Media Channel: Search Engine Marketing
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 sometimes requires understanding local communities, recognizing seasonal trends, and investigating unique, regional economies. This was the case with our client, Pull-A-Part (PAP). With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and 21 locations in 12 states, Pull-A-Part is an award-winning, family-owned business serving the do-it-yourself, used auto parts market since 1997. PAP is one of the top buyers of used cars in the country with competitors such as CashforParts.com, JunkMyCar, Peddle and others including local mom-and-pop shops, all looking for car owners who need cash and are willing to sell their car.
Silverlight Digital’s ongoing objective has been to optimize the Search Engine Marketing strategy to reflect current market conditions and put PAP in a favorable position to thrive in this ever-changing market landscape. Here is insight into what we have learned and how we have managed to successfully transform PAP’s national campaign into 21 successful local campaigns.
The Only Thing Constant is Change
The pandemic caused lasting disruption in the auto industry. Then a shift in the semiconductor market resulted in new car inventory being at record lows. Inflation impacted budgets for consumers who may have wanted to sell their old car and upgrade but have now decided to hang on to it. Changing markets and economic factors required us to constantly evaluate our strategy.
Our Approach: Test and Learn
Even after six+ years working with PAP, we needed to learn how each of the various markets responded to their own unique challenges—including economic factors, the changing cost of sheet metal, and even natural disasters. We re-learned what we already knew: that a campaign strategy for one region may not work as effectively in another, and with the atmosphere of constant change, a strategy that is successful in June may not work in the same way in July.
Luckily, PAP embraced our test-and-learn approach and trusted us as their agency partner. We began by creating a campaign testing matrix to document variations in each local market and capture lessons learned, including strategies that did not work. We looked at ad schedules, geo-performance, and tailored messaging for each area. We learned what worked and were even able to make recommendations leading to optimizations on Pull-A-Part’s website, leading to more organic traffic.
Comparing year over year, our optimizations resulted in a 25% year-over-year increase in the volume of cars purchased by PAP as a direct result of paid search leads, and while our optimizations resulted in a 25% reduction in media spend, we also enjoyed enhanced efficiency: a 48% decrease in the average cost of each car bought.
Over the years our cost per car buy has fluctuated due to economic conditions, but paid search continues to be one of the most cost-efficient marketing channels compared to other tactics. However, we know this can change at any moment based on any one of multiple factors. SLD will be there to react to those changes quickly to test innovative approaches until we find the one that works – a successful approach as long as we make those shifts based on what each individual market can bear and retain our strategic local approach.