Moving the Needle

Basis of Study

Metrics for success are often viewed in a vacuum...a vacuum that exists solely on an OEM's website. Driving the most efficient post-click activity on an OEM's site is typically the primary goal of its in-market media campaigns. However, there exists a wealth of data and activity that occurs within a third-party auto site.

Traditionally, the weight of importance is placed on lower funnel or "retention" placements. With this study, Jumpstart Automotive Media demonstrates that utilizing more upper funnel placements enables OEMs to move the awareness and activity needle on the third-party sites it represents. This study shows that placements like homepage or category sponsorships create a ripple effect within the user community of the third-party site that cannot be recognized by looking at post click or post impression activity.

Key Success Factors

While upper funnel placements generally lead to a lower conversion rate or post-click activity than lower-funnel retention placements, the needle can be significantly moved in an OEM's favor among the site's user base.

  • Creating significant incremental activity or "share of traffic" on model pages and a model's leads during and after an awareness sponsorship is executed.
  • Delivering significantly higher click-through rates during and after an awareness sponsorship.

Key Findings

  • Awareness placements drove positive OEM activity among AutoPATH shoppers
  • Awareness placements drove 51% more pageviews to the model pages during the sponsored month
  • Click-through rates on the OEM's model pages increased by over 200% during the sponsored month

OEM Click Through Rates

 

OEM Share of Endemic Pageviews

Structure of Program

To measure the total traffic dedicated to a particular OEM across our endemic automotive properties, we focused on total retention page views. We have chosen two competing import OEMs for analysis.

The sampling occurred during the same two-month period in which each OEM was first purchasing "no awareness" placements versus the second month in which there was an investment in homepage and category inventory. In order to account for seasonality, we used the OEM's make and model page views relative to total Jumpstart AutoPATH page views during the two-month sampling time period.

In each of the samples, the participating OEM purchased a 2-week 100% exclusive run on homepage and sedan category sponsorships. The homepage sponsorship included all new car landing pages across Jumpstart's AutoPATH site portfolio as well.

"Homepage or category sponsorships create a ripple effect within the user community of the third party site."

Results

During the month when awareness activity was active, both OEMs saw substantial increases in the brand's "share-of-traffic." This included an increase in total brand make pageviews and model pageviews.

  • Make and models pageviews increased by more than 50% during the awareness campaign
  • Total quality of the site traffic increased based on the CTR achieved during the awareness campaign flight dates on those retention pages
  • CTR increased significantly for both OEMs once the awareness programs took hold
  • Response rate increased increased dramatically by an average of 208%

Figure 1: OEM 1 is a popular import that has historically been responsible for a large portion of AutoPATH's retention pageviews. OEM 2 is another import that has been struggling to increase its brand's overall perception. All awareness placements were run in June 2007 with no awareness activity in May.

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