Motorpoint showroom Portsmouth


Paid Media strategy to drive unparalleled performance and save thousands for an automotive giant

  • +21% Brand media spend savings through Parity®
  • +196% Uplift in 'test drive' leads (high converting lead type)
  • 40% Growth in vehicle enquiries
  • -14% Cost per lead decrease
  • -32% Cost per click reduction

Project overview

The automotive industry has seen many challenges since the pandemic, from lower in-store browsing, to tighter household budgets impacting consumer buying habits and reducing the number of new-car seekers altogether. Motorpoint reported a significant pivot in buyer behaviour as an increasing number of customers are now starting their journey online, as opposed to visiting the showroom.

In a saturated market with car supermarkets across the country dominating the SERPs, Herd were tasked to drive high-quality leads, efficiently and profitably through paid search.

Herd's 200+ point audit revealed escalating generic keyword competition which was driving up spend, and a significant level of brand search investment was going into auctions with zero competition – meaning the business was wasting budget on non-incremental clicks and leads.

We discovered generic keywords had become more competitive and responsible for driving spend increases month-on-month. We needed to determine whether reducing spend on branded keywords with strong organic visibility would unlock budget to reinvest into generic car search campaigns to combat increased competition.

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The brief

Motorpoint is one of the UK’s leading car supermarkets with 20 stores across the UK selling nearly new and used vehicles.

They were experiencing issues with the efficiency of their Google Ads account causing rising costs per lead (CPL), a lack of personalised messaging across the large ad account decreasing the relevancy for customers, and low conversion rates due to campaign inefficiencies and fierce competition.

Key objectives

  • Enhance nationwide visibility while retaining local relevance
  • Reduce CPL by 10%
  • Decrease spend on branded keywords by 10% year-on-year
  • Increase high quality leads by 25%
  • Improve ad relevancy and grow Click-through rates (CTR) by 25% for generic vehicle searches

"One of the key reasons I came to Herd was to use their tech stack and some of their tools which allowed us to save money on paid search. I'd highly recommend Herd and we'll absolutely be using Herd on an ongoing basis - I see Herd as a key part of our Marketing team in the future."

Alex Howland Digital Marketing Director, Motorpoint

Award-winning work

The vastly enhanced performance we delivered for Motorpoint via a considered paid search strategy was recognised with an award win in 2023. We scooped the Best Use of Data and Insights at the Prolific North Marketing Awards, and were also finalists in the Best Large Budget Campaign of the Year category.

Project highlights

We reviewed 7000+ ad groups to identify and monitor which drove the highest-quality leads.

We optimised the campaigns to ensure each car make/model had adequate visibility, and prevent top-performing vehicles cannibalising the account.

We built a bespoke incrementality testing and ranking tool (Parity®) that monitors brand paid search competition and organic search visibility for search queries. Parity® highlights where there are no competitor ads and since Motorpoint rank in position 1 organically, we could pause paid search activity.

We then reinvested the spend into more fruitful areas to drive lead improvements rather than brand search related leads that would likely have clicked organic listings anyway.

We invested surplus spend into priority areas (or other channels). If and when a competitor bids on a keyword where we have paused ads, Parity® flags this automatically and re-instates the ads – protecting us from losing brand clicks.

With a catalogue of 5,000+ vehicles, we introduced Search Ads 360 to build inventory-based campaigns, creating efficient templates using feed attributes to ensure key queries were included.

By adding lowest monthly cost, available stock per model and popular attributes from the feed, this allowed us to stand out against competitors and provide personalised ad copy related to the user’s search term to increase quality score/relevance and boost click-through-rate.

Motorpoint CRM first-party data was leveraged to suppress audiences that had recently purchased a vehicle, failed a finance check or responded negatively to the brand to remove users with a low chance of converting.