Don’t Put All Your Digital Advertising Eggs In One Basket

October 9, 2020

Featuring: A Toyota Dealer in TN

One successful dealer’s approach to navigating the 2020 storm — from staying the course in March through breaking all-time records in July — with data and goal driven strategies that exceeded expectations.


In March of 2020, when COVID started to hit the U.S. hard, every dealership had to ask themselves the same basic question: Do I pause all advertising spend? Many did, but there were also many that did not. This is one of those dealerships that did not. The relatively short history of March – August 2020 has proven that dealerships that kept their foot on the ad spend gas (even at a reduced speed) fared better than those that paused completely.

After OEM incentives temporarily gave new sales a boost, new inventory supplies began to drop and with factories temporarily shut down, supply and demand pushed used/pre-owned inventory to the forefront. Prior to finding themselves in this predicament, this dealership never pushed used/pre-owned in search, as they always maintained they were ‘fine’. Faced with this new landscape of dwindling new inventory supply, and increased profit opportunities in used/pre-owned sales, it was time to reassess their digital ad strategy.


Enter PureCars. In April and May, the dealer agreed (with their Digital Strategist’s recommendation) to shift some search budget from new to used; they had previously only spent on new, brand and regional campaigns. By the time June came along, it was clear that a focus on used/pre-owned inventory (both acquiring and selling pre-owned) was becoming a necessity for profitability.

With another recommendation from PureCars, this dealer upped the ante — they began to invest in paid social, with a focus on used/pre-owned (70% used, 30% new) and more aggressively funded search for their used/pre-owned inventory.

In July, based on success and market dynamics, they quadrupled down on search for used/pre-owned — increasing their budget allocation to used campaigns from 10% to 40%.


By the end of June, the dealership had increased their used/pre-owned inventory from 200 to 300+.  By the end of July, they had surpassed their previous best ever month – set during Cash for Clunkers – and broke all time records in new sales, used/pre-owned sales and overall profits. In other words, they implemented an effective strategy (diversifying & increasing ad budget) to help them do exactly what they needed to do, when they needed to do it, and the results were even better than expected. 


Digital advertising should never be ‘set it and forget it’; when times change, digital advertising strategies, channels and budget allocations MUST change with them. In other words, don’t keep all your eggs in one digital ad basket! Diversification is key. Oftentimes, changes need to happen on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.

Having a data-driven partner that doesn’t just spit out the numbers, but brings insights and actionable intelligence month after month — and one that is truly invested in your profitability as if it were their own — is critical for success.



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