Hitachi Capital gave us a simple brief: increase website leads.
Hitachi Capital came to us with a clear goal: increase web leads year-on-year. We were keen to get stuck into the brief but had to overcome a few challenges first.
Operating in a price-driven sector, competition is tough. Hitachi Capital offers a premium car leasing service, which can hinder the brand from competing on price.
Other contextual factors also had to be considered:
In addition, we had a compliance team to please. All promotional activity is subject to regulatory approval, severely limiting the channels and messaging we can use and making it difficult to release time-sensitive material.
With new car purchasing constantly increasing in the UK – up to 2.6 million in 2015 – competition is growing. We needed to entice customers, whilst breaking through a customer journey that can take 11 hours.
Our audience research – including user journey mapping, panel research and performance audits – identified that car leasing isn’t a well-understood option for people purchasing a new vehicle.
We also found large up-front payments to be the main deterrent stopping people purchasing a new car. A fundamental benefit to leasing is driving a new vehicle with less initial financial outlay, so the lack of awareness of this benefit became the linchpin of our entire campaign.
“ People buy cars differently than they did 10 years ago, which means we need to change the way we target these users to ensure we're reaching them at key moments in the consideration path. ”
Our messaging aimed to grab the attention of prospective car owners by letting them know they could be driving luxury vehicles for affordable monthly payments.
We began by refining the brand’s Adwords account, creating campaigns for:
We increased the campaigns and keywords we were targeting significantly. Campaigns rose from just 32 to almost 1,479 and targeted keywords shot up from 3,046 to 23,652.
This worked nicely for a time, but we realised more was needed, mainly due to:
We soon realised we couldn’t put all our eggs in Google’s basket and needed to claw back deficit from elsewhere.
We chose to explore social as a lead-gen channel. We built multiple ads to test how different audiences reacted to different messages, and analysed effectiveness to see how people responded to different car brands.
Our previous approach was lengthy. It began with a paid search ad, sending users to a landing page, where we could build an audience list and use RLSA campaigns to entice them back to a landing page, before finally submitting an enquiry.
With Facebook, it was simple. We used audience lists from people who had already visited our site to reconnect with these users focusing on one of their key purchasing considerations – price. We then targeted them with an ad when they were actively engaging with content on another platform.
They weren’t asked to leave Facebook and return to the site – as they were with RLSA campaigns. It was easy for them to provide details and enquire about the car they wanted there and then.
It proved to be a success, and we’ve since created dozens of new campaigns, tailored to multiple makes and models.
By getting this campaign live sooner than anticipated, we enabled Hitachi Capital to realise that:
Most impressively, by advertising on Facebook at scale – which is often out of bounds for regulated financial firms – we increased the number of inbound leads via paid activity.
At the time of shooting the video (April 2017), this was up by 209% year-on-year, but upon publication (July 2017) has since risen to an impressive 300%!
Moreover, we set a new record month for the brand, smashing their previous best by 306%.
And, not only did we significantly increase qualified leads for Hitachi Capital; we did so without compromising the cost-per-lead. In fact, we reduced CPL by an impressive 56%!