Jiffy Lube CMO Jeffrey Lack admits the company had no more than a standard digital strategy back in 2011.
“Our digital presence was basically isolated to a national website, a mobile site and a very small pay-per-click program,” Lack said.
And as a national oil change chain with thousands of franchisees, that wasn’t doing the trick, especially in local markets.
“We wanted to be able to serve ads to customers related to where they live – and that was a relatively new thing for us,” Lack told AdExchanger during a chat at the ad:tech show in New York City on Wednesday. “Historically, we had one program that we would run nationally and all of the offers were aligned to the lowest common denominator in the system. They were single standard offers.”
That’s when Jiffy Lube encountered Sq1, the digital agency which has since become the brand’s AOR. Sq1 acts as a kind of technology clearinghouse for its clients. The agency vets technology and data providers, aggregates the good stuff into a single platform and activates it on a case by case basis depending on a brand’s particular needs. The agency maintains relationships with a host of tech partners, including LiveRamp, eXelate, Monetate, Turn, MediaMath, Datalogix and others.
When Lack and his team met with Sq1, they had several acute pain points they needed addressed. For one, Jiffy Lube had trouble disseminating locally relevant offers to its franchise owners, both logistically and from a branding perspective. JIffy Lube was also experiencing stagnant growth. Consumers simply weren’t redeeming the brand’s coupons.
“Volume had been in steady decline for a while, and when I say a while, I mean 10 years or more,” Lack said. “That’s why we needed to identify a marketing growth platform that would allow us to drive traffic to franchisees. That was the number one objective of our marketing team.”
It was technology to the rescue. But first, the brand launched a national campaign, dubbed “Leave Worry Behind,” that centered on the notion that Jiffy Lube can help consumers relieve the anxiety of keeping a vehicle in top shape. With its new brand identity in place, Jiffy Lube turned to Sq1 for the tech.
The agency created a proprietary digital coupon portal that allowed Jiffy Lube franchisees to easily log in and customize national offers to their local markets. Sq1 also ingested customer segments derived from Jiffy Lube’s shopper data to create a dynamic pricing structure for the brand’s digital media, including pay-per-click and display. This enabled Jiffy Lube to bid higher for ad placements going to customers identified as being more likely to convert.
“The Jiffy Lube product hasn’t changed much over time and awareness is much the same as it’s always been, which is why the question became: How do you get people to drive to a Jiffy Lube rather than going to the service guy across the street?” said Ernie Capobianco, CEO of Sq1. “One answer is to pinpoint who is most likely to convert at the time they’re most likely to convert.”
Since turning on the PPC portal, Jiffy Lube has seen a 557% increase in the number of coupon redemptions in local markets and an 8:1 dollar return on ad spend. The brand’s also experienced an 83% decrease in cost-per-acquisition, a more than 24% uptick in click-through rate and a more than 15% increase in the number of vehicles serviced. In 2011, Jiffy Lube only ran one national program at a time; today the brand runs nearly 900 different local program simultaneously across the country.
“Today we have a strong national display program, a strong CRM and retargeting program and we’ve made a big investment in pay-per-click to drive traffic at the local level with the franchises,” Lack said. “Three and a half years ago our digital program was in a state of disgrace compared to our competitors. Today, I’d say we’re the industry leader.”
Next on Jiffy Lube’s list is an enhancement of the company’s website, slated to launch in December, which will include geolocation features so that when consumers visit jiffylube.com they’ll be presented with an offer based on where they are. Jiffy Lube is also planning on working with Sq1 and LiveRamp to onboard more point-of-sale data into the PPC system.
Mobile will also remain high on Jiffy Lube’s list of top things to focus on. Roughly 60% of its PPC traffic comes from coupons downloaded onto a mobile device. But mobile is also important to the brand from from an education and overall brand awareness perspective.
“We have a very long purchase cycle, and we might only see our most loyal customers two or three times a year for an oil change,” Lack said. “A coupon is often the trigger event for a consumer to come to us, but the bigger opportunity in the near-term is to use digital to educate our consumers and to understand customer need in advance of a purchase.”