Digital Ad Test Drives Scion Sales

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

A pilot test of targeted paid search, display and mobile advertising boosted sales for seven Scion dealerships in the San Francisco area.

scionThe program, rolled out over a four-month period last year with ReachLocal, increased website visits by 200 percent, generated nearly 2,000 new leads, and drove over 28K clickthroughs.

Scion backed the program at a national level, and based on its success is rolling out a national version of the program, notes Mary Pharm, brand manager, Scion. ReachLocal built location-based campaigns for Scion to make sure only engaged customers would see the dealers’ ads. Visitors arriving from Google AdWords ads spent the most time on Scion dealers. The ReachLocal ads also generated 56% of participating Scion dealers’ new visitor traffic, in part by making Scion’s ads stand out and occupy more real estate on the search engine results page, leading to additional traffic and clicks.

Vehicles were broken out in different segments, based on geography and who their competitors were; not surprisingly, different vehicles performed better in different markets. For example, the Scion tC performed better in the Tri Valley and Sacramento areas, while the Scion xB did better in the South Bay and San Francisco.

In the past, a lot of the marketing dollars for Scion went towards sponsoring events that aligned with the brand, but had a hard-to-measure ROI.

Digital performs well for Scion not only because it reached a younger demographic, but because unlike events, it can reach car buyers when they are actively looking for a vehicle. “If I go to a concert, seeing a car there doesn’t necessarily make me want to buy that car,” notes Pham. “Digital allows us to target both in-market shoppers who are searching for Scion.”

Unique ad copy was created for each dealership in the test, with creative and copy matched to existing creative on the site. The goal was to get a prospect to come in for a test drive, with phone follow-ups done when a consumer provided contact information. The ROI was measured based on sales for dealers within the test.



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