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The challenge

Škoda challenged CLICKTRUST with the task of managing the SEA campaigns to continue recruiting new Škoda customers (website traffic, leads and test drives).

The challenge here  lies in the measurement of the customer journey. The customer journey for the purchase of a car takes several months, which is longer than the cookie is able to correctly track and attribute a conversion.

Moreover, people use different sources of information online (e.g. brand website, review websites, YouTube videos, …) but also offline (e.g. dealers, TV, Radio, OOH, …). This complex and long customer journey makes it impossible to properly track all touchpoints using cookies or even CRM data.

Škoda also has a high search volume on their brand name, which requires quite some budget to cover. Investing the SEA budget in branded search terms is showing good results in terms of tracked macro conversions at a low CPL. But is this really attracting new customers? Aren’t we just intercepting people that already decided? Doesn’t the customer journey start with a generic search to discover your options?

Our solution



Does branded paid search bring in incremental traffic?

At CLICKTRUST, we are convinced that branded paid search for brands like Škoda is not generating incrementality for the business. Instead, it’s intercepting people that are already convinced to buy this brand. Buying branded searches is like handing out coupons to people that were already in line at the cashier ready to buy the product.


Customer journeys starting with generic search

Škoda’s target group is not loyal to a specific car brand. They start their customer journey with a generic search to see what cars are available. It’s more important to be present on those generic searches to make it on the short list of those people as early as possible.

To prove the effectiveness of generic search, we are using Qualitative visits as a soft conversion.


An on-off test to check the incrementality of branded search terms

Showing the incrementality of branded search terms was done by running an on-off test to check whether organic search traffic would take over when we pause the brand search campaigns, keeping the total search traffic the same.

The test ran in 4 phases:

  • All SEA is activated
  • Both Brand and Generic are turned off
  • Generic is turned on again, while keeping Brand off
  • All SEA is back live



As expected, we could conclude that brand paid search is not generating any incremental impact on the business. We’re actually paying for traffic that would come for free through organic search. So, we could shift our budget away from branded keywords to generic without losing traffic. This means a 30% saving in the total budget that we were able to invest in Generic to fight the competition.

The results

+63% in hard conversions generated by search (SEA & SEO)
– 51% in CPL

our clients cases.

UNICEF’s HappyPack: scaling digital fundraising

Škoda case: Maximizing hard conversions by cutting the branded SEA budget

Zuny 2.0: growing the brand in a competitive market

discover more client cases