• Nissan divides the users on its site into upper- and lower-funnel categories, based on whether there are strong signals that point toward an intent to purchase.
  • Data sparsity in lower-funnel users made it difficult to optimize, whereas upper-funnel users don’t represent Nissan’s main KPI.
  • The solution was a full-funnel approach, which allowed Nissan to optimize toward a ratio of upper to lower-funnel users and the propensity for keywords to help drive users from upper- to lower-funnel.


Nissan is a Japanese multinational automotive brand that aims to make vehicles that are innovative and exciting for everyone. For Nissan, this means making cars that are more efficient, more beautiful, more inspiring, and more human than ever before. It means, simply, making cars that change the world and the way we move through it, including electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf.

Nissan — along with its Infinity and Datsun brands — continues its quest to optimize product development and deliver leading-edge technology. Today, in various countries and regions around the world, the brand enjoys a reputation for creating truly innovative vehicles and service programs.

We wanted to come up with a strategy that allowed us to optimize toward two sets of users at different points in the customer journey. With Marin’s expert guidance, we were able to create a custom solution that both simplifies our day-to-day and also drives performance.

Anouar Zaiane
Search Director – TBWA\G1 – Nissan United Europe


Nissan classifies users into upper- and lower-funnel categories based on specific website engagements, such as page visits, interactions on the website, downloads, etc. Optimizing toward lower-funnel users was leading to data sparsity and reactivity concerns, while optimizing toward upper-funnel users simply did not represent Nissan’s main KPI.

Nissan needed a bidding solution that takes both types of users into consideration, in order to avoid issues of data sparsity and be reactive to changes in performance and the marketplace, while not placing too much focus on the upper-funnel users. They also needed a bidding solution that was reactive, flexible, and nimble in order to account for differences in strategies between markets.

The Solution

Marin’s Full-Funnel Bidding allows Nissan to combine these two different sets of upper- and lower-funnel users, thus creating a solution that optimizes toward both. This allows the Nissan team to leverage a more robust data set, while also weighting keywords up or down based on their propensity for leading an upper-funnel user to becoming a lower-funnel user.

Full Funnel Bidding looks at the ratio of upper- to lower-funnel users, while also considering the keyword’s vertical, impression share rules, and more. It’s fully-automated and helps the Nissan team identify where upper- and lower-funnel conversions have a long-term higher likelihood of leading to an eventual purchase. Bids are then increased on keywords that are driving these conversions, with simple modifiers that adapt to the requirements of each local market, based on their unique needs.

The Nissan team has rolled out Full-Funnel Bidding in seven markets, with plans to add additional markets in the future.

The Results

Since early 2021, Nissan has seen:

  • A 34% increase in lower-funnel conversions
  • A -8% decrease in cost per lead (lower-funnel)
  • And a 16% increase on lower-funnel conversion rate