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Tim McLain

Tim McLain Senior Marketing Manager

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Conquesting 2.0: Attract Cross-Shoppers With Search Remarketing to Capture More Sales

Millward Brown Digital reports that just 25% of buyers purchase the vehicle they first research online.  This means that 3 out of 4 shoppers are open to influence to purchase another brands’ models. (Vehicle Path to Purchase Survey, 2013.)

Question: Who’s your highest-value prospect?

I would argue it’s Jane, the in-market shopper who just visited your website after conducting an Internet search.

It’s a solid bet that she’s cross-shopping within a specific segment. This means that she’s in the market for a new sedan, but not tied to a specific brand (i.e. Nissan) or model (Altima).

Next question: Once she browses your website and leaves to check out your competition, what tactics do you have in place to bring her back to choose your model?

My most successful dealers have addressed this opportunity by combining two tactics that have been proven to drive increases in return website visits by cross-shoppers using mobile devices and PCs.

Put simply, we’re running search ads in a new way that’s actually getting a response to help our dealers meet their sales goals consistently.

Start: Remarketing Lists (RLSAs)

Your first step should be to create one or more remarketing lists inside Google AdWords, then use Google Tag Manager to place a corresponding a tracking pixel on one or more pages on your website.

Consider creating lists for your model inventory, specials, and conquest (model comparison) landing pages.

Each list allows you to roll up a unique, high-value audience list of cross-shoppers based on the page they’ve last viewed.

Next: Conquest With Search

Your remarketing lists can be used to deliver targeted ads to these audiences. Think targeted search (text) as well as Google Display Network banner ads.

The key is to create new ad groups for each remarketing list. The most effective compare the segment the shopper just viewed with one they’re also researching at your local competition. It’s this one-two punch of conquest remarketing that’s changing the game: Conquesting 2.0.

Case Study: Faulkner Nissan

Faulkner Nissan in Harrisburg, PA has been using our conquest remarketing approach with excellent results.

Local shoppers search Nissan Altima on Google, then click on a search ad to visit Faulkner’s website. When they leave and continue to do sedan research using terms like Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, or Toyota, they see Faulkner’s conquesting search ads enticing them to return:









A click on any of these ads connects shoppers to a comparison page, highlighting why Altima is a better choice over competing models.

























These pages are custom tailored to earn a high quality score (6+), driving down the cost per click, boosting the average ad position, and increasing the click through rate, leading to more qualified shoppers returning to Faulkner that convert into buyers.

Faulkner chose a 50-mile radius for their campaign, and added $1,000 a month to their online marketing investment to fuel results. Their ads are shown 7 times out of 10 in a strong position (top 3), earning a 70% share of voice (impression share).

The new campaign has driven a 40% increase in click through rates, resulting in a 5-7% conversion rate. Faulkner is seeing more foot traffic for Altima on their lot leading to more sales.

For similar dealers, we find that while the cost per click may be higher on conquesting ads, the messages are much more relevant to recent search activity. This leads to faster reengagement by shoppers, leading to a 40-50% reduction in the total cost per conversion over a standard campaign. Fewer ad clicks were necessary to trigger buying activity, leading to the cost savings.

This new approach gives dealers the opportunity to increase per-click bids to pay more for a return visit by an engaged prospect who is actively cross-shopping across segments and digital devices. Dealers can also increase the target geography for these new campaigns to capture an audience from a wider area.

Don’t Break the Bank

Given the complexity, the best way to generate results with these tactics is to work with a Google Premier Partner who can effectively leverage the “big data” generated by dozens of conquest remarketing campaigns.

Your partner’s digital marketing technology will make the difference between success and failure. Choose carefully!a20eee8bf669d1388ed32831ddcf2975.jpg?t=1

A proven partner will keep close tabs on performance at the ad group and landing page level, plus proactively add high-performing keywords, ads, and new geography targets to help dealers like you meet and exceed monthly sales goals–all without breaking the bank. 


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