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CARSTAR Collision and Glass Service is a collision repair franchise owned by Driven Brands that operates 250 locations in Canada and 500+ across North America. In 2017, the owners of five CARSTAR Manitoba franchise locations purchased their primary competitor to increase their market share, and they needed a way to transition the brand into the CARSTAR family without alienating existing customers. They approached Metric to help market with a unified brand and grow their presence through lead generation.
Our first step was to perform a market assessment of the two companies. We conducted primary and secondary research to learn what motivated people to choose a collision centre following a car accident. We also studied competitors and current market trends. This lead to the discovery that both brands were participating in a relatively new program offered by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) at the time, called Direct Repair.
Manitoba drivers now had a new option to go directly to a collision repair provider who was pre-approved by MPI. Through our assessment, we discovered that no other participating facilities were promoting the direct repair designation. We saw this as an excellent opportunity for positioning CARSTAR Manitoba and its newly acquired competitor.
We developed a marketing campaign—“Fast Forward Your Claim”—that would speak to people who needed collision repair services at strategic points during their decision-making journey. Users who had just been in an accident and who searched our keyword terms while standing next to their damaged car could click the ad and call CARSTAR at the number provided, which made them extremely qualified leads.
We engaged in paid search advertising by purchasing ads against relevant search terms and sending users who clicked on them to a campaign website that was designed to encourage conversion. We built choosedirect.ca to give drivers after a collision some clear, step-by-step instructions for processing a claim through an MPI-approved direct-repair shop. Additional goals for the campaign website were to generate leads for CARSTAR Manitoba and to build awareness about the merger.
From the campaign site, drivers could contact CARSTAR Manitoba directly, online or by phone, to make an appointment. Most callers had just had an accident and needed collision repairs; those drivers were served ads instantly, at the exact moment they needed assistance.
Phone conversations were monitored using third-party software, where we were able to listen to calls with the goal of improving the customer experience. After identifying points of confusion, we wrote and provided CARSTAR with a Direct Repair FAQ script for employees to use when answering calls. This made information clearer and increased CARSTAR Manitoba’s close rates.
To support the campaign, drive traffic to the website and increase public awareness, we designed and deployed outdoor media, launched Google Display Ads and wrote radio spots that were aired on local stations.
This campaign has been CARSTAR Manitoba’s most successful in market to date. During the first three months of the campaign, CARSTAR received 622 online conversions, 578 phone calls and more than 200 leads. All prospects came as a result of interactions with media we developed for the campaign.
Today, the campaign site remains live and continues to generate leads. In fact, choosedirect.ca ranks first on Google as an ad for “direct repair.” Since the merger, CARSTAR Manitoba has retained every customer and is a choice destination for direct repair after a collision.