingly screen-agnostic consumers and will be critical in the fast-approaching cookieless world.”

While competitors’ modeled data makes assumptions based on comparable past behavior and attempts to use it to predict future buying patterns, Cars.com’s first-party pure data is different because it is composed of only people who strongly signaled they are shopping for a new or used vehicle, right now. It takes the guesswork out of the equation, and the data only identifies an audience with buying intent.

“If I was told I had to cancel every marketing tool I have and only keep one, FUEL would be it,” said Stavros Padazopoulos, General Manager of Regional Hyundai in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The FUEL audience is not only engaged and ready to buy, they’re local and exclusive by ZIP code for video usage. That means FUEL has finite inventory — major metro and mid-size metro markets are selling out.

To learn more about FUEL In-Market Video, visit FUEL’s virtual booth at the 2021 NADA Conference.


¹eMarketer, Video Ad Performance Metrics, 2019 Quarterly Average (0.157 CTR)

About FUEL
FUEL™ is an innovative advertising solution that combines best-in-class audience data, video creative, and dealer strategy to future-proof dealer ROI. As more and more consumers cut cords and spend their time across streaming platforms, FUEL efficiently adapts dealer advertising by only targeting consumers we know are in the market for a car across the platforms they watch video on every day. Powered by Cars.com’s audience of more than 20 million monthly shoppers, FUEL is exclusively available to one dealer per territory to maximize the performance and market share gains of our innovative partners.

About CARS
CARS is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.

In addition to Cars.com, CARS companies include Dealer Inspire, a technology provider building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences, FUEL, which gives dealers and OEMs the opportunity to harness the untapped power of digital video by leveraging Cars.com’s pure audience of in-market car shoppers, and DealerRater, a leading car dealer review and reputation management platform.

The full suite of CARS properties include Cars.com™, Dealer Inspire®, DealerRater®, FUEL™, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com™ and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.


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