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How to Use Audience Suppression to Improve Your Dealership’s Marketing ROI

  • September 18, 2023
9 min read
How to Use Audience Suppression to Improve Your Dealership’s Marketing ROI

Table of Contents

    Ro Oranim

    Ro Oranim

    Table of Contents

      Imagine this:

      You recently purchased a brand new smartphone. It’s got the hottest features, a sleek design, and the latest tech and it has quickly become an essential part of managing your day-to-day life. But, strangely, even though you just purchased the device a week ago from your local supplier, you are seeing ads from that same store offering a deal on the exact smartphone that is already in your hand all over your social accounts as if the digital world is trying to sell you something you already own – at a better price, no less. 

      This frustrating customer experience highlights a common oversight in digital marketing: a failure to use audience suppression effectively.

      Audience suppression is a strategic marketing technique used to exclude specific groups of shoppers from receiving a particular ad or marketing message. It involves intentionally preventing certain audiences from seeing or interacting with an ad campaign so shoppers only see content that is currently relevant to them. This is a crucial tool that ensures that once you’ve made a purchase, you’re not constantly hounded by ads for the same product you already own.

      For dealerships, audience suppression is a key marketing tactic when it comes to building customer loyalty. If you are constantly bombarding a customer who recently purchased a new vehicle with more ads to purchase the same vehicle – possibly at a better price than the one they paid, you are creating a negative customer experience and likely hurting your chances of having that customer return to your dealership over time. You are also missing out on a critical opportunity to target them with messaging that is actually relevant to them, like warranty information or service lane offers.

      Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of audience suppression for dealerships, its role in creating positive customer journeys, and how your dealership can strategically utilize this simple but powerful technique to improve your digital marketing campaigns and as a result, your overall customer experience. 

      Benefits of Audience Suppression for Dealerships

      The purpose of audience suppression is to enhance the precision and efficiency of your dealership marketing campaigns. Audience suppression can be based on various criteria, such as demographics, past purchase behavior, location, or engagement history. Utilizing audience suppression has many clear benefits including: 

      • Improve Your Marketing ROI: If you are engaging customers who recently purchased a vehicle at your dealership with ads to purchase a new vehicle, you are wasting your marketing dollars. By excluding specific audiences that are less likely to convert or engage with your content, you can allocate your marketing budget more efficiently and more value for your advertising spend, ultimately resulting in a higher return on investment.
      • Reduce Customer Ad Fatigue: Continuously bombarding the same shoppers with ads that are irrelevant to their needs can lead to ad fatigue, causing annoyance and frustration and potentially harming your dealership’s brand image. Audience suppression helps prevent this fatigue by ensuring that your customers and shoppers only see ads that align with their interests and needs.
      • Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: When you show ads to leads, shoppers, or customers based on their position in your sales funnel, you can ensure the content you’re delivering is always relevant to their current needs. For example, if someone just purchased a vehicle at your dealership, you can begin targeting that customer with ads for ad-ons or service offerings so the content they see is directly relevant to their needs. This improves customer satisfaction and increases the likelihood your customers will come back to your dealership for their next purchase.
      • Improve Ad Targeting: Audience suppression allows for finer-grained targeting for your ad campaigns. By using audience suppression, you can exclude specific segments that don’t align with your campaign goals, making your dealership marketing efforts more precise and effective.
      • Reduced Risk of Spammy Clicks: By targeting only the most relevant audiences, you reduce the likelihood of spammy or accidental clicks on your ads. This can help maintain the integrity of your marketing metrics and improve the quality of incoming dealership leads.

      Which Platforms Offer Audience Suppression?

      Many digital advertising platforms offer audience suppression features that can help you refine your targeting and optimize your dealership ad campaigns. Here are some of the popular platforms that provide audience suppression capabilities:

      • Google Ads: Google Ads offers audience suppression options that allows you to exclude specific audience segments from seeing your dealership ads on Google and YouTube, ensuring more precise targeting. You can find these options in your Google Ads Account under “Audiences.” Click here for more instructions on how to use this Google feature.
      • Meta: Meta provides audience suppression settings within their advertising platform that allow you to exclude certain user segments based on demographics, behaviors, or interactions with previous ads. For example, you can opt to exclude customers from your campaign targeting who have made a purchase in the last 30 days or visited a specific checkout page. Learn more about how to create exclusions on Facebook ads here.
      • LinkedIn: LinkedIn’s advertising platform enables audience suppression that allows you to refine your audience targeting by excluding specific job titles, company sizes, or industries from your dealership ad campaigns. When creating or editing a LinkedIn Ads campaign, the option to exclude can be found at the bottom of the Audience section under the “Who is your target audience?” heading. Click here to learn more.
      • Twitter: Twitter Ads offers the ability to create “Custom Audiences” which includes options for audience suppression. These features allow you to exclude certain user segments based on interests, demographics, or engagement history. Learn more here.

      How Audience Suppression Improves ROI and Keeps You One Step Ahead of the Competition

      Audience suppression is a critical tool in the competitive world of automotive where every lead and shopper counts. With audience suppression, you can go beyond simple digital ad optimization and gain a significant competitive edge. 

      Many advertisers overlook the potential of audience suppression and opt instead for a spray and pray style targeting strategy. This offers you an opportunity to get one step ahead by leveraging audience suppression effectively and differentiating yourself from competitors who may not be optimizing their ad campaigns to the same degree. By effectively utilizing audience suppression, you can capture more leads and ultimately more business by outmaneuvering your competitors.

      Audience suppression can help you: 

      • Capture More Relevant Leads: Deeply tailoring your audiences and excluding specific audiences means you are more likely to reach relevant shoppers and convert leads who are ready to buy, improving your overall marketing ROI.
      • Increase Engagement: By targeting shoppers with hyper-relevant content that is relevant to their needs and interests, you can increase shopper engagement with your content and increase the likelihood they will choose your dealership for their next purchase.
      • Focus Your Sales Funnel: Whether you want to target new customers, retain existing ones, drive trade-ins, or promote your sales lane, you can use audience suppression to fine-tune your audience to match your campaign’s purpose. This precision ensures that your resources are used wisely, increasing your chances of achieving your desired ROI.

      3 Ways to Implement Audience Suppression at Your Dealership

      There are several ways you can begin implementing audience suppression at your dealership: 

      1. Use Your Dealership CRM – Your CRM holds a lot of customer data including purchase history and specific customer demographics. By using this data, you can manually build lists of customers to exclude from your targeting on certain ad campaigns – for example, excluding customers who recently made a purchase from your latest sales campaigns.
      2. Use a Marketing Platform –  Many marketing and advertising platforms include audience suppression capabilities. By leveraging their advanced targeting options, including exclusionary criteria, you can refine ad audiences for maximum efficiency. Many platforms also offer frequency capping capabilities which will allow you to control how frequently your shoppers are served specific ads to help avoid ad fatigue.
      3. Use a Customer Data Platform (CDP)– Customer Data Platforms (CDP)s work by consolidating shopper data from multiple sources in a singular 360 shopper view to provide a comprehensive look at customer behavior, needs and preferences. Using your CDP’s list building capabilities will allow you to leverage this data to create hyper-segmented audiences for your campaigns and incorporate audience suppression into your marketing strategy. 

      4 Benefits of Using a CDP for Your Dealership’s Audience Suppression

      Customer Data Platforms offer several unique features that can help you effectively implement audience suppression at your dealership including:

      • Real-Time Segmentation: CDPs perform real-time data processing, allowing you to make decisions and updates on audience suppression instantaneously. This agility is crucial in responding to changing customer behaviors and market dynamics and can allow your dealership to create highly specific audience segments on the fly.
      • Dynamic Suppression: With a CDP, you can dynamically suppress individuals from receiving specific marketing messages based on their real-time interactions and profiles. For example, you can exclude customers who have just made a purchase from receiving redundant offers.
      • Cross-Channel Integration: CDPs facilitate seamless integration across various marketing channels. This means you can apply consistent audience suppression strategies across email, social media, SMS marketing, and more, ensuring a cohesive and positive omnichannel customer experience.
      • Highly-Targeted Segmentation: CDPs enable advanced segmentation, allowing you to define precise suppression rules. This ensures that the right marketing messages are delivered to the right people, increasing their relevance and effectiveness.

      Fullpath’s Customer Data Platform offers the most comprehensive options for dealerships looking to integrate audience suppression into their marketing strategy. By leveraging Fullpath’s capabilities, dealers can implement dynamic audience suppression that updates in real time so your customers have a positive experience wherever they may be on their shopper journey. 

      With Fullpath you can automatically exclude customers from specific campaigns in real time This means that customers who purchase a vehicle at your dealership will automatically be excluded from sales campaigns and will immediately be switched over to service, parts and upgrade campaigns to ensure the content they see is hyper-relevant and meets their individual needs, driving customer loyalty and repeat for your dealership. 


      Audience suppression is an often overlooked but critical tool when it comes to improving your dealership’s marketing ROI. By suppressing or excluding specific shoppers or audiences from your advertising who are either not relevant or not interested in your dealership’s services or offerings, you can ensure your marketing dollars are being spent effectively and that you are creating a positive shopping experience for your customers every time. 

      If you are interested in learning more about audience suppression and how Fullpath can help your dealership improve your marketing ROI, click here or contact us at

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