Having recently redesigned core elements of the Ram Trucks site, like the vehicle pages, our SapientNitro team looked for new opportunities to help. Our analytics pointed to a huge leaky bucket in the existing towing page–over one million customers landed and exited that page each month. Ram had split from the Dodge brand, becoming the authority and #1 seller of trucks, yet this page had a terrible conversion rate to “lower funnel” activity (building & pricing a truck, scheduling a test drive, requesting a quote).
Understanding the Truck Buyer
Customers looking for towing information on Ram’s website were greeted with a list of every possible truck configuration and some confusing jargon. I set out to understand what they were looking for by tracking discussions about towing in online forums, talking to people who I knew owned trucks, and seeing what dealers experienced when trying to sell on towing capability.
After deciding on the right question to ask, we did a more extensive survey and found three actionable insights to our target market:
44% of truck owners buy to tow–and it’s the leading reason to get a truck. Slightly less buy for work capabilities (39%) and even less by for the image (17%) → This means we could deliver application-specific content (equestrian, watersport, etc.) to make the site more relevant to potential buyers.
People didn’t understand towing in great detail–consumers don’t fully understand which features affect towing capability and how they relate to other features (e.g. fuel efficiency). → There was an opportunity to show the capability and benefits to make a more satisfying purchase.
There are no great towing resources on the web–most people still learn about towing from talking to other people who’ve done it before. → Ram could own towing on the web, elevating its brand and improving safety and awareness.
Defining our Target Customers
Segmenting our market, we decided how to target pieces of content for each type of buyer. First-time buyers would find value in “Before You Buy” and repeat buyers in “How-Tos” and “Towing Safety”. Expert towers would probably be satisfied with the raw data from the original capability finder and move forward.
Filling a Void & Testing Content
I started developing rough content with the help of a copywriter and visual designer. Our goal was to be able to test which areas of our Towing 2.0 site would be useful for each towing segment. I set up a screener to recruit participants and testing scripts to run moderated, in-person interviews. We also streamed the sessions so other team members could tune in during the day.
We had an overwhelming positive response from first-time and repeat buyers who were dying to learn about towing. They wanted to have more intelligent conversations at the dealership and safely use towing equipment on their trips.
Much of our initial concepting and strategy lives on the Ram Trucks site today and is based on the designs shown here. These changes have contributed to 98% higher traffic on the towing pages than the original website. Additionally, it has driven significant traffic to lower funnel activities, which is the best measure of intent to purchase.
Analyzing a weakness on the Ram Trucks site and developing a strategy to cement Ram’s authority around towing led to a huge win. The project also helped me level up my skill set:
- Rather than using our gut, we addressed the needs of specific segments of the truck buyer market.
- I used a variety of research methods and ran my first moderated, in-person research session.
- We were able to show the impact of doing upfront research to our client instead of jumping to solution mode.