[Case Study] Wyoming Dealership Sees Increased Montana Sales with Targeted Meta and Search Engine Marketing Strategy

We’ve all heard “location is everything” for businesses, but with the reach and targeting options that digital ads provide, one auto dealership proved that physical location is just somewhere people will drive to if there is need for your product. 

We’ve partnered with the Menholt Auto Group for digital marketing for almost a decade now, and one of their locations is in Cody, Wyoming — a city with a population of just more than 10,000 people. 

You might think this dealership would be limited in the number of new vehicles they can sell given the population, but that would be to underestimate how far people are willing to drive for the new vehicle they want (at the right price, and with the right service).

By identifying gaps in brand availability — specifically GMC — and targeting campaigns to a higher populated area, the GMC-Chevrolet dealership was able to make Billings, MT — a city two hours away with more than 100,000 people — their next highest-selling city for new vehicles after Cody itself.

The Challenge: 

The main challenge here was to figure out where to expand potential customer reach online and what inventory that area might be looking for without wasting budget. 

Research showed that there was only one new GMC dealership in the Billings area — and additional research will tell you that people are willing to drive more than 400 miles for a new vehicle. 

Both pieces of information together provided the where and the what inventory needed to run successful digital advertising campaigns.

Now, the ads had a specific audience in mind (those living in or near Billings, MT) with a specific need (new GMC vehicle selection) that the Menholt dealership in Cody could fulfill. 

The Solution:

The solution now was clear: Get Cody’s new GMC inventory in front of people shopping for GMC online from Billings in the most effective way possible: with digital marketing. 

The Cody dealership got in front of the audience with a dedicated Meta campaign promoting all new GMC vehicles to those living in or around the Billings area. They also added a targeted GMC campaign to their Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts, focused on reaching online searchers looking for new GMCs in the Billings area with search engine marketing (SEM). 

These campaigns not only helped expand overall ad reach, but anyone from Billings who visited the site from those ads was then nurtured further by a dynamic retargeting campaign on Meta (Facebook and Instagram). 

The Results:

This dealership has now been running Billings-targeted new GMC ads for a few years, and our data shows that shoppers from Billings are now the #2 source of new vehicle sales, with each year seeing an increase in new vehicle sales attributed to Billings. 

Meta allows us to import data to report on the number of leads and sales who interacted with certain campaigns. With this, we attributed 29 purchases and 89 leads to the Billings-targeted GMC and dynamic retargeting Meta campaigns.*

We also know the campaigns’ budgets are being spent responsibly, as the Billings-targeted campaigns outperformed each platform’s benchmarks. 

  • The Meta ad campaign has an average cost-per-click (CPC) of just $0.26 (the industry benchmark = $0.37) and averages nearly 900 unique link clicks to the Cody website each month. 
  • The Google Ads campaign averaged a CPC of $1.86 and a CTR of 7.59% (industry benchmarks = $2.46 and 4.41%). 
  • The Microsoft Advertising campaign’s average CPC was $0.79, and its CTR was 3.47% (industry benchmarks = $2.52 and 2.34%). 

*This data was averaged from a 12 month period (Dec. 1, 2022 to Nov. 30, 2023) in Meta Ads Manager, Google Ads Manager and Microsoft Ads Manager. 

Reach Your Full Potential With Targeted Ads

Research, strategic targeting and consistency helped these digital ads generate leads and sales for the dealership — and optimizations are still being made. 

If you’re looking for more targeting tips or want to see how you could improve your Meta, Microsoft or Google Ads, chat with our team or look into setting up a custom proposal just for your business. 

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