For months, traffic to Castrol.com has trailed rivals, notably Shell.com. That all changed in September, with the Castrol site reaching its highest traffic level in at least a year and pulling ahead of Shell. The gains were unique to Castrol, so are not seasonal. Not seasonal to oil at least"¦
Compete assessed September sources of traffic to Castrol.com traffic to shed some light. The leading source of traffic in September was Sportingnews.com. It was a greater source of traffic than even major search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, and social sites like Facebook.
Why so much traffic from a sports site to an oil site, and why so much in September? Logical guesses include the connection between car racing and motor oil, given several key racing series were preparing to name champions. But in this case the connection is the start of the football season, or one version of it. Castrol sponsors fantasy football on SportingNews.com with prominent Castrol branding, branding of its GTX oil brand, and positioning of the "Castrol High Mileage" tag line. There is also the "Want Proof?" button related to extending engine life. The NFL and fantasy football seasons started September 10th.
Castrol’s sponsorship of fantasy football on Sportingnews.com appears to have driven more traffic to the Castrol site. That raises some key questions:
- Did the sponsorship help build a relationship with current Castrol buyers or create the potential for new ones. That can be assessed by measuring the subsequent engagement on the Castrol and other oil sites among consumers that visited both the Castrol site and the Sporting News site, and through behaviorally targeted surveys.
- Was the Sporting News sponsorship cost-effective? This can be measured by comparing Castrol’s cost of sponsorship and the amount of (and quality of) traffic generated vs. the same metrics for other brands’ online sponsorships.
Note: The results shown here are part of a broader analysis of drivers to Castrol.com, available on request.
Lincoln Merrihew is the Vice President of Transportation at Millward Brown Digital. At Millward Brown Digital, Lincoln is responsible for steering the Transportation Team, which encompasses the automotive and travel practices. Before Lincoln joined the Millward Brown Digital team, he worked at TNS Custom leading the Automotive team, and then continued on there to lead business development for 10 different industry verticals. Lincoln's career aspiration is to create game-changing solutions and insights. Connect with Lincoln on LinkedIn.