By fall 2019, the Valvoline brand in Canada had experienced exponential growth with the acquisition of Great Canadian Oil Change (GCOC), Minit Lube (ML) and Oil Changers (OCI). A large rebranding effort was underway to consolidate these three brands consisting of 99 franchise stores and 10 company owned stores, to one brand, a refreshed and modern Great Canadian Oil Change. While this large-scale effort was underway, business had to keep running. Our goal was to continue to drive cars into bays of both company owned stores as well as the franchise stores throughout the country targeting new customers and returning customers due for regular service. A successful multi-year paid search program had been underway for the company owned stores, but there was no national program in place for the new franchisees.
In January 2021, with the rebranding effort still underway, Extension Marketing created a new opt-in paid search program for franchisees who had not yet participated in a search program. This was a complex multi-year National Digital Campaign for 99 locations across Canada.
The program was centrally-managed by Extension Marketing. To create this large scale program from inception to execution, we leveraged our knowledge of consumer buying behaviour and the competition from mom and pop to big box in the retail automotive industry. We developed a keen understanding of sales cycles and seasonality and the types of offers most likely to convert.
As with previous paid search efforts, the goal was to increase awareness of the location by targeting customers who are searching on Google for an oil change service. Based on keyword searches, customers would be presented with an ad with a coupon offer and prompt users to visit specific franchise locations to redeem.
Paid search was selected because it was targetable at the local market level. Search ads would lead to landing pages where specific store addresses and coupon offers could be accessed. Search advertising was measurable in both deep digital metrics, coupon redemptions, traffic to the bay and ROI. The paid search program was also optimizable. To earn a high-ranking position, we had the ability to continuously optimize with learning from our digital performance for proximity, relevancy, bid, budget, ad copy and coupon offer. We would report on the following metrics on a weekly basis: Impressions; Search Impression Share, Clicks, Click-Thru-Rate, Cost Per Click, Redemptions, Redemption Rate and Percentage of New Customers. To source this metric, our digital campaign was seamlessly integrated with Valvoline’s proprietary POS systems, ISI, at the store level.
The campaign also required an education program to onboard franchisees. We hosted franchise workshops to help educate on Google Search program, prepared communication and educational pieces and conducted ongoing one-on-one trouble shooting with Franchisees at the store level.
The paid search program:
- Achieved incremental revenue of $1,705,000 annually
- Generated $5.20 in profit for every dollar spent in each store
It also saw an increase of key metrics:
- 9.8% Increase in campaign impressions
- 32% increase in redemption rate
For the first program of its kind in Canada, overall performance of the opt-in franchise paid search program was very encouraging and laid a strong foundation as it continues throughout 2022.