Luxury car brand Lincoln developed the “Build & Price” tool to allow consumers to explore vehicles through a digital experience. Marketers found that barriers were inhibiting the online configuration process and wanted to address them. Their goal was to have the tool follow the brand’s ethos of creating an effortless, warm, human and personally-crafted experience for customers. And, the Build & Price tool did this by allowing customers to configure their desired vehicle digitally.
Objective and Context:
The Build & Price tool on Lincoln.com is a vehicle configuration engine that is common to many automotive OEM websites and is crucial to driving leads to Lincoln dealers. The tool is a popular destination for Lincoln.com customers looking to explore Lincoln’s offerings. When evaluating the performance of the Build & Price tool, marketers found that declining completion rates (when users reach the “Build Summary” page) and lead generation rates across the vehicle lineup indicated that clients may not have been getting the information they needed. Through user testing and survey testimonials, marketers discovered there were barriers to be addressed throughout the entire configuration process that were diminishing the overall experience and limiting the number of clients who achieved completion.
Lincoln’s marketing team wanted to make the Build & Price tool an effortless, luxurious experience for consumers. Their hypothesis was that a smoother experience would increase the number of clients who reached the Build Summary page where calls to action were placed. This would increase leads, quotes, and search inventory queries.
The audience consisted of Lincoln.com users who had previously used the Build & Price tool. For the pilot, marketers narrowed the audience to one segment: those who were shopping for a 2018 Lincoln Continental. Lincoln.com users are generally at the top or near the bottom of the sales funnel, and the Continental audience is made up primarily of males between the ages of 40 and 65 years old.
Lincoln’s creative strategy was built from the brand ethos, or guiding principal, which stated that all experiences of owning, or shopping for, a Lincoln should feel effortless, warm, human, and personally crafted. The new creative direction would reduce barriers and known pain points, use more personable language (vs. engineer- or marketing-speak) and give seamless guidance to complete the experience and find information that consumers were looking for.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The Build & Price tool provided a core shopping activity for Lincoln customers that allowed them to configure the vehicle they desired. The goal was to create a new Lincoln experience that was effortless, warm, human, and personally crafted.
The Lincoln Continental received high traffic on Lincoln.com, which made it the perfect vehicle for this pilot program. A public pilot was launched on Lincoln.com in December 2017. Half of the people targeted for the Continental Build & Price campaign were sent to the original experience and half were sent to the new experience. Keeping the Client pain points and brand ethos in mind, marketers:
The experience was designed with mobile devices in mind. During the user testing phase, marketers discovered that the mobile platform had more pain points than the desktop version. Due to the responsive and adaptive platform, a solution would have to perform well for both mobile and desktop.
Utilizing the Build & Price tool to configure and price a vehicle was one of the primary purposes of visiting for many potential Lincoln.com customers. Some were unsatisfied with the tool. While there were a variety of issues to address, one of the key issues was that the tool did not intuitively guide the clients to complete the vehicle configuration through to the Build Summary page. Sales leads were more likely to be generated by those who reached that step. The Build Summary page included calls to action for next steps in the funnel (e.g., Get a Quote) and gave visitors the satisfaction of a completely built car.
The Lincoln Continental Build & Price pilot achieved:
As the Build & Price tool provided a core shopping activity for Lincoln customers at the top and bottom of the shopping funnel, it was crucial that the experience be positive. The Enhanced Build & Price experience led to a greater number of leads, build completion rates, and inventory searches. The greatest increase was to lead generation. Overall, users left with a more positive perception of the build process as well as the Lincoln brand.
Due to its success, the Enhance Build & Price campaign is no longer a pilot project, and the Lincoln business will roll out the enhanced build experience to the entire product line-up in 2018.