Cars.com, the online automobile research site for shoppers and owners, named Colette LaForce as CMO, effective immediately.
LaForce joins Cars.com from AMD, where she served as CMO and SVP. She has also served as CMO at Dell and global head of marketing and communications for Rackable Systems (now SGI). She will be responsible for all brand marketing, advertising, pricing, analytics, communications and creative services.
Cars.com’s marketing and advertising strategy has remained consistent over the past two years, but a new CMO almost always signals some kind of major shakeup.
The brand’s current marketing campaigns largely target millennial males and lean heavily on direct response. Also worth noting is the fact that media has shifted heavily to programmatic in the past year.
According to The List Online, Piston has been the digital creative and media AOR since 2008 and mcgarrybowen has been the creative AOR since 2012. Traditional planning and buying is at Omnicom’s OMD.
The long tenure of these relationships, combined with a CMO shift, could mean roster changes are on the horizon.
Read below to learn more about this opportunity, including measured media spend, digital and TV breakdowns.
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[su_tab title=”Media Spend”] Cars.com spent $59.6 million on measured media in 2014, according to Kantar Media. This is a 10.9 percent increase from 2013. The majority of this was allocated to broadcast ads and digital ads.
Cars.com tends to spend pretty evenly throughout the year, with Q4 receiving slightly more spend than the other three quarters. However, historically, the highest spend quarter has shifted (Q3 is usually, but not always, the slowest quarter). [/su_tab]
[su_tab title=”TV Breakdown”] iSpot reports that Cars.com has spent $29.7 million on national TV ads so far this year – which is flat with the same period 2014. [/su_tab]
[su_tab title=”Digital Breakdown”] According to Moat, Cars.com has run 168 standard display ads on 6,506 publishers so far this year (5% mobile) – most of which ran from Jan. to March.
Top ad destinations include desmoinesregister.com, dallasnews.com, king5.com, washingtonpost.com and bravotv.com. Note that for 2015, 85 percent of ads have been placed programmatically, compared to only 15 percent for 2014. [/su_tab]