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A Data-Driven Partnership Drives Steady, YoY Growth for Patriot Subaru

Since partnering with PureCars in 2018, Patriot Subaru has steadily increased volume, year over year, through hard work and an agile,  data-driven approach to their digital advertising strategy.

Download the Case Study [PDF]


ABOUT PATRIOT SUBARU

Patriot Subaru opened in 2003 and has been proudly serving Saco, the greater Portland and Southern Maine area with quality Subaru vehicles and exceptional service ever since. They have faithfully followed their Mission Statement “To Serve – Our Customers, Our Families, Our Community and Each Other”. Earning the Cox Automotive Sustainability award in 2016, Patriot is committed to being the greenest auto store in America.

Patriot Subaru also has a 20 bay state-of-the-art service center with certified technicians trained to provide any type of service and repair required.

BUSINESS GOALS

  • Own impression share in their market
  • Push out the competition
  • Remove all 3rd parties
  • Sell over 200 new cars per month

KPIs

  • Impression Share
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Lead Volume
  • Sales Volume
  • Service Traffic

THE SITUATION

Brian Beattie has been the General Manager at Patriot Subaru since the day they opened in 2003 and can’t see himself working anywhere else. With a love of football, family and animals, Brian enjoys the challenges that come with an ever-expanding dealership with a diverse group of like-minded and forward thinkers.

Before partnering with PureCars , Patriot Subaru’s marketing team was unable to really target or track the effectiveness of SEM/Display and social media campaigns. After teaming up with PureCars, and using the tools provided (like Signal and Activate), they are much better able to pinpoint how they spend every digital advertising dollar, and see the return on those decisions in relative real time. 

In April, COVID hit Maine pretty hard with the strict rules and regulations for dealerships. Patriot made big changes by pausing all search campaigns outside of brand/regional. Additionally, and even before COVID, they really limited all 3rd party lead providers, pausing some completely during COVID. Patriot focused on their fixed-ops departments, and reached out to all customers with outstanding recalls. Their geniuses from the sales team became fixed-ops reps and drivers, going back and forth to retrieve and deliver customer vehicles for the service department so that customers didn’t need to come into the store if they didn’t want to.

“Christine (our strategy manager) has spent time with us explaining how the different platforms that we use work, and which metrics we should be looking at to make sure our plans are working. She has been very helpful at making adjustments in real time as we’ve needed them.”

Brian Beattie
General Manager, Patriot Subaru

THE SOLUTION

During April, PureCars tightened up Patriot Subaru’s geo to focus on their backyard and capitalize on those searching for their brand in towns closest to their stores. This plan worked. In May, they expanded tactics to Social, Display, and SEM, and re-started Activate offers on their website to match the right website users to the right offers.

“Christine (our strategy manager) has spent time with us explaining how the different platforms that we use work, and which metrics we should be looking at to make sure our plans are working,” Brian said. “She has been very helpful at making adjustments in real time as we’ve needed them.”

In May, after being able to reopen their showroom, Patriot Subaru removed cars from the floor in order to create more free space for socially distancing standards. They also removed vehicles from the front concrete pads in front of their building to create an outdoor seating area for their customers. Future plans include removal of their veggie garden to make way for a 3 season pergola for their customers to have more  on site spaces to distance themselves. When completed, they hope to team up with some local restaurants and/or food trucks to provide food and beverages to customers utilizing the outside spaces.

PURECARS SOLUTIONS & TACTICS USED

  • Paid Search / SEM
  • Display / Retargeting
  • Social Advertising
  • Video Advertising
  • Optimized Business Listings
  • Full Funnel Attribution
  • Market Analytics Data
  • Onsite Offers

In addition to running efficient campaigns to maximize qualified traffic to the website and showroom, PureCars helped to educate the staff on the correct metrics to look at when comparing MOM/YOY. They talked through what ‘goals’ they actually want to achieve, beyond selling cars, as well as how they could continue to be profitable despite turbulence.

Utilizing all tools offered by PureCars, and doing regular check ins with their strategy team, Patriot Subaru looked at market data, attribution and digital advertising performance from the data-driven lens of what was working and what needed to be cut or temporarily paused. During COVID, they also used the PureCars COVID tracker (proprietary data dashboard) to determine the best plan of action for revenue and overall profitability.

“Christine is always a phone call or text away and addresses our questions or concerns immediately,” Brian said. “She typically gets whatever is needed done ASAP, and is up front with us about timelines if it’s not something that can happen immediately.”

Brian Beattie
General Manager, Patriot Subaru

THE RESULTS

Since partnering with PureCars, Patriot has steadily increased sales volume, year over year. In late 2019, when the world looked very different than it does today, Brian and Christine looked at the sales data from the year and set sales goals for 2020, a total combined growth for new and used sales of about 17% for the year.

When the reality of COVID hit, every dealer was questioning how hard of a hit their sales goals would take. Like many dealers, Patriot acted fast to adjust their strategy and spend, reducing spend in March and pausing almost all campaigns in April, but otherwise holding their budget relatively steady. Despite the reduced budget and paused campaigns, conversions were up every month (Jan – Aug) from the previous year. Both clicks and CTR also increased month over month in 2020, with the exception of a negligible dip on CTR in March. Finally, CPCs were also down month over month, which means their budget could spread a little farther and work a little harder.

PureCars Case Study: Patriot Subaru Results.

In May of 2020, Patriot Subaru exceeded their ALL TIME sales unit numbers in the history of the store. They continued to exceed their sales goals in June and July and are on track to beat 2019 sales volume by the end of August.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PATRIOT SUBARU?

Patriot’s plans include continuing to partner with PureCars, leveraging data to make better marketing decisions, finish 2020 strong, and plan for another record-breaking year in 2021. We’re excited and grateful for the continued partnership with Brian and his team.

As a company, Patriot Subaru remains committed to their employees and customers, working diligently to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible, while providing essential services. Patriot Subaru continues to invest in their surrounding  community, through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, their ‘Associate Directed Giving’ program, which enables all employees to earn and donate money for causes of their choosing,  and their ‘Share the Love’ event, which donates  a portion of profits to charity for each new Subaru sold.


Download the Case Study [PDF]

Rebecca Taylor

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