NEW YORK: Fiat Chrysler, the automaker, has enjoyed digital success by seeking to more actively reach consumers at the "Is it right for me?" moment.

Amy McNeil, Head/Digital Marketing at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – which owns brands like Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram – discussed this topic at Advertising Week 2016 in New York.

"'The 'Is it right for me?' moment is something that we're very interested in," she reported. (For more details of this strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Fiat Chrysler targets the "Is It Right for Me?" moment.)

"It means that you're getting in front of somebody before they've actually made a decision – before they've narrowed that list. You have an opportunity to influence and engage these people."

Such a point in the purchase process typically follows on from consumer considerations of "Which car is best?", but comes before asking questions like "Can I afford it?" and "Where should I buy it?"

More specifically, McNeil explained, auto consumers are increasingly using digital channels – especially mobile – to discover granular information about vehicles of interest.

"People were looking for things like miles per gallon, towing capacity – the actual features of the vehicle. They were looking for: 'Is this truck going to fit in with my lifestyle? And is it going to deliver my needs?'" she said.

"Nothing about these search queries say that they're looking for where to buy it. They're not looking for where the inventory is. They're looking for: 'Is this the right truck for me?' And we needed to deliver on those messages."

One basic – but no less fundamental – shift that resulted from this understanding involved updating its tactics for paid-search advertising.

"We grew our keyword sets," McNeil said. "We got a little uncomfortable: We went outside of buying 'Ram 1500', and we bought 'towing capacity' terms.

"That, in effect, led people to the next-best step, because then you can start to re-market to them; you can start to have that conversation with them; and you can lead them down to the right place that's going to get … that success metric you're looking for."

Similarly, visitors to its brand websites were presented with details showing how well Fiat Chrysler's offerings performed against competing vehicles.

"We actually matched miles per gallon to miles per gallon. So we started actually answering these customers' questions," McNeil said.

Data sourced from Warc