Pull-A-Part, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, is an award-winning family business serving the do-it-yourself, used auto parts market. By developing a unique operating system based on customer service and environmental responsibility, Pull-A-Part has transformed what was once thought of as “the junkyard” into a sustainable automotive recycling business.
Managing a national advertising campaign requires understanding local communities, recognizing seasonality trends and unique economies that make up a national campaign. This was the case with the client, Pull-A-Part. With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and operating 25 locations in 12 states, Pull-A-Part is an award-winning family business serving the do-it-yourself, used auto parts market since 1997. Pull-A-Part is one of the top buyers of used cars in the country with competitors like Cashforparts.com, Junkmycar, Peddle and others in the market, all looking for car owners, who need cash and are willing to sell their car. At Silverlight Digital, we found that each location faces unique marketing challenges – including economic factors, cost of metal, and environmental hazards, such as weather. Additionally, the global pandemic has cause lasting disruption in the used auto parts supply chain.
A global shortage in the semiconductor market has resulted in a shortage of the microchips used to produce new automobiles. As a result, new car inventory was – and remains – at record lows. As a result, automotive dealerships are raising prices to face diminishing revenues, and used car owners are hesitant to replace their aging automobiles until conditions improve. Silverlight Digital’s objective was to adjust the Search Engine Marketing strategy to reflect current market conditions and increase market share of the declining number of used car owners looking to sell.
We knew that a campaign strategy that worked in Akron might not work in New Orleans. Cost per Click prices are different, competition is different, and weather played a significant seasonality role, with tornadoes and flooding that were reflected in local campaign analytics. During the period from March 2020 to March 2021, our approach was to re-evaluate keywords for each market, eliminating keywords that might have performed nationally but underperformed locally. In addition, we added keywords that reflected the local community and expanded our search volume.
Pull-A-Part was comfortable experimenting with non-traditional daily campaign structures. We tested evening campaign hours to suit prospects that might be away from a computer during a typical 9-5 workday. We created a campaign testing matrix to document variations in each local market and capture lessons learned, including strategies that didn’t work.
Lastly, we separated campaigns into two distinct groups for more precise analysis: brand keyword campaigns and non-brand keyword campaigns, growing our campaign strategy to include a total of 42 unique and local campaigns.
These campaigns remain a success for both Silverlight Digital and Pull-A-Part. We successfully saved money for our client by eliminating costly national keywords that did not perform in local markets. In terms of conversion, we scored a significant victory by uploading Pull-A-Part’s car buyer data into Google Ads and successfully attributed each used car acquisition to a campaign keyword. We could tell which keywords were selling cars (opposed to getting click volume but not converting).
Additionally, Silverlight Digital re-wrote all creative to include ads specific to local areas, like “Selling Your Car in Memphis? – Call Pull-A-Part.” The data collected led to optimizations in Pull-A-Part’s website, as well.
Over the years our cost per car buy has increased slightly, but search continues to be the most cost-efficient marketing channel compared to other tactics, such as car auctions. Our goal has shifted more towards maximizing car buy volume and if we need to do things like increase our bids, we are ok to do so, as long as we continue to be the most efficient channel.