How can Google Performance Max help you stand out in paid search? Find out how we hit a CPA 67% below our KPI for Renault Retail Group!
CLICKTHROUGH REDUCE RENAULT RETAIL GROUP’S CPA BY 67% WITH PERFORMANCE MAX
The automotive industry has seen many recent challenges over the past two years, with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown changing consumer behaviour and approaches to buying vehicles. From car showrooms being closed to in-store browsing, to tighter household budgets changing consumers budgets (or even reducing the amount of new-car seekers altogether), it’s been a challenge to get visitors through the door of showrooms to purchase.
This was an issue across the entire automotive industry, with changing consumer behaviours meaning;
- 36% of consumers who were planning to purchase a car in the next 12 months postponing
- An extra 25% of people were now more likely to purchase their next car online
Alongside this, because of the change in consumer behaviour and people staying at home more, it meant that of those who were planning on purchasing a car, more than half were now considering a new car, as opposed to used.
In our long-term partnership with the Renault Retail Group, this all meant that we’ve had to get smarter in our approach to make sure our activity is working harder and generating valuable leads for the client. Our CPAs were holding at the benchmark level and, though we were driving traffic to the site this came from users who were already searching for Renault.
With consumer expectations changing (and people spending more time online), it was important to broaden this activity and make sure we are showing on the wider Google properties and capturing people wherever they are searching. We needed to be more proactive in advertising the brand wider, as opposed to waiting for someone to search for something relevant.
To solve these challenges, we looked to new technology that would help us broaden our strategy and capture a wider interest.
We onboarded our Renault campaigns onto Google’s Performance Max beta in August of 2021, enabling us run ads across Google’s properties more broadly, from a single campaign, on;
- Google’s Display network
The automation involved in the beta allowed us to reach more people who were using one or more of Google’s products. By matching our ads to Google’s own insights on user intent, behaviour and context, we could not only reach more people, but in the right places and at the right times.
To ensure a broad appeal (and that we were promoting Renault’s full range), we used creative to cover all of Renault’s models, including Captur, Clio, Megane, Zoe and the newest launch, Arkana. Despite the changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic, interest in hybrid and electric vehicles was continuing to grow, with searches for ‘electric car’ showing triple digit growth throughout 2019 and double digit growth during 2020. This matched with Renault’s internal business focus so, with this strong optimism towards electric vehicles in the market (despite the pandemic) we chose to capitalize on this as much as possible.
RRG provided us with images (via their web development agency ADZ, whom we also have a close working relationship with) that would appeal broadly to intended audiences. These photos focused on the hybrid, plug-in, and electric variations to fit with this growth in interest in electric vehicles. Our Paid Search and Content teams worked together to write copy that would engage audiences and tell Renault’s story across Google’s properties.
We tested two variations on these models – one with a plain studio background and another showing the cars with a real-world setting to help audiences pictures cars on the road. Typically we didn’t see a major difference, with different models performing best for each background without a clear all-round winner – from this we could see that Google was showing the right image to the right person, based on what was important to them.
After using the program, we saw extraordinary results, far surpassing our usual targets in ‘normal’ periods. We achieved an additional 1,261 conversions at a CPA 67% lower than our KPI.
Not only did conversions improve, but we also saw great levels of engagement with a 6% CTR in the Performance Max campaigns, versus a 4% CTR across the other campaigns, showing a higher level of interest from consumers to click through to the website. It’s also been a generator of brand awareness, with an additional 1.5 million impressions generated, raising the awareness of Retail Group and the models available across both New and Used.
On the back of these results, we now have a strategy built on Performance Max. Whereas we initially ran Performance Max to support traditional search campaigns, this has now been flipped, with Performance Max campaigns being supported by traditional campaigns. We’ve increased our Performance Max budgets and have rolled the strategy out across all the RRG accounts ensuring that, not only are we maximizing on this new campaign type, but preparing for the broader rollout, which will combine Local and Smart Shopping campaigns into its existing coverage.
“ClickThrough are a long-term partner of Renault Retail Group and we’re very pleased with the consistent innovation and creativity they bring to our paid search campaigns. In what was a difficult time for the whole automotive industry, they were able to identify a way to uplift performance and reach more potential customers in a market that’s never been more competitive.”
Kelly Greene - Senior Group Marketing Manager at RRG
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