Bridgestone and DAC Group Drive Retail Results
Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) has been a leader in the complete auto care and tire industry for generations with four retail brands and 2,200 stores nationwide. The company aspires to be the most trusted provider of automotive services in the neighborhoods in which they operate.
Due to the importance of driving local business for their vast network of stores, Bridgestone partnered with the DAC group, a leading digital performance marketing agency, to run a highly sophisticated search marketing program. With skyrocketing costs and intense competition, 2016 was a critical year in BSRO’s SEM strategy. They relied on it to meet critical business goals, including increasing qualified leads, sales and profitability for BSRO’s wide network of retail locations.
With so many retail locations across the country, one of BSRO’s major challenges is to drive local traffic and leads across their entire footprint. Their targeting must be hyperlocal in order to drive customers to their nearest retail location, and the messaging needed to be relevant to each customer’s needs and specific market. The hyper-local structure of their search campaigns while crucial, would make automated optimization challenging and require more manual effort. It was also very clear to DAC that BSRO needed to lead with mobile in order to be there for their customers during impulsive and micro moments where BSRO’s services come to mind. (“My car just got a flat and I need a replacement now.”)
To ensure success, DAC started by restructuring BSRO’s existing campaigns to find a balance between hyper-local and broader targeting, in order to ensure they could be optimized efficiently. They leveraged Skai Dimension (a labeling system) to accurately and efficiently view and segment performance, create templated reports and simplify bid management and budget allocation.
They re-organized their keyword structure to focus on both product categories at the highest level, as well as each product category broken out at the geo-modified level, allowing for more efficient optimization and targeting while also still ensuring customers were receiving the most relevant message for their needs and location. This was especially helpful to be sure that mobile searchers were receiving the most relevant message from their nearest location.
Once this clean-up had occurred, Skai’s Campaign Mirroring tool was put to good use, especially for new store openings, allowing existing campaigns to easily be duplicated and turned on with the flip of a switch.
Most importantly, the new and improved campaign structure enabled Skai’s Portfolio Optimizer (KPO) to be at its most effective. For starters, the team leveraged KPO to drive further efficiency and conversion in the competitive tire auction. Mobile bid modifiers helped Bridgestone bid more aggressively on mobile. In testing this on very generic and expensive exact match tire related terms, they were able to drive down costs and meet their desired CPL goal, while increasing overall conversion. As a result, they plan to roll KPO more broadly in order to automate optimization across all of their campaigns.
Since the campaigns were restructured, the results have been exceptional. After allowing the accounts to ramp up and testing copy and landing pages in the first two months, the team went full steam ahead with strong optimizations. The new program structure enabled them to reap the benefits of local targeting while still automating their optimization.
When comparing 2016 to 2015, they saw a 14% reduction in spend, a 38% increase in tire quotes, an 88% increase in coupon prints, a 6% increase in appointments and a 72% increase in calls.
YoY CPC improvements included a 63% decrease in the oil change category, a 38% decrease in the tire category and a 31% decrease on brand terms.
Finally, with KPO for Firestone Tire keywords they were able to efficiently increase spend by 20%, tire quotes increased by 33%, cost-per-lead decreased by 10% and tire quote conversions increased by 4%.
"KPO was a huge win for us in Q4 and will be a pillar for the Search program in 2017"
Tom Allen, Director, Digital & CRM, Bridgestone