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Case Study: Turo

Innovative Car Rental Brand Turo Builds Sticky Awareness with Content Influencers

About Turo

Turo is the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, on a mission to put the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use.

With Turo, drivers can book any car they want, wherever they want it, from a community of trusted hosts across the US, Canada, and the UK. From practical “I just need a car now” rentals, to heavy-hauling trucks, to swanky luxury vehicles for a special occasion (or just because), Turo and its network of trusted hosts is changing the car rental game.

Client Location

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Campaign platform

YouTube, Instagram, TikTok

Campaign snapshot
305%

Awareness Lift

44pts

Awareness “Stolen” From Industry Leaders

37%

Industry Leaders Awareness “Stolen”

46%

Consideration for Next Rental

40%

Purchase Intent

39%

Brand Recall Four Weeks After Launch

The big question

How Does a Vehicle Sharing Platform Get Top of Mind Over More Traditional Models?

The background

Remember Us the Next Time You Rent

The main goal for Turo’s creator marketing was to plant a seed with trip-takers and vacationers; to create “sticky awareness” that changes behavior over the long term.

The chances of reaching someone at the exact moment they’re looking to rent a car online are slim. Instead, the goal was to ensure that the next time someone needs to rent a car — could be next week, could be six months from now — Turo is the first name that springs to mind. 

Turo is not your typical car rental agency. It’s a car sharing marketplace. Instead of owning a fleet of vehicles, Turo helps trusted hosts to build a business, offering up their own vehicles to renters. For drivers, this means a wider selection of vehicles, just around the corner, from basic to sports to luxury with electric vehicles (EVs) a particular hit on the platform.

Car sharing is an innovative business model that offers benefits far beyond traditional vehicle rental. Thing is, drivers aren’t moved by innovative business models. They just want a smooth vehicle rental experience and a wide selection of vehicles to choose from.

The AI

Getting Smart with Clusters

BENlabs AI helps to make every campaign a success and it learns even more with every single engagement.

Here’s how BENlabs proprietary AI helped Turo achieve creator marketing success:

Audience Clustering

Starting with target audience analysis, the BENlabs team used AI tools to create audience clusters that would welcome Turo, arriving at a 50/50 split of men and women across travel-minded groups including “Purposeful Explorers” and “Intentional Indulgers.” Given Turo’s wide vehicle selection and access to EV, luxury, and even supercars, “Auto Enthusiasts” were also exposed to Turo via their favorite content creators. 

Smart Creator Matching

With receptive audience clusters identified, BENlabs AI helped the team to find creators who spoke the target audience’s language. Seven creators were selected: two mid-level influencers with between 250K and 500K followers and five macro influencers with followings up to 1 million or more.

THE CREATIVE

Freeing Creators to Share Authentic Turo Experiences

With BENlabs AI identifying the most receptive audience clusters and the most influential creator voices within those communities, it was time to let content creators do what they do best.

Creators including @latoyaforever, @karlconrad, @elenataber, @thesorrygirls, @jaciemarie_ and @lucierheaume received a list of suggested talking points prompts and were invited to share their own take on the key benefits of using Turo in a way that felt authentic to their content and their audiences on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

These creators then shared their personal experiences with Turo; the smooth rental and overall experience, vehicle availability, the chance to take vehicles — including EVs — on an extended test drive or step up to an aspirational vehicle. Creators shared Turo on the road true to the key travel message in hotels, in cabins, bringing the vehicle selection and smooth rental experience to life in everything from slice-of-life vlog updates to beautifully produced travel segments.

Audiences listened and remembered.

The results

Where the Rubber Hits the Road

The goal of the campaign was to bring sticky awareness of Turo’s offerings through authentic and memorable creator messaging, but also to increase consideration and likelihood of purchase.

To measure the campaign effectiveness, BENlabs conducted a Brand Lift Study with KPIs across the entire purchase funnel including ad recall, brand awareness, consideration, and purchase intent. Brand “affinity” in other words. The study also surveyed against creator messages to draw insights on which talking points resonated with audiences.

Instead of measuring proxies like paid survey panels, BENlabs utilized industry-leading techniques to survey actual followers and verified viewers of the creator content around the purchase funnel KPIs.

The results of the Brand Lift Study were remarkable – 39% of followers recalled seeing the ad. This high recall is a testament to the content’s stickiness considering the survey was conducted a full four weeks after the content went live. 

Across Instagram and YouTube, Turo saw a +41 percentage point lift in awareness; that’s 305% lift! And TikTok’s awareness lift was even better at  a +46 percentage point increase. And this lift stole a 37% mindshare from the biggest name in the traditional rental space. You know the one. 

But awareness is just the top of the purchase funnel and the messaging nearly doubled followers’ consideration of Turo and most importantly, their likelihood to purchase – purchase intent jumped +23 percentage points for Instagram and YouTube and +32 percentage points for TikTok.

Turo's Image Gallery
The takeaway

Trust the Process, Learn From Data

But measuring raw numbers wasn’t the only purpose of the Brand Lift Study. The survey was designed to optimize next iterations of creator content. Turo has a lot to offer: a wide variety of vehicles that includes EVs, a smooth rental experience, convenience, affordability, an innovative business model to name a few. The trick is to figure out which of these talking points resonate with audiences to build the kind of sticky affinity that brings Turo to mind the next time people think about renting a car.

The survey illuminated a 3-way mismatch in consumers priorities, the directed messaging, and the optimal. Consumers told us they prioritized affordability; the messaging intended to convey Turo’s excellent selection; but the message that moved the needle the most was Turo’s smooth rental experience. When viewers heard about Turo’s smooth rental experience (thanks to the creators testimonials), nearly half of viewers said they would use Turo next time they needed to rent a vehicle

These and other key findings challenged some preconceived notions. Empowered by concrete data on what would cement Turo in the minds of consumers, Turo began to rethink its messaging and overall positioning, leaning into data-driven, optimized messaging as opposed to gut instinct.

Moreover, smart creator content helped to ensure Turo jumped to mind the next time the audience thought about renting a vehicle.

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