Rebecca Salinas had a conversion problem. As the internet manager of Ford of West Covina, she knows her digital strategy constantly needs to evolve as both customer behavior and the tools available change.
Her Google Adwords Cost Per Click (CPC) numbers were going up, north of $10. Her Facebook campaigns would get hundreds of likes and shares – but no vehicles sold, or even meaningful leads. Her webleads were dwindling to single digits per week.
“We were perplexed. We were getting lower inbound web traffic and getting charged more per click,” Rebecca told CBT News. “We were getting squeezed but had no other meaningful way to get in front of our digital customers.”
Why? A Google monopoly on the search ad market? A shift from browsers to mobile apps and messaging clients? Probably a combination of the two.
Once upon a time, Google had a stranglehold on the digital advertising market. No longer. Now Google and Facebook share their stranglehold with 54% and 45% of the digital advertising market respectively according to advertising trade group Digital Content Next.
With Google becoming a decreasingly cost effective way to reach customers, especially millennials, where does that leave Facebook?
Rebecca had experimented with a few agencies that “specialize” in Facebook marketing (charging a couple thousand dollars per month) and they would report back great results – hundreds of likes and shares…
What she didn’t realize is that as of mid-2016, Facebook had integrated their advertising platform with Facebook Messenger. Facebook was no longer just an advertising platform. It had become a full-service e-commerce solution. Most industries and companies were slow to take advantage of the full power of Facebook, with a few exceptions.
Rebecca discovered marketing platform called uQuote that integrates inventory, pricing, and digital advertising into one solution. She could take any new vehicle in stock, post it to a targeted audience in Facebook, and within two clicks, a prospect could get a price and a payment within Facebook Messenger.
She decided to experiment the platform on a model they were having difficulty pushing, the Ford Fiesta. The typical subcompact vehicle buying profile: young, glued to phone, spends hours within mobile apps, and hates voice calls on the phone. She decided to spend $500 a month to start. She went from selling ~1 per month in 2016 to 5 to 10 to 11 in the first three months of 2017.
According to comScore, despite mobile devices accounting for 60% of e-commerce traffic, mobile devices only accounted for 16% of e-commerce spend. Mobile browsers are sub-optimal for browsing and purchasing. And unless you’re already looking on Amazon, downloading a new app just to complete a purchase is just simply too much friction.
By June, Rebecca was spending close to $4000 per month on Facebook ads through uQuote. And she wasn’t just selling low MSRP vehicles like the Fiesta. Whenever they would get the coveted Ford F-150 Raptor, they would put them on Facebook, dial in the targeting to wealthy Ford truck loyalists, and it’d be gone within a week.
uQuote, a Pleasanton, Calif., company, after releasing their product this year, is live in four different states, charging a $595 monthly fee per dealership.
Millennials are finally getting enough disposable income to afford to buy or lease a new vehicle, said uQuote CEO and founder Roy Mathew.
“And these are the same millennials who spend 90% of their internet hours on three apps: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. If a whole segment of buyers doesn’t visit your website, you must find another way to put your brand in their face and convert them.”