CASE STUDIES Advertising introduces Purchase Phase Targeting and investigates differences within the individual phases of the purchase process

  • Purchase Phase Targeting: allows users to be reached accurately in every phase 
  • Searching for information on smartphones when buying a car is becoming increasingly important
  • 56% of users consider at least two car brands during the final purchase phase

 Dreilinden/Berlin, 4th July 2013 - Advertising, the marketer of Germany's largest internet vehicle marketplace, today introduces an innovation in online advertising: users can now be targeted specifically within the individual phases of the purchase process through Purchase Phase Targeting. Purchase Phase Targeting has been made realised by, the platform for digital target group marketing. A recent study looking closer into this topic has revealed useful information for successful targeted campaign planning.

Together with the market research institute d.core, carried out a representative survey to gain a better understanding of user behaviour during the main three purchase phases when buying a car. The survey was carried out between March and April 2013 and involved 2,200 prospective car buyers.


Branding campaigns in orientation and consideration phases are most likely to be successful

Around 12% of the people planning to buy a car are in the orientation phase. This target group is just at the beginning of the purchase process and doesn't yet know which car to choose. These users are trying to gain an overview of the market, existing brands and models and are therefore receptive to advertising messages: 30% find adverts very useful and say that they quite often make them aware of interesting products.

Two thirds of the participants (66%) have already got more specific ideas about their new car and are at the stage of comparing different models and prices. They have not yet made a firm decision either and can be added to the consideration phase. A fifth of people in this phase say that advertising has brought an interesting product to their attention.

Around 22% are in the decision phase. This user group has already decided on their key purchase criteria and are relatively close to buying a car.


Searching for information on a smartphone is prevalent in all purchasing phases

Looking at media usage throughout all phases of the car purchasing process, it becomes clear that the most used media channel is the internet. 75-85% of the participants said that they use the internet to research their options before buying a car. There is also another trend: research done via a smartphone is becoming increasingly popular and stays at a constant level of around 30% throughout the process. With mobile advertising, prospective buyers can be reached anytime, anywhere. The results of the survey show the increasing relevance of mobile advertising in the marketing mix.


It is still possible to influence the final decision in the decision phase?

A look at the decisions on what brands users are seeking to buy in the early and late purchase phases shows that the majority of the participants (72%) are considering 3 or more brands at the orientation phase. In this phase, manufacturers and marketers should target these users with a strong branding campaign to get into the user's relevant set, so that these products are short-listed for selection right from the start. In the early phase, only 8% know exactly what they want and state that they have chosen a brand already. Later, in the decision phase, this number grows to 45%.

The user's relevant set is very unstable at the beginning of the purchasing process and can be easily influenced. As the buying process continues, it becomes more and more fixed. But it is still possible to cause changes, even during the final phase: almost 55% of customers are still not completely decided even just before they buy and are still considering at least two brands. This is a great time for advertisers to make them offers such as finance deals or test drives to get themselves noticed and bring the customer closer to their final decision.


Gert-Jan van Wijk, Department Head of Advertising Sales, "Purchase Phase Targeting is a huge step forward within online advertising and for our advertising customers. At the same time, the survey underlines the relevance of online and mobile advertising during the buying decision process. Now, we can not only target users with personalised targeting according to their brand or price preferences, but we know which phase of their search they are in and what information they need. This means that advertisers can use their campaigns to anchor themselves in the user's relevant set." CEO Stephan Noller: "Purchase Phase Targeting is great proof of what is possible with Targeting 2013."

With 1.4 million vehicles and 7.6 million unique users per month (AGOF internet facts 2013-04), is one of Germany's largest internet vehicle marketplaces. It offers an optimal advertising environment for manufacturers, banks and insurance companies as well as new and used car dealers for all their campaign needs. Advertisers on can reach a strong target group of car enthusiasts who can be reached through a variety of targeting options. International campaigns can also be booked on the internet vehicle marketplaces and on mobile devices.         


About Advertising:

Germany's largest internet vehicle marketplace offers advertisers and retail partners an exceptional combination of wide reach, precise targeting and attractive formats of online advertising. is the most popular car website in Germany with 7.6 million users per month (AGOF internet facts 2013-04). International campaigns can also be created for online vehicle marketplaces in Italy, France, Poland and Romania. Alongside its varied positioning and targeting options and marketing on mobile devices, Advertising also offers strategic partnerships. Advertising has been part of eBay Advertising Group since 2007, which also manages advertising for the worldwide online marketplace The company is one the most wide-reaching online media owners in Germany. It`s headquarter is in Dreilinden close to Berlin.


About AG is the leading provider of target group marketing and supplier of brand engagement measurement in digital media. makes it possible for advertisers, media agencies and marketers to significantly increase the effectiveness of their ads by delivering them to more relevant target groups. Branding campaigns in particular can be implemented more efficiently in the display and video sectors, but also in the mobile sector. Furthermore, advertisers and website operators benefit from a substantiated analysis of their user groups, as well as targeting of relevant content. is opening up new potential with its intelligent data management solution. With this solution, highly-specific audiences are targeted effectively on the basis of intent data. The unique approach of the Predictive Behavioural Targeting makes it possible to enrich simple usage data with survey data about socio-demographics, product interests and lifestyles. This process utilises predictions (statistical profiles) without using any data that can be traced to individual users. That is why was the first provider of targeting services to receive the Privacy Seal by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein (ICPP). In Europe, the product is also certified with the European Privacy Seal, EuroPriSe. was awarded the "Red Herring 100 Europe“ and the "European Seal of E-Excellence“ in 2008. As of 2010, is a company of Deutsche Post DHL.

The clients of include IGN Entertainment, SevenOne Interactive, Axel Springer Media Impact, OMS, IQ media, Ströer Digital Media, Microsoft Advertising, Unister Media, Glam Media,, Zed digital, OMD, Carat, Vivaki, Starcom and others. In addition to its headquarters in Berlin, has offices across Europe, including, Warsaw, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and London.

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