NEW YORK: Jiffy Lube, the franchise group of automotive service centres, has successfully demonstrated how a "hyper-specific" approach to online search can yield extremely positive returns for brands.

Jeffrey Lack, the organisation's chief marketing officer, discussed this subject during a session at the latest ad:tech New York conference.

"There is no better medium to take your story and make it hyper-specific to a consumer than digitally," he said. (For more, including the results delivered by the firm's revised search strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Jiffy Lube aggressively drives footfall with search advertising.)

When Lack assumed his current role at Jiffy Lube, its approach to search simply involved operating a single, nationwide pay-per-click program.

"We had an offer that had a budget that was fixed in a point of time; it started at eight o'clock in the morning and went until we ran out of money," he said.

That often left the firm's franchises on the West Coast at a disadvantage, as the difference in time zone meant the paid-search budget might run out part way through their working day.

Even with these limitations, however, the "small set of results" provided by this effort suggested pay-per-click could be a "very powerful and effective tool for us to drive traffic" to service centres, Lack asserted.

"So we went about to go create a program that not only scaled it up, but we wanted to allow both flexibility in terms of how we managed the budgets and customisability for the franchisees," he added.

Partnering with marketing group Sq1, it thus developed a new search solution capable of disseminating a wide range of deals to consumers based on their precise location.

"We went from having a single, national $5 offer that met the lowest common denominator everywhere to having over 900 programs nationwide," said Lack.

"The advantage of that is we get to marry up the best of both worlds: we take our national scale of buying and then we leverage the understanding of the consumer that franchisees have at a local level."

Franchisees were also given the ability to "enhance" purchases using a simple online tool. And, in combination, these efforts delivered significant upticks in clickthroughs, conversion and the number of vehicles serviced.

"It's very exciting; it's actually transformed a lot of different parts of our business," said Lack.

Data sourced from Warc