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Display Advertising: Success Factors in Test Drive Campaigns

Buying a new car is fairly costly and since nobody wants to buy a pig in a poke test drives enjoy great popularity with customers. They enable the potential buyer to test and compare the general condition of the car, the driving behavior and other important subjective criteria, which cannot necessarily be read on the vehicle’s data sheet.

The Internet offers to clients as well as to car manufacturers an efficient platform to bring test drives and potential buyers together. This is why in the meantime a variety of different portals and websites have been created (i.e. www.testdriver.co.uk) which deal exclusively with the topic test drives and give the users information on recent test drives, insurance tips and experience reports.

On the other hand, the Internet enables car manufacturers to acquire potential buyers for test drives with the company-owned cars. Especially when launching a new car, this offers a chance to rapidly raise the level of awareness, to convince the clients of the road performance and in the end to encourage them to buy their product.

Display Advertising: Success Factors in Test Drive Campaigns

Display Advertising: Success Factors in Test Drive Campaigns

As performance online marketing agency of GroupM, QUISMA has been implementing test drive campaigns for famous car manufacturers for several years. In simplified terms the process is as follows: QUISMA places the advertising material online, collects and verifies the data, and delivers them to the client who then calls the users via a call center to arrange a date for a test drive. In order to ensure an efficient process and not to jeopardize the success of the test drive campaign, certain conditions need to be fulfilled, on the side of the client as well as on the side of the customer.

Advertising material

First of all, you need to use the right advertising material. Apart from standard advertising material and standalones, pop under with integrated query fields have proven successful. Users can directly fill in their data in the advertising material and express their interest in a test drive, without a detour trough call centers or the client’s website. Disagreement prevails about the depth of data to be asked. Theoretically entering the phone number would be sufficient to get in touch with the client and to arrange a date for a test drive. Advantages are lower costs, since it can be assumed that the conversion rate (insertion of advertising) will rise with a simple registration.

On the other hand, by requesting the full data set with name, address, email address and telephone number the data quality rises, since the inhibition level for those registering for just for fun increases and the registration appears more professional. Moreover, a first data validation can be performed by comparing the zip code and street with the indicated city, incoherent data sets can be removed in advance. A separate question about the user’s desired date for a return call is also highly recommended since it increases the reachability significantly and thus keeps the call center’s costs low. Last but not least, to avoid unpleasant legal consequences, national regulations telecommunication should absolutely be followed when creating the advertising material. For example you should obtain the user’s explicit authorization to contact him by phone via the call center. A general marketing declaration of consent is not sufficient!

Collection and transmission of the data sets

It is not advisable to transmit the data directly to the car manufacturer since it can never be completely ruled out that users register just for fun and use false data. Those entries can be filtered out through the data collection of the agency. In addition, it can be ensured that no user registers twice for the same test drive. To increase the quality of the data sets once again, QUISMA also offers the option to run a bounce check for the email address and to ping the phone number to verify its existence. Through these measures you can guarantee the car manufacturers a high data quality. Finally, the immediacy of the data is guaranteed through a daily data transmission on weekdays, which are, depending on the customer’s preferences sent as CVS data or over an interface.


After a user has registered for a test drive and the data has been transmitted to the client, it depends on the car manufacturer to create the process procedure quickly and efficiently. It is crucial for the client call center to contact the interested party quickly. Users, who are only contacted several weeks after their registration, often have lost their interest in a test drive or do not even remember that they registered for it. In the worst case he or she might even feel bothered by the phone call. It is therefore essential that the call center has sufficient capacity to contact the user within 48 hours after his registration. If even after several attempts he or she could not be reached, it is recommended to follow-up via email or physical mail. Besides being an additional possibility to contact the user it is also a way to increase customer satisfaction, since the interested party gets the feeling that the company cares about the individual costumer and requests are taken seriously.

Permanent optimisation

In order to improve the long term performance of test drive campaigns it is indispensible for the car manufacturer to send in regular intervals a contemporary and detailed feedback to the agency, so that the latter has the possibility to optimize the placement and network and to guarantee a constant improvement of the conversion rate.

In addition to the process described above, QUISMA also offers according to customer demand other implementation models for the generation of test drives. It is for example possible that the client only pays for net leads. This means the client will only pay for data sets whose sender confirmed with the call center to participate in a test drive. However, perquisite is that the client returns the generated data sets within ten working days to QUISMA with a detailed evaluation from the call center.

Because this is the only way to manage campaigns efficiently, by stopping unprofitable placements for instance. If the client’s resources are limited, QUISMA also offers an all-in-one solution. Here the data sets will be validated by a call center commissioned by QUISMA (conversation guide will be arranged with the customer), after which the data set will be directly passed on to the car dealer. However, integration into the car pool data bank of the client is necessary to implement this model, in order to avoid fleet shortages or overloading of individual car dealer.

Lastly, QUISMA also offers the car manufacturers the possibility to carry out a downstream customer survey (per telephone or mail) to find out how satisfied the customers were with the car, the test drive process, but also with the service of the car dealer. In doing so weak points in the value chain can be identified and removed, and the ROI can be optimized.

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