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Keeping up with integrating and managing large amounts of data was a tedious and manual process for Cars.com. With Adverity’s technology, the team at Cars.com was able to automate and accurately analyze their data to maximize their return on ad spend. Ultimately, these efforts sped up their overall data innovation in just 10 months versus years.

Customer

Cars.com

Industry

Retail and eCommerce

Region

North America

Destinations

Tableau
Google BigQuery

Background

Founded in 1998, Cars.com is one of the original dotcom companies. Today, with around 23.5m unique visitors each month, they have become the leading online destination for car shoppers, also serving dealers by connecting them with potential buyers. Cars.com is headquartered in Chicago (IL), USA, with over 1300 employees and revenues of $606.7m in 2019.

Key Results

155 weekly hours

Saved managing data

2X return

On ad spend

Achieved business success

In 10 months vs. an estimated 3 years with in-house resources

"Because of the data availability that Adverity has made possible, we are now able to calculate true return on ad spend, not in the ad platform, but through the actual business. And the potential of this is enormous."

Alexander Holt, Data Enablement Manager, Cars.com

Challenge

Since 1998, Cars.com has dominated the online automotive marketplace. As a pioneer in the industry, Cars.com used legacy architecture, which was not designed to evolve with today’s fast-moving, data-centric marketing demands. The team struggled to connect siloed information from different data sources—they regularly spent 160 weekly hours manually entering the data into a spreadsheet. They wanted a more efficient way to automate this process and better understand their overall marketing performance and ad spend.

Solution

Cars.com extensively evaluated Adverity’s data analytics platform, alongside several competitors, with Adverity winning on cost, technical competency, and client services. From the start, the partnership with Cars.com and Adverity was quick, easy, and felt natural.For example, Cars.com used Tableau, a trusted partner of Adverity, which ensured a streamlined integration.

Integrating Google, Facebook and other standard connectors went very smoothly, and the creation of the first custom API connector was completed in just 60 days. The data team was on their way to a more automated system to help save time and better understand the data, holistically. Adverity’s solution would ultimately allow Cars.com to make more strategic business decisions.

Impact

Adverity enabled the team at Cars.com to automate data processes, shrinking the 160 weekly hours managing their data to just five. They refocused their efforts on key metrics and for the first time ever, the team was able to calculate their true return on ad spend (ROAS). 

They also discovered the keywords that indicated whether a customer would buy a car at a certain price. This provided insight for Cars.com to estimate the value they delivered to car dealers, per lead. Understanding this value, in combination with ROAS, meant the team could see the precise impact from their marketing efforts. 

Now, they were in a much better position to confidently make decisions that would positively impact revenue, growth, and continued innovation—a huge win for Cars.com.

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