How Volkswagen got Netherlands customers into the driver’s seat with Amazon DSP

Shopping for a car can be an overwhelming experience for some customers. Volkswagen wanted to make the process more accessible for their shoppers in the Netherlands while also driving reach and conversions. They specifically wanted to connect with customers who were interested in leasing a new vehicle, known as “lease intenders”, with an efficient cost per action (CPA) marketing strategy. In order to tackle these goals, Volkswagen teamed up with Amazon Ads and Mediacom | Greenhouse to create a strategy that reached and engaged these customers.

Based on what Volkswagen wanted to achieve, Amazon Ads recommended Amazon DSP to help deliver relevant billboard ad units and in-app display placements to customers. Mediacom | Greenhouse took the recommendation and began testing to see how they could best reach and help customers find the vehicles they needed.

Testing Amazon DSP to find relevant audiences

“We started testing Amazon DSP in the performance layer to initially specify from a broad scope. We soon noticed that this was not the right approach and then turned the strategy around to expand to specific audiences and insights,” said Zoey Jansen, Display Specialist at MediaCom|Greenhouse.

What stood out to Mediacom | Greenhouse about Amazon DSP was the way it helped them refine their strategy, so that they could discover relevant customers who would benefit from seeing Volkswagen’s campaigns. They were able to reach audiences who were interested in leasing cars by marketing to audiences with related potential interests in categories like automotive, family, home owners, and technology.

“This ultimately resulted in us seeing very good results and interesting insights within Amazon DSPs. Since it was a test phase, we took a broad look at KPIs and ultimately saw that Amazon DSP performed the best for our needs,” Jansen said.

Getting lease intenders behind the wheel

Volkswagen wanted to focus their always-on strategy by using Amazon DSP as a way to reach new vehicle lease intenders. Their goal was to drive audiences to their website and promote engagement when they got there. They achieved this by encouraging audiences to virtually build a car for their needs and request a test drive in real life.

Engaged audiences who visited Volkswagen’s website were able to immerse themselves in a virtual car shopping experience where they could customize their ideal vehicle based on their preferences. Customers could select different options for features like wheels, color, interior, and extra options. After customers selected their choices, they could save their preferences and review all the features they selected. Once the customer reviewed the product details, they could opt-in to test drive their dream car.

Customers can design the interior of the car within the car configurator.

Customers can also edit small details such as the wheels of the car.

Crossing the finish line

Through testing on Amazon DSP and launching an always-on campaign, the Volkswagen team used an Amazon DSP audience segmentation report to optimize reach and conversion. With this strategy, not only did Volkswagen decrease their CPA compared to their previous campaigns, the Amazon Ads team also found that Amazon’s DSP helped Volkswagen reach 88.5% incremental audiences using Amazon audiences on open exchanges which are similar results to other campaigns the Amazon Ads team implemented using Amazon DSP.1 Therefore, they were able to reach 88.5% net new customers with the creative using Amazon DSP.2

“Volkswagen has been a client for a long time at Greenhouse, and are always open for innovations. In this case, it was the added value that Amazon offers on audiences that are very relevant for automotive clients. We wanted to test that with Volkswagen to show the added value of Amazon DSP,” Jansen said.

Ultimately, the campaign results exceeded expectations, Jansen said. She also added that Amazon DSP may be useful to non-endemic advertisers who are also looking to reach audiences across the internet. Her advice for advertisers is to jump right in.

“Just start testing,” she said.

“There are so many different options within Amazon DSP in terms of inventory, but also the available insights. By using the different inventory sources, audiences, reports, and testing you will find the best setup. Amazon always listened really well to us throughout the process, which helped us address any obstacles very fast.”

— Zoey Jansen, Display Specialist at MediaCom|Greenhouse

1-2 Amazon internal data, Netherlands, 2021