Capilano Audi

  • Digital Marketing

The Problem

Capilano Audi ranks consistently as one of Canada’s highest-volume dealers for new Audi vehicles. It’s a competitive business and general manager Derek Lau uses both traditional and digital marketing to reach new prospects and stay front-of-mind with existing customers. “But when we moved to new premises in 2010,” says Lau, “we didn’t have enough space to store all our used cars on the lot. We needed a better strategy to sell used cars. That’s when we got serious about digital marketing, and it just went from there.”

The dealership’s marketing campaigns grew to include print and radio ads, Adwords, an active social media program, Youtube videos, and regular email newsletters – all executed by a lean and effective marketing team. When the team member in charge of digital marketing went on maternity leave, however, Lau needed a temporary solution to fill the gap.  He thought of Smartt.

“We had taken a P.A.C.E. Digital Marketing Workshop at Smartt,” says Lau, “and we were really impressed with how much valuable advice we got in just that one day. Digital marketing is such a challenge because it’s always evolving and there are always new tools coming out. After meeting Smartt, I felt confident they were the partner we needed to keep our campaigns running.”

Our Solution

Smartt began with an search engine marketing (SEM) audit to establish baseline performance and marketing metrics. This provided data to create a digital marketing plan for the duration of the engagement.

After evaluating Capilano Audi’s existing campaigns, Smartt suggested some digital marketing tactics the dealership had not yet tried: Google’s “similar audiences” feature for remarketing to boost SEM efforts, Google’s new “Customer Match” feature, and trying out ads on Facebook. With Smartt providing design skills and campaign management, it was both affordable and feasible for Capilano Audi to test out these ideas. For Lau it was a good opportunity to determine whether these tactics, expertly executed, could deliver a good ROI.

Smartt’s marketing team looked after all the practicalities of day-to-day activities: creating display ads and landing pages; running a mix of social, paid social, paid search, and email marketing; managing search advertising spend; monitoring SEO results; even launching some Chinese language ads on Facebook and Weibo.

To ensure clear and timely communications, Smartt provided a monthly report to Lau with metrics, insights, and recommendations.

The Result

An SEM audit showed that Capilano Audi’s website speeds had room for improvement. Since site speed is one of the major criteria for Google search rankings, Smartt’s IT specialists offered a list of specific recommendations for tuning up the site. Smartt’s IT team was able to improve site speed performance by over 400% as well as resolve some technical problems with integration to real-time feeds from vehicle listing sites.

Since there would be more SEM campaigns to manage, in keeping with Smartt’s mandate to provide expert implementation, Smartt reorganized Capilano Audi’s Adwords account using best practices, set up Google Analytics conversion goals, and implemented call tracking to learn which customers phoned Capilano Audi as a result of digital promotions. These changes made campaign tracking more convenient and metrics easier to interpret. 

Since Capilano Audi also uses print and radio promotions, it’s difficult to establish how much of a role digital marketing played in their smash sales records over the summer. Comments from customers however, indicate that the display ads are getting noticed, and metrics show a jump in marketing performance:

  • Decreased cost per click by 43%
  • Decreased cost per 1,000 impressions by 87%
  • Increased campaign traffic by 487%
  • Increased campaign impressions by 1457%

“It really took anxiety and pressure off me knowing I could rely on Smartt,” says Lau. “They’re easy to work with and have really added value. We get well-organized monthly reports about results. I always get fast responses to whatever I need, there’s always follow-through. It’s been all positive.”