How 500 Local Car Dealerships Used Facebook To Drive Visits Up 17 Percent

Automotive analytics platform Edmunds and the dealership website provider CDK Global relied on the social network to capture mobile searches by prospective car buyers.

Auto sales and analytics website Edmunds teamed up with car dealership digital marketing company CDK Global on a mobile ad that used Facebook dynamic ads to target new in-market shoppers.

Focusing On The Target

The campaign was done on behalf of 500 participating dealerships, which presented the challenge to the three platforms: can Facebook ads actually generate showroom visits, and most importantly, complete a sale?

The two used Facebook Pixel  first-party data to create a custom audience and reported three clear success rates: those participating dealerships showed a 45 percent increase in unique website visits and a 16.8 percent gain in actual visits to physical dealerships.

The custom audiences were created between May and June 2016. The ads were targeted at people who had viewed the vehicle detail pages on Edmunds and/or participating CDK sites. The partners also created a lookalike audience based on that group of people.

A Call To Action

By matching dealership inventory to those audiences in real-time, those in-market car buyers saw customized ads from their local dealership featuring images of vehicles that they had previously researched. The dynamic ads also showcased the inventory images in shoppers’ mobile News Feeds.

Shoppers in the lookalike audience also were shown ads that featured cars that were available in the showrooms. Some of the ads featured messages like “How about test-driving one of these rides?”

The ad also highlighted dealership locations and sported a “Shop Now” call-to-action button linked directly to the specific model on the dealership’s site.

“With more people searching for their next vehicle on mobile, we had to find a way to target them with native, mobile-optimized advertising,” said Karim Qazi, VP Ad Technology Platforms & Operations at Edmunds, . “Facebook allowed us to reach a new audience and also engage them at a much lower cost. When it comes to mobile engagement, other ad platforms simply don’t have the capabilities of Facebook.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.