NEWS | 10.17.16

Customer Research

Digital overhaul leading to big results: Yamaha Motor Corporation USA.

Norm Tribe

Position | Digital Creative Director


In February 2014, GearShift Advertising (creative/account) and GearShift’s media partner ymarketing (digital/media) took over for Yamaha’s long-time incumbent agency, and was given the client mandate to attach ROI metrics to future advertising.


  • Yamaha’s website, CRM and lead management systems were not nearly as connected as they could be, and not optimally set up for sales tracking
  • The client historically focused on awareness media (TV and print) – with lower-funnel, close-to-sale actions not measured, and not an integral part of the culture
  • Yamaha’s advertising had never been geared for data capture, and their website-generated dealer leads trailed competitors, leaving huge room for improvement

The Idea

“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution.” — Naveen Jain

Sometimes campaigns take the form of a clever, well-executed idea. In this case, we realized it would take a complete digital overhaul to overcome inertia and deliver the accountability and efficiencies promised in the pitch. Our campaign involved strategic and creative solutions across many fronts – requiring new levels of coordination between the agency’s and client’s marketing, web development, and CRM teams.

Strategic Solutions

  • Increased Yamaha’s media mix from 35% digital to over 50% digital
  • Set up the client’s first-ever Paid Search campaigns across all product lines, bidding on over 82,000 keywords
  • Incorporated Paid Social as a lead-driving tactic, instead of community-building
  • Added new forms of targeting and remarketing for display media
  • Established new tagging structure and KPIs for online lead forms, dealer locates, zip code searches, finance inquiries, brochure downloads, and video views

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