Merchant Spotlight: Auto Dealer in New Jersey

May 12, 2015 | Product News

Here’s our latest Merchant Spotlight, where we look at before-and-after results of local search campaigns.

THE MERCHANT: A busy auto dealer in New Jersey, just across the river from New York City.

THE SERVICES: New and used car sales, scheduled maintenance, warranty work, and general auto repair and service.

THE PROBLEM: Consumers who are in the market for a new or pre-owned car used to start by visiting their local dealers. These days car buyers turn to the Internet to research makes and models, locate specific used cars, and comparison-shop before they step into a showroom. And smartphones are changing shoppers’ behaviors even more: 65 percent of people who use their mobile phones during the car shopping process report doing so while standing at a dealership. The New Jersey auto dealer knew it needed to beef up its search marketing strategy to capture today’s car buyers as they narrowed down their options.

THE SOLUTION: The auto dealer’s campaign manager set up a broad campaign on MatchCraft’s AdVantage platform that included general auto dealer keywords, specific make and model terms, and competitor terms. The auto dealer also allocated 30 percent of its budget to a “conquesting” segment. “Conquesting,” a popular tactic for both auto dealers and car manufacturers, uses cleverly worded ads combined with strategic competitor keywords to entice car buyers to consider alternatives to the car they actually searched for. Type “honda civic” into Google’s search box, for example, and you might see this ad on the right side of the page:

Volkswagen Jetta
See How The VW Jetta Stands
Up To Its Competitors At

Conquesting terms are valuable but can be costly, so the auto dealer used the “Budget Preferences” feature in AdVantage to manage spending for this portion of its campaign.

THE RESULTS: In September 2014, at the end of the first month of the AdVantage campaign, the dealer had gotten 59 calls for just under $1,000, at an average cost per call of $15.61 – a marked improvement over previous efforts. Those positive results spurred the dealer to raise the campaign’s budget steadily over the next half-year. In March 2015, with a monthly spend just over $3,600, the dealer received 244 phone calls at an average cost per call of $15.08. The fact that the cost per call in March was about the same as when the program began is significant, says MatchCraft Campaign Manager Mike La Franchi. “Businesses with high call volumes normally see their cost per call rise as the call volume goes up,” La Franchi explains. In this case, AdVantage’s automated bidding and pacing algorithms, combined with the campaign’s multi-pronged strategy, delivered superior results to a very happy advertiser.