B2C Case Study: Automotive Industry


Our client is a cash for cars and auto wrecker business. Operating in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, they have an established business model selling second hand car parts and buying unwanted vehicles for cash.


The client’s biggest challenge is that they operate in a highly competitive marketplace, with no less than 15 direct competitors in the Waikato area and at least 12 in the Bay of Plenty. As our client and their competitors offer similar services, it is important that they have a clear, compelling offer that stands out and converts effectively.

When the company first engaged with Flow Marketing, they had an over-reliance on their poorly-managed Google Ads. This limited their potential market reach, provided a lower conversion rate and led to many invalid clicks online, costing the client hundreds of dollars every month. They wanted to diversify their marketing efforts and focus on generating more cash for car enquiries.

Unless the budget was quadrupled (which wasn’t feasible), it would be very difficult to successfully rank #1 or #2 on Google Ads for all the important keywords and search phrases.

Their existing Facebook campaign was a steady stream of organic posts, some of which were boosted. There was no business manager or proper ad account when we first began working with the client. This was reflected in poor social media marketing results. From February 2019-February 2021, for example, there were only two conversions.

Another challenge was that the client didn’t have inhouse staff to respond to all of the comments generated in the organic and boosted posts. This resulted in many missed opportunities. If a person inquiring doesn’t get a response quickly, they won’t hesitate to go somewhere else. This meant the client was missing out on tens of thousands of dollars from their bottom line.



Dividing up the Campaigns by Region & Cities
Our focus was to divide the campaign up. For Waikato, campaigns were set up for Hamilton (the region’s biggest city) and the rest of Waikato. For the Bay of Plenty, we created campaigns for Tauranga (again, the region’s biggest city) and the rest of the Bay of Plenty.


We introduced Call Only Campaigns. From the data and analytics, we noticed a strong increase in the number of people who were directly calling the company. 


Many of the keywords which were in the existing campaign were high quality. We began to add more specific keywords for the particular towns and cities, also introducing search phrases that were relevant to their target audience.


We conducted extensive research for Facebook Ad opportunities, including looking at cash for cars businesses who were based overseas and running multiple ads. We took particular note of the core solutions offered by businesses in their ad copy and creative, then adapted them to our client’s campaign. We specifically targeted vehicle brands that people in each target region could relate to.

We have observed from past campaigns that it helps to have Facebook Ads that generate brand awareness. This is often accomplished using humour, which we included in our client’s campaigns. 


We opted for two campaigns; one for post engagement and another for two-second continuous video views, so we could reach as many people as possible in the target areas.

We concluded that people either want the services our client was offering, or they don’t. We created dozens of ad copy variations, which spoke to every possible scenario that a person wanting to get rid of their vehicle might face. Here are some examples:

– They have a non-running vehicle sitting on their property.
– They are desperate to offload an unwanted vehicle that’s running because they have bought a new one.
– They don’t have time to drop it off at the wreckers.
– They don’t want to pay for a tow truck.
– They have a vehicle with no Rego or WOF.

Audience Targeting: We kept the targeting as broad as possible. Most Kiwis own their own car, so it didn’t make sense to narrow targeting by interest or age. However, we did target geographically to Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, as the client only operates in these regions.

Campaign Objectives: We began with Facebook lead generation ads as the key objective to get cash for cars leads, before introducing website form submissions as a conversion goal.

Our community managers and moderators were brought in to manage and monitor the Facebook and Instagram ads to ensure all comments, enquiries and questions were responded to promptly. As the target audience wanted to get rid of a car, we responded as quickly as possible, as we were conscious that getting rid of their car is often time sensitive and urgent.



The campaigns were divided based on the target goal objective. This allowed target keywords and search phrases to be more specific and enabled higher quality website traffic. 

Invalid Clicks Were Reduced By 62.25%

We rewrote all of the ad copy after identifying the core needs that people had when wanting to get rid of their car. Personalisation in Google Ads was also important, which is why the best ads contained the keyword which a person typed in, followed by the fresh ad copy which Flow had written. These ads have been so successful at generating conversions, many are still running six months after they were launched.

We rewrote all of the ad copy after identifying the core needs that people had when wanting to get rid of their car. Personalisation in Google Ads was also important, which is why the best ads contained the keyword which a person typed in, followed by the fresh ad copy which Flow had written. These ads have been so successful at generating conversions, many are still running six months after they were launched.

Goal Conversion Rate Increased by 36.21% compared to the previous period. 


The success of the Facebook campaign can be attributed to two main factors. 1. We identified the core needs that people have when wanting to get rid of a car. We then created ad copy variations that addressed these needs. Images of vehicles that are popular in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty were also used, rather than just opting for stock images.

Humour also played a big part in the success of the ads. For the awareness-based ads, we created organic posts that were then promoted, like the image below of a car with legs jumping up and down the road.

This Facebook lead generation image showcases a crazy driver about to inflict some damage to their car.

These ads not only generated strong enquiries, they also provided good social proof (likes, shares and comments), which the algorithm responded well to.

Running the ads consistently, and with a more sizeable budget, allowed us to reach 26% of the total Waikato and Bay of Plenty population.

See the audience definition here for the Bay of Plenty.

And here is the number of people who were reached in the Bay of Plenty with the On Facebook Lead Generation Ads only. We reached 24.6% of the target eligible population with the ads.

Results on Facebook


As time has passed, we have continued to diversify the campaigns further. This includes introducing a Facebook Messenger campaign to provide an additional option for people who want to interact with the client in a more personal way.  The Messenger campaign has let people with unwanted cars privately message the client with information about their vehicle and how much they want for it, without having to provide additional private information such as their phone number and email address. We initially ran a broad-based campaign targeting the entire Waikato region (the client’s area of interest) but later introduced a campaign that targets smaller Waikato towns and the results have been very positive. Usually, the Facebook algorithm skews advertising spend towards the larger cities and towns, so having a small towns campaign has allowed the ads to be shown to people in these areas. The cost per Messenger conversation is not significantly higher.  

The smaller towns in Waikato and Bay of Plenty were more difficult to reach using Google Ads. This is because Google provides minimal keyword and search phrase data for small towns, and ad impressions are proportionally lower. Even when the advertising budget was doubled or tripled from the original amount, it made little difference. 

We tried adding in more keywords and search phrases (such as Car Wrecker Waikato) and experimented with other ads, but to no avail. The search impression share didn’t shift and there was no change to the number of clicks and (more importantly) conversions. 

This can be attributed to the lack of search volume, which affects Google Ads results, as well as the low likelihood that people living in these towns want to interact with the brand more personally.

We were able to counteract this issue using Facebook Ads, where a larger lead generation budget ensures that people in smaller towns consistently see the ads, leading to strong enquiries. Here are some examples. 


Working closely with the client, we identified that Google Ads and Facebook Ads both play an important role in the success of their marketing campaign, especially for lead generation. Using direct, straight to the point ad copy, relevant images and suitable targeting, we have helped this particular client consistently generate enquiries for both cash for cars and second-hand car parts.

For more info or to discuss your business goals and how we can help you to achieve them, please contact info@flow.co.nz


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