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Motorpoint is revving up its digital marketing using Intelligent Reach as its vehicle data management platform

Channels like Google, AutoTrader and Facebook deliver the audiences that vehicle marketers need. However, without a product data management platform, Motorpoint was finding it difficult to fully leverage those opportunities…

Motorpoint is the UK’s largest independent retailer of nearly new cars and vans and is pioneering the use of vehicle data management in its omnichannel marketing.

For some time, the company has had a clear idea of how it wants to manage its vehicles across key channels but has faced challenges making changes to data, and deploying them, at speed.

The team looked for a data management platform, with the aim of finding a solution that would allow the marketing team to manage data themselves, rather than drawing on internal development resources.

They decided on the Intelligent Reach (IR) data feed management platform and were able to start resolving pain points very quickly. What followed was a revolution in productivity.

According to Selina Gribben, Motorpoint’s Head of Paid Media: “We’ve only been working with Intelligent Reach for a couple of months but, in that time, the scale of what we’ve been able to achieve has been impressive.

As part of our testing, we’ve been able to gain greater control over our feed management without the requirement of huge amounts of IT resource, allowing us to work more quickly.

From managing the types of vehicles appearing in each channel to dynamically modifying the wording of the vehicle adverts, we’re already seeing the benefits of the tests we are running.”

selina gribben, head of paid media at motorpointSmall yellow cubePink Blur Cube

“It’s been interesting to get a better idea about what elements of a vehicle motorists are most concerned about seeing first. What we’ve been learning as part of this test is going to help inform lots of elements of our marketing activity.” 

Selina Gribben, Head of Paid Media, Motorpoint 

What tests are the marketing team currently running?

The current focus is on Google and AutoTrader, with the aim of improving click-through rates on search by testing new layout.

This is particularly important with premium vehicles, where interior spec and features are key factors in the car buying process. Historically, Motorpoint supplied the same data feeds to all of its channels. However, by using the Intelligent Reach platform, the team has been able to customise data feeds at a granular level to test which configuration of text and images provides the strongest conversion rate on each channel.

Another challenge for the Motorpoint team has been to ensure that vehicle categorisation remains accurate across all of its channels.

Due to inconsistencies in the way different industry databases refer to vehicles (particularly hybrid vehicles) there isn’t a single way of categorising them that fits every channel.

Using the IR platform, the team has been able to develop rules that recategorise vehicle attributes, like fuel type, even as new vehicles are added. This has reduced reliance on the business’s IT resources, which would have had to make these changes in the past.

How to search and replace attributes to mirror partner channels?

Sometimes the data in the master feed does not align with the data that a channel expects for a specific vehicle, so there needs to be a way of translating data internally to match the expectations of channel partners.

In this example, the fuel type for the Fiat 500 is considered to be ‘hybrid’ in the internal Motorpoint data and that needs to be changed to ‘petrol’ to make sure the cars appear in the correct searches, under the correct filters, on the partner’s website.

This is accomplished using a simple rule which searches and replaces the word hybrid with petrol, but only for this model.

“It’s been great to see how the implementation of Intelligent Reach has allowed the team to bring about changes faster. Being able to implement rules in bulk has already made things much less time intensive and freed up time for the team to run new testing,”

Alex Howland, Digital Marketing Director, Motorpoint

What is Motorpoint’s approach to managing complex inventory?

Motorpoint’s core stock is made up of quality nearly new vehicles, and it is in the nature of used cars that no two products, and no two audiences, are exactly the same.

Customers interested in a Vauxhall Corsa, for example, are unlikely to also be interested in a Range Rover Sport. As a result, the team are constantly balancing different marketing challenges.

Previously, there had been no way to develop individual strategies for different vehicles, especially those with high engagement. Now, through its work with Intelligent Reach, Motorpoint can make strategic decisions for specific stock that can help drive both online and instore conversions.

According to Motorpoint Digital Marketing Director, Alex Howland: “We've been able to use the software effectively to manage the unique challenges that affect us within our specialism – that’s single product, constantly changing stock and a high turnover of vehicles. The ability to adapt very quickly is a huge thing for us – by limiting the reliance on dev and IT resources it’s not only a benefit to this area, but to the business more generally.”

How does the Intelligent Reach platform help retailers promote vehicles to different channels?

The ability to create bespoke rules has enabled Motorpoint to be more strategic about how and where it promotes vehicles.

For models with a large amount of stock available, Motorpoint has been able to focus on improving visibility for these vehicles at a national level – where volume messaging is more impactful than calling out specific specs.

At the other end of the spectrum, where vehicles might be at a higher price point, Motorpoint knows that potential buyers are looking for information about specific elements of a vehicle. To support this, the team has created rules in the platform to ensure that the ad copy highlights features that have an impact on visibility and click-through rate.

Developing automatic ways to populate promotional fields and calling out key attributes using rule-based logic within the Intelligent Reach platform has already been beneficial. According to Selina Gribben, “The ability to carry out testing to ensure that Motorpoint’s stock profile is being presented in the most impactful way, has already proven incredibly valuable.”

The Intelligent Reach platform is integrated with more than 1,400 shopping channels and marketplaces. Is Motorpoint expanding its range of channels?

Alongside this, the company is planning a move to feeds as part of the wider paid media strategy. According to Selina Gribben, Head of Paid Media, “The [Intelligent Reach] platform enables ads on Google and Facebook to be feed driven, which we couldn't do before, as we couldn't get everything [all the data relating to every vehicle] through.

“Now we will be able to include monthly repayments in the ad copy and will be able to add in remaining stock – for example ‘25 available, from £200/month’. We’ve also been able to add gearbox type and the year of the vehicle into the feed, so will be able to target those keywords and say – ‘2023 plates, automatic gearbox’.

“Right now, we're talking about search, but Google Shopping for automotive – the ability to run vehicle ads against search results on Google Shopping – should be available in the UK in the next quarter or so.

“Previously, getting on there would have meant a big request to IT and that could have taken some time. But being able to manage the feeds ourselves [with the Intelligent Reach platform], is going to enable us to get there much faster.”

How to create and modify ad copy using attributes in a feed?

Dynamically creating and modifying ad copy within the platform is relatively straightforward. In this example we selected the Ford Fiesta and picked the export field that contains the ad copy. Then we added some text to the beginning and the end of the current ad copy, to highlight the fact that there a broad range of Ford Fiestas in stock, and to promote the high stock levels, the different trims available, the range of colours and the fuel types.

The preview function allows us to check that the changes have been applied correctly, to selected models, and only when they have fallen low on stock.

selina gribben, head of paid media at motorpointSmall yellow cubePink Blur Cube

“I think the way Motorpoint is using Intelligent Reach is quite unique and, as a result, some of the rules we are creating are extremely complex. The support team has been incredible in helping us really push the limits of the platform to do what we want to do.”

Selina Gribben, Head of Paid Media, Motorpoint

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