One of the gems of the Czech industry, ŠKODA has evolved into a modern, respected car manufacturer present in more than 100 markets worldwide. Known today for their unique and reliable designs, the ŠKODA brand started out over a hundred years ago crafting bicycles, followed by motorcycles and, ultimately, cars.
In the automotive industry, booking a test-drive is a crucial step in the purchase funnel. Marketers spend considerable time, resources and budget converting website traffic into test-drive appointments; naturally, people who are willing to leave their personal information to physically try out a vehicle are exhibiting high buyer intent.
On a more pragmatic level, retailers also prefer potential customers to book ahead of time, instead of stopping by on the fly, so they can better manage their schedules. All around, increasing the number of online test-drive bookings generates hot leads and better pipeline visibility.
In addition to this ever-present goal, the digital marketing team at ŠKODA’s French branch had a particular challenge to address. They wanted to capitalize on a rare, time-limited promotional offer – a zero-interest loan program – to jump-start their online test-drive bookings. They just weren’t sure of the best website optimization tactic to employ.
Urgency Principle and Engagement Idea
They brought the opportunity to the attention of AB Tasty and Rosapark, their digital marketing agency. “We talked through a few options for how to make the most of this valuable offer,” explained Laura Rérolle, Partnership Success Manager at AB Tasty. “We decided on a simple countdown banner that would show how much time was left before the zero-interest loan option ended. The idea was to give the offer the air of an event, to make it prominent on the homepage and other key areas of the site. This would attract attention and draw interested viewers down the purchase funnel. Since this type of engagement technique is not frequently used in this industry, we wanted to try it out in this limited scope to test the idea.”
The team at ŠKODA then worked with Rosapark on the creative design and deployment aspects. They ran the campaign using AB Tasty for mobile and desktop viewers for the full duration of the offer (eight days), on their homepage and the product pages (those that detailed the cars for sale).
The countdown clock banner included two calls-to-action: one to ‘learn more’ about the offer, (which redirected to an explanatory landing page), and the other, ‘book a test-drive,’ to a booking page.
There was no doubt about it – the countdown banner clearly drew positive attention, encouraging online visitors to book the coveted test-drives. “We ran this campaign with AB Tasty as part of a big media blast around this offer. We were thrilled to see that, the week of the campaign, we more than doubled the number of booked test-drives compared to the previous week. In fact, a full 13% of that week’s leads came directly from this countdown clock. This is a significant uplift in qualified leads, at very little extra effort or resources. We’re very happy with these results,” explained Sebastien Toussaint, Customer Experience & Data Performance Manager at ŠKODA, France.
“The countdown banner was very effective during this key offer. While taking care not to overuse this engagement tactic, ŠKODA could certainly employ it again during their open house events two or three times per year,” elaborated Laura.
Engagement techniques like countdown banners, when used judiciously, can effectively nudge website visitors into converting.