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TrueCar search campaign revenues grow 300 percent with SAS® analytics and forecasting

TrueCar is creating a new way to shop for autos with its price aggregation service. As it grows its business, the company needed a way to compile and analyze car sales data, choose the most successful Web-based marketing efforts and forecast car sales – important to getting its name out to both dealers and the public. The company initially relied on another solution, but switched to SAS® Office Analytics for Midsize Business to better manage data and create fast, accurate forecasts. TrueCar reduced per-click costs by 50 percent, with a 100 percent increase in profitability, by using SAS to analyze which websites – and ads – delivered buyers. Search campaign revenues grew by 300 percent.

About TrueCar

  • Provides an online service that lets new car buyers and new car dealers see what is a "good" or "great" price for a car in a given geographic area.
  • Founded by Scott Painter, a pioneer in online automotive sales with Zag.com (a Web-based auto buying service for affinity groups that he still helms) and CarsDirect.
  • Attracts growing number of unique visitors to its website – the number increased by a factor of five in one year.
  • Produces monthly car sales forecasts and sells data to leading automotive research sites.


TrueCar challenges

  • Needed to compile data from multiple sources in less than nine hours.
  • Wanted to create an interactive dashboard that pulled data from multiple sources to give executives an easy way to see how the company is doing.
  • Needed a much faster forecasting tool, and wanted to be able to respond to press inquires about the car market with solid data in less than the day it was taking.
  • Needed a way to analyze search engine marketing spending to improve profitability.

With SAS®: 

  • Time to compile data from multiple sources has been cut from nine hours to one hour.
  • The dashboard displaying information such as site metrics and marketing spending is a big hit with CEO Painter, who says he can easily and effectively communicate with investors and board members. Its monthly car sales forecast, created with SAS, has been accurate to within 1 percent  for the last six months. Bloomberg ranked its forecast No. 1 for four of the last six months. The forecasts have helped garner the publicity and authority necessary to grow its business with auto dealers and the public.
  • It takes 30 minutes to create a forecast with SAS, and the same time to query its database when reporters call looking for information.
  • TrueCar dropped its cost per click by 50 percent with a 100 percent increase in profitability by analyzing which websites – and ads – attract buyers, rather than browsers.

Next steps
Use SAS to create multivariate tests to identify modifications it can make in product development, such as Web pages to drive more sales.

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TrueCar

Business Issue:
The company needed one solution to compile, report, analyze and forecast
Benefits:
  • Compiles data from multiple sources in one hour versus nine
  • Facilitates multi-faced executive dashboard
  • Forecasts new car sales to within 1 percent accuracy
  • Increased dealer, consumer interest from publicity about accuracy
  • Dropped the cost per click by 50 percent with a 100 percent increase in profitability

 

We work with a lot of data, and we need to analyze it quickly and effectively. SAS helps us do all that very efficiently.

Scott Painter

CEO

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