Used Car Dealer Uses Small Budget in Big Ways

Digital Advertising Budget Case Study

The Challenge

Many dealerships we encounter have very small marketing budgets. Sometimes our full range of digital marketing services may not fit in their budgets, but we work to find solutions to help them use their marketing dollars in the best possible ways.

A used car dealer in a large city was dealing with the challenge of a small budget. With about a dozen other dealerships within a mile radius, the competition was stiff. Most nearby dealerships also sold new brands, which gave them a slight advantage with brand visibility. But this small used car dealership had an edge: it offered quality used vehicles, including some models that were harder to find in that area.

The dealership knew online advertising would be the perfect outlet to showcase its impressive used inventory, so it hired 9 Clouds to run and manage its Google Ads and Facebook ads.


The Solution

Our team worked with the dealership to craft a custom online advertising strategy to help further the store’s reach within its large city. We decided to split its $3,000 monthly budget evenly between Google Ads and Facebook ads.

Our first step was to focus on the client’s buyer persona. What target audience was it trying to reach? While the dealership sold used vehicles, those vehicles were higher quality — and thus had higher price tags. We wanted to hone in our ad targeting to give the client the best possible return on investment (ROI).

Over the course of six months, 9 Clouds worked to increase website visits through the top-of-the-funnel Google Ads and Facebook ads and then retarget engaged leads with dynamic retargeting ads. The dealership’s small staff was able to work with the leads we generated and even attribute car sales back to our digital advertising.

The Results

During our partnership, the small used car dealer was able to see large increases in traffic to its website, especially to vehicle description pages (VDPs) and search results pages (SRPs).

With our automotive advertising on Google and Facebook, 9 Clouds’ online ads contributed to:

  • 74.58% increase in VDP/SRP views on the website
  • 120.18% increase in clicks to the website
  • 56.15% decrease in cost per click

Our team continued to tweak our ad targeting to ensure the client’s marketing dollars were being used effectively and efficiently. Even with a small advertising budget, we were able to show a positive ROI and even directly attribute leads and sales to our marketing efforts. For instance, Facebook’s offline event tracking attributed 28 sales to just one of our ads.

[eBook] Facebook Ads for Auto Dealers

Want to Learn More?

Instead of just telling you what we can do, we like to start by showing you where you can improve your own online efforts. Sign up for a free digital audit from our marketing experts, and we’ll provide custom recommendations for your digital strategy.

You can also find other marketing case studies, learn more about what we believe in our manifesto, or see the latest need-to-know information on our digital marketing blog.