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Situation

Auto dealers did not perceive AutoTrader.com as a means to market their new car inventory given that only 10% of site visitors stated they went to Autotrader.com to shop for a new vehicle. In addition, website traffic in a number of major metros was below the national and smaller market averages.

Challenge

Increase problem market website traffic to parity or higher than the national average and convince local dealers that AutoTrader.com was a viable option for generating new car shopper traffic.

Solution

Market research identified that on average over 35% of Auto Trader’s problem market auto shoppers visited the new car auto show in their market. Attendance figures for large shows exceeded 1M.  We recommended that AutoTrader.com become a sponsor of the target market auto shows and create a highly interactive “game show” to be placed in high traffic locations in the respective auto shows.   Consumers were also offered a chance to win $25,000 to spend on any car listed on Autotrader.com by entering an online trivia contest that replicated the auto show live game show experience.



Don's consumer auto show promotional idea resulted in a 15% y/y increase in website traffic in the show cities, we were named the most exciting display at four major new car shows and we achieved our objective of increasing business with new car dealers.

~Clark Wood, CMO, AutoTrader.com



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  • Results

    • New car searches increased an average of 44% year over year within 8 weeks of the auto shows
    • New car advertising revenues increase 18% vs. prior year
    • Overall website traffic in the problem markets increased 29% versus prior year

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