Future Buildings has been a client of SEP for 11 years. As a forward-thinking company, they understood early on that their consumer typically uses a variety of digital sources to research their purchases. In order to continue to focus on delivering the highest-quality buildings possible, and still grow their business, Future Buildings decided to outsource their digital marketing to Search Engine People.
As a Canadian company, the initial geographic scope for Future Buildings was Canada only with the objective to attract leads within a target CPL (Cost Per Lead). While extremely successful, over time the Canadian market became saturated, and driving consistent lead volumes via search and display advertising became exceptionally challenging. To continue growing their revenues at the rate they had become accustomed to, changes would have to be made. Ultimately, this led to an important decision; Future Buildings began to target the U.S. in their marketing efforts.
Another challenge subsequently encountered was the realization that as a Canadian company, there was very low brand awareness for Future Buildings in the U.S. The low brand awareness had a dramatic impact on their conversion rate (the rate at which leads could be converted into sales). In order to deliver the targeted ROI, SEP would needed to lower the U.S. CPL to 50% of the Canadian market CPL, or find a creative solution to increase awareness of the Future Buildings brand in the U.S.
SEP believed the solution to solving the challenges identified required a creative yet methodical approach to three goals:
- Increase brand awareness
- Optimize to drive down CPL’s
- Communicate effectively with our client
With the highest converting Canadian ads in hand, and our learning from the Canadian market, we started to build out new campaigns with the same objective of attracting leads. Though we also used similar audiences, our biggest contributor to delivering the volume of leads needed within the targeted CPL was our use of a low bid strategy.
A low bid strategy is an internal company innovation that was created by one of our senior level specialists. It is a strategy that has been tested and implemented on numerous client campaigns, producing comparable results each time. The goal is to target longtail keywords that we may not readily think about, and to lower the cost of a CPL in search. To implement this strategy, campaigns of broad match keywords are created and an extensive list of negative keywords is added. On the broad match keywords, low manual bids are set. And with optimization they result in quality leads within the targeted lower CPL.
The solutions implemented in the Future Buildings U.S. campaign were successful at overcoming the challenges we identified, and were also successful in meeting our client’s objectives to grow their business online. The net result was a 540% increase in year-over-year leads from the U.S., while also lowering the average CPL by 40%. When comparing the CPL in the U.S. to the CPL in Canada, SEP managed to outperform and deliver a CPL that was 68% lower than the Canadian market average.
We believe that our ability to dramatically expand Future Buildings lead volumes in the U.S., was a direct result of the strength of our partnership, and Future Buildings' willingness to consider and test the new tactics and approaches proposed.
Also, important to the success of the campaign was the alignment between SEP’s marketing efforts and Future Building’s sales performance. By sharing metrics on the effect of campaigns on actual sales, SEP could focus our actions to drive results that had a real impact on business growth.