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Case Study: How Pioneer Achieved a Whopping 60%+ Click-Through Rate for Its Online Ads

by Kimberly Smith  |  
February 9, 2010

Company: Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.
Contact: Ted Cardenas, Director of Marketing, Mobile Entertainment Business Group
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Industry: Electronics, B2C
Annual revenue: $150,000,000
Number of employees: 500

Quick Read

Would you believe 2009 wasn't all bad? Onerous as it may be to peer through the wreckage left in the year's wake, there were a few bright spots deserving of a marketer's respect—including the explosion of social media and, with it, an unrivaled capability to precisely target specific consumer groups on a grand scale.

Moreover, we now have the means to listen in on—and participate in—the conversations consumers are having about their experiences, opinions, interests, and needs in relation to our products and brands.

Having effectively married those two elements of social media, electronics manufacturer Pioneer was able to achieve click-through rates topping 60% on its ads in online communities where consumers gather.


Pioneer Corporation is a leading maker of consumer and commercial electronics, offering audio, video, and computer products for the home and car. It has subsidiaries and affiliates around the world.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) is the sales and marketing arm of Pioneer's North American headquarters. The company's Mobile Entertainment Business Group manages its in-car product portfolio, which includes car stereo, satellite radio, and navigation systems.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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  • by Dan Redman Tue Feb 9, 2010 via web

    Insignificant data. If you only track half way through (no conversion data), no sample pieces, and you can only approximate the number of views, it's dismissed in my book. A case study should be replicate-able because you discovered something scientifically relevant. I don't see any of that here. You've angered me.

  • by Paul Mulzoff Wed Feb 10, 2010 via web

    I agree with Dan. I would have liked to see the actual visits/sales rates and how they tracked where these visitors/conversions oriuginated from, i.e. SEO, PPC, or the forum

  • by Tracy Wong @ PostRelease Wed Feb 10, 2010 via web

    As with any advertising campaign, building awareness and generating interest is a first step towards generating sales. Companies pay to achieve that first step any number of ways - they buy banner ads, bid on search keywords, etc. What this case study shows is that forum advertising is a highly effective way to get people to that first step whether it's watching a 2-minute product video on YouTube or going to a product page. Tracking the sale from there depends on the advertiser's tracking methods, and it is indeed possible to track online sales and website traffic that originated from PostRelease. Since Pioneer sells its product primarily through distributors who then ship to retailers, direct sales data tied to this specific campaign was not available.

    Forums are formed to speak specifically about a product or interest. In this case, we targeted automotive enthusiast forums and gave them a message about new in-car entertainment products. The purpose of this case study is to show the effectiveness of the targeting and the PostRelease ad unit as evidenced by the high click-thru rate.

    PostRelease has many more examples that demonstrate that these results are indeed repeatable - overall, click-through rates average 33 percent. A similar campaign for American Tire Distributors generated a click-through rate of 69 percent; some current campaigns are in the 40 percent range at the moment. A recent analysis shows that PostRelease results increase by an average of more than 100 percent one year after a paid campaign has ended, because forum posts get indexed by search engines.

    The numbers are not approximates - the numbers listed here are actual results, and the clicks came directly from the PostRelease posts within the forums.

  • by Dan Redman Wed Feb 10, 2010 via web

    Certainly an interesting concept, but the sample size is still quite small. Impressions have value, and 12,000 of them probably doesn't move the needle for a big company.

    'Pioneer's message was read more than 12,000 times and received approximately 7,500 clicks'. The words more than and approximately have never meant 'actual'.

  • by Mark Kilens Thu Feb 11, 2010 via web

    The three points at the bottom are essential for being successful with inbound marketing. Awesome idea by making the blog post "sticky." Great story and thanks for sharing.

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