Mobile case study: Car maker goes mobile first to boost test drives 50%

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With a new product launch on the horizon, Isuzu UTE looked to capture a larger market share by improving its mobile presence. By redesigning its site in just three months and increasing its mobile ad investment, the Australian car maker increased its mobile conversion rate by 335%.

Case study summary

• Australia auto brand wanted to increase brand reach and drive leads to dealerships

• Built responsive mobile website, including clear calls to action

• 335% increase in mobile conversion rate and 50% increase in test drive bookings

The challenge

In 2013, in the midst of planning for the new Isuzu MU-X 7 Seat SUV product launch, the Isuzu UTE digital marketing team saw an opportunity prime for the taking. They noticed (thanks to Google Analytics) that their mobile audience was rapidly growing, pushing 40% of total online sessions—all driven by search, social, and email marketing efforts. But the website wasn't optimised for mobile, and with the high rate of traffic, the team knew they needed to up their game. They set out to vastly improve the mobile user experience with responsive web design tactics.

The solution

Isuzu UTE partnered with its digital agency, Liquid Interactive, and Google to rethink its entire website, paying particular attention to the front-end user experience and the backend conversion data collection on mobile devices. Knowing that people are turning to mobile throughout their auto purchase journey, the main focus was capturing consumers during critical micro-moments and adjusting their marketing strategy and media spend to optimise for mobile.
With only three months until the product launch, the team was up against the clock.

The original assumption was that people weren't looking to do much on the mobile site, so the mobile experience really only provided a "find a dealer" functionality. The site couldn't gather leads or help customers get the information they were looking for.

At first, the responsive site was a tough sell. Isuzu UTE was uncomfortable investing in the redevelopment of the website when they had done so less than a year prior. They were won over when they understood that one in every two queries was coming from mobile and added functionality could capture and delight customers in their is-it-right-for-me and where-should-I-buy-it moments.

"Rather than a demographic audience, we were looking to target people who have specific needs. We were really conscious of who we wanted to engage with, and the micro-moments in their daily lives," said Samantha Pearce, Liquid Interactive's Group Account Director.

A responsive site that had ability to call the dealership, book a test drive, and download product information would help Isuzu UTE gather useful customer information that could later be used to nurture leads.

1. Redesigning the mobile site

The team started by analysing website metrics, like mobile page views, entrances and exit pages, and mobile conversions. Key insights were taken from Google's automotive research findings, including data that suggested consumers interacted with as many as 30 online touch points during their purchase decision. Isuzu UTE's goal was to own as many touch points as possible, so it prioritised four main moments of intent for potential mobile customers: booking a test drive, getting a quote, downloading a brochure, and locating a dealer.

2. Creating mobile-ready ads

Isuzu UTE knew that simply building a better mobile experience with responsive design wasn't enough. In the year following their site relaunch, they prioritised attracting mobile device traffic by increasing their mobile bids and doubling their mobile device ad spend, increasing it from 26% to 56% of its total Google ad spend. By optimising its ads to mobile-preferred creative and utilising features like location extensions and Click to Call, with strong calls to action like "call your dealer today", it lifted conversions and helped customers go straight from the ad to the information they wanted.

3. Conducting ongoing experiments and optimisation

Relaunching the site was only the beginning of the journey. Isuzu UTE continually reviews its analytics, search campaign performance, and marketing channel mix to identify new opportunities. These are treated like experiments, with hypotheses and key metrics used to determine results. The Isuzu UTE team is looking at the way offers are presented, and exploring how offers for one product can affect another. They want to optimise the mobile environment around these offers and use customer data to deliver the right offer to the right customer across all devices.

The results

Thanks to its dedication to mobile performance and advertising, Isuzu UTE has experienced a complete turnaround in mobile performance. Even when working on an aggressive timeline, the team managed to redesign and launch a new fully responsive site in less than three months.

And the investment clearly paid off: nearly one year in, the mobile conversion rate has increased 335%. The site that actually aligned with consumer needs and intent drove a 60% YoY lift in conversions, and the mobile-led marketing efforts tripled traffic coming from mobile devices.

By taking a fresh look at the path to purchase, Isuzu UTE has seen ongoing rewards to their business, allowing it to further enable its use of digital tactics to capture consumers in those critical is-it-right-for-me and where-should-I-buy-it moments.

Chris Macer, Marketing Manager at Isuzu UTE Australia, said: “Rather than a demographic audience, we were looking to target people who have specific needs. We were really conscious of who we wanted to engage with, and the micro-moments in their daily lives.”

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