Case Study

AutoNation reaches new drivers with the perfect mix

For an hour every workday, Waze guides Customer Marketing Manager Ashley Dias on her drive to the office. “Waze is literally my right-hand man when it comes to me and my car,” she says. That’s how Ashley came to consider the app as a new marketing channel for her organization, AutoNation. “We service cars, we sell cars — and people who use Waze are in cars. So it felt like the perfect mix,” she says.

With more than 300 locations in 16 states, AutoNation had multiple campaigns running for current customers, but Ashley wanted to take advantage of Waze to connect with new drivers — for example, those who might not have heard of the brand or were unaware of the extent of services that it offers. Additionally, she hoped that the new channel of digital advertising would add a layer of dynamism to the brand. “We really want to change the perception of what a dealership is,” says Ashley, adding that most people see the automotive category as a bit old-school.

A modern spin for dealerships

With more than 300 locations in 18 states, AutoNation had multiple campaigns running for current customers, but Ashley wanted to take advantage of Waze to connect with new drivers — those who might not have heard of the brand or were unaware of the extent of services that it offers. Additionally, she hoped that this new channel of digital advertising would add a layer of dynamism to the brand. “We really want to change the perception of what a dealership is,” says Ashley, adding that most people see the automotive category as a bit old-school.

Messaging the range of services

For Ashley, the Waze campaign provided a unique opportunity to blend her experience as an avid Waze user with her marketing expertise. She and her team began slowly experimenting with Waze, testing Pins and Takeover ads. They gathered data on how customers interacted with the ads in different locations and integrated their learnings to geofence their messaging. In particular, they were excited to let drivers know that AutoNation also buys used cars — a lesser-known service — especially when these drivers were in the vicinity of other dealerships.

Seeing our impressions sometimes, I’m like — wow, that’s amazing.
Ashley Dias, Customer Marketing Manager

Harnessing the golden hours

After seeing a Waze ad from another company that had been tailored for the morning hours, Ashley had an “a-ha” moment for her own organization’s next steps in digital advertising. She plans to test dynamic communications, varying the message by the time of day (e.g., rush hour) to increase the relevance of AutoNation’s Pin ads.

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The Goal

Connect with new customers, shift brand perception, and increase awareness of AutoNation and its variety of services.

The Approach

Implemented Pins and Takeover ads on Waze to connect with potential customers during hyper-relevant, high-impact moments.

The Results

The campaign prompted over 1,100 navigations in its one-month flight.

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