Kia, a challenger brand in the Australian market, wanted a better way to understand and optimise its marketing investment to address fast-changing consumer behaviours. Kia adopted DoubleClick Digital Marketing to simplify and more accurately measure the impact of its digital marketing across channels. The unified platform helped Kia achieve a 30% improvement in cost-per-acquisition (CPA).


  • Better understand and optimise digital marketing investment


  • Unified its digital advertising with DoubleClick


  • 30% lower cost-per-acquisition
  • Unified reporting across all digital channels
  • More efficient marketing spend
May 2014


After more than a decade in the market, Kia had 200K+ cars on Australian roads. As a challenger brand, however, it wanted a better way to optimise and understand its marketing investment. The traditional path to automotive purchase had shifted toward digital, and Kia followed the buyers' behavior. By late 2012, it was increasingly active in digital marketing. As it became a major part of the overall mix, Kia had to ensure digital's effectiveness. It needed to improve its methods of managing the channel and evaluating its return to the business.

One of the problems was that Kia's data was divided among multiple advertising vendors and platforms, each collecting different information about the same consumer. This overlap made it hard to understand a buyer's behaviour on the way to purchase. Although consumers interact with a brand several times and many different ways before making a decision, Kia only counted the final click when evaluating return on investment (ROI). "That's not always accurate, and it doesn't attribute a conversion on our website to the actual vendor, the real vendor," says Gerrit Walters, Kia brand and advertising manager.

Investing in a holistic view of the consumer

Kia and its media agency, Initiative, chose the DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) as an integrated solution to help them manage all of Kia's digital marketing, including search, video, display, and mobile, on one unified platform. Initiative used just one conversion-tracking tag—the DoubleClick Floodlight tag—to eliminate multiple silos of data, remove discrepancies, and develop a holistic view of the Kia customer. "The benefit of using DoubleClick is that we got a single reporting solution across all of our digital platforms," says Simon Flaxman, Initiative commercial director.

Kia and Initiative can now manage, view, and optimise Kia's digital marketing in one place. DoubleClick's built-in attribution tools let them analyse every step of the customer journey, not just the last click, which allows them to accurately apportion credit to publishers, channels, and screens. "Kia absolutely embraced this shift to DoubleClick. We've seen huge efficiencies and gains in the business as a result," Flaxman says.

Kia absolutely embraced this shift to DoubleClick. We've seen huge efficiencies and gains in the business as a result.

Winning in the middle

Since adopting the DoubleClick product suite, Kia has seen improvements in CPA of 30%. Using the unified data, Kia and Initiative can now model conversions, using different budget scenarios for individual publishers and channels, which is helpful for planning future sales cycles. Improved reporting across the platform lets Kia drive huge efficiencies in its marketing investment and use the data to inform its offline marketing decisions.

Kia today is focused on "winning in the middle" of the sales funnel, and doesn't just look at the last click. It has the tools to measure accurately and gain insights from all its digital activity—in real time, on a single platform. "I think that as a challenger brand, other brands are starting to get a little bit worried about Kia," Walters says.