As Peugeot dealers are independent businesses not owned by Peugeot, it’s challenging for them to represent themselves in a consistent manner online. Peugeot partnered with OMD, their media agency, to educate their dealers about AdWords in order to represent themselves professionally online. Using AdWords products such as location extensions, click-to-call, and radius targeting, they were able to coordinate a strategy that showed the most relevant dealer ads in the local search results.
Peugeot Germany wanted to achieve a coordinated national and local marketing strategy. However, doing this successfully at the local level would involve developing a search strategy with local Peugeot dealers, many of whom did not advertise online. Peugeot worked with their media agency, OMD, to implement an AdWords campaign that allowed them to bring 140 regional dealers online, reaching potential buyers in their region. In the first two months, they received over 7.9 million ad views and 172,000 clicks. This corresponds to around 600 visits for each participating dealer‘s virtual showroom per month. The Click-to-Call feature for mobile devices was used approximately 3,000 times and the directions feature in Google Maps was used 1,300 times. This enabled leads to be generated efficiently and to be forwarded directly to dealers at an average cost in the low double figures.
The number of car purchases and new registrations has been declining in Germany for several years and competition has become tougher, especially for importers such as the French manufacturer Peugeot. Online communication with customers and new car buyers has also become increasingly important. Within a single year, from 2012 to 2013, Internet usage as a source of information for new car purchases increased by 10%. The 2013 Google new car purchaser study revealed that for 87% of potential buyers, the Internet is the most important starting point for researching a new car. Search engines, at 69%, are the most important information source and gateway to other digital sources such as manufacturer websites, beating other starting points such as car dealers or friends and colleagues.
The challenge: creating and managing an AdWords campaign to involve regional dealers
In late 2013, Peugeot decided to make greater use of Google AdWords in order to lead potential new car buyers to their regional dealers’ websites. Several workshops with Google and OMD paved the way. “We wanted to support our distribution partners in presenting themselves professionally on the web and in being present at exactly the right time when potential buyers in the region are showing interest via search ads,” says Frederic Renard, Marketing Manager at Peugeot.
“The digital channel has become incredibly important in the last few years, especially because we can now get a clearer picture of how the buying decision process happens,” says Sophie Tharra, Director of Planning for Peugeot at OMD. The agency supports the car importer in Germany and took charge of managing the campaign. “The challenge was that the dealers were only supposed to be seen in their relevant service areas and that this campaign had to be coordinated with the national campaign that ran in parallel,” explains Sophie Tharra. Some challenges had to be addressed: What if two dealers are in the same area, such as in the Ruhr valley? What about large regions such as the federal German states? The solution: “We allow for a simultaneous presence of dealers and leave it up to the users to click on offers that are interesting to them.” At the same time, the ad delivery and roll-out had to be designed in a way that was as straightforward as possible for the dealers.
We wanted to support our distribution partners in presenting themselves professionally on the web and in being present at exactly the right time when potential buyers in the region are showing interest via search ads. — Frederic Renard
Campaign success: traffic growth of 20% and highly efficient lead generation
An initial test with five dealers was successfully run in late 2013. Subsequently, more than 140 dealers decided to participate. In just two weeks, OMD created an individual campaign structure. “We use Google‘s infrastructure for this campaign. We individually enter all dealers into an AdWords meta-account and can match them together accordingly. We specify within the account which ads should run in which region, for how long, and for how many Euros per click,” states expert Sophie Tharra. All in all, more than 1,400 mini-campaigns were fine-tuned in this way, generating over 7.9 million ad views and 172,000 clicks in the first two months. “In total we had traffic growth of around 20%, without significant loss of traffic from the national website,” says the OMD director. “The Click-to-Call feature for mobile devices was used about 3,000 times; the directions feature in Google Maps was used 1,300 times.” As Frederic Renard, Marketing Manager at Peugeot, explains: “We‘re very satisfied with these initial results and are continuing to work on improving the offer for our distribution partners and are planning to roll it out across the whole network.” Sophie Tharra recommends AdWords to companies “who want to bring their national advertising closer to the market to achieve a stronger connection between advertising measures and actual sales.”