What do they do?
UK Cycling Events (UKCE) are a leading cycling events company running a series of organised events across the UK for both experienced and amateur riders. In a challenging market that also contains a series of large industry players such as Evans Cycles and Human Race, the UKCE marketing team faced a challenge of reduced budgets coupled with a desire to see continued growth. They wanted to achieve these key goals within the context of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
We established a thorough understanding of the drivers of performance over the two previous years and built an in-depth customer insight platform that enabled business leaders to understand the barriers to growth. This provided the basis for us to improve performance in current channels and also introduce activity into new channels, most notably social media.
How did we do it?
To find where efficiency improvements could be made, we developed a solid foundation of customer insight to highlight areas of weakness and obstacles in the existing strategy. Our Engagement to Action process blended both qualitative and quantitative data from data analytics, customer surveying and page analytics – quickly exposing the barriers to growth.
The customer insight highlighted two clear findings:
- Cycling is inherently social – The vast majority of users consider cycling to be a social activity and to connect with new customers it’s important to find low cost methods to encourage audiences to share content within their own social circles.
- A wasteful AdWord strategy – We found a distinct lack of competition for previously utilised paid keywords with the amounts being bid higher than necessary and investments being wasted.
In response to these findings, we devised a digital marketing strategy that was split into three key areas:
- Quick Wins – Early activity focussing on ‘low hanging fruit’
- Core Strategy Change – A focus on mid-long-term opportunities for change to key activity
- Long Term Strategy – A series of longer-term strategic decisions to be made regarding viability of spend in relation to performance
To drive these segments without losing sight of the customer, we focussed on three key parts:
- Reducing cost to drive efficiency
Reducing costs involved a detailed audit discovering wasteful investments into Google AdWords and redirecting these funds to more effective keyword campaigns. Effectiveness was measured by comparing AdWord activity year on year in terms of Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). To hit the UKCE target of a 30% budget reduction the most wasteful AdWord campaigns were removed altogether.
- Introducing new channels
New channels involved the introduction of paid social activity that captured interest at the consideration stage of the purchase journey. This generation of early interest enables growth in organic reach and harnesses the ‘viral effect’ of sharing content and tagging friends.
- Building rigorous process and automation
Building a structured email welcome journey and automation process that engaged users who had shown interest in the UKCE proposition. These customers who had requested further information received a series of different emails, across a three-month period, that outlined the next steps on the journey.
We utilised customer insight to direct a series of tests around keyword campaigns and the text/creative associated with these. The testing used live social proof data within the ads, encouraging greater engagement from users. A conversion rate optimisation strategy was also implemented, particularly around lapsed customers and the reasons for their disengagement.
What were the results?
This programme delivered a 42% improvement in CPA for Google AdWords despite a 61% decrease in AdWord spend, exceeding the initial 30% target. In terms of social, for the same scale of investment as in previous years this approach resulted in a 41% increase in conversion from paid social campaigns to call to action. This success has led to Good Growth being retained as UKCE’s sole digital advertising partner through 2019.
What was UKCE’s experience of working with Good Growth?
Head of UKCE, Natalie Hicks said:
“Good Growth are always very realistic and ambitious with their project planning and methodical with their testing. They are very flexible, operating certainly with an ‘anything is possible’ attitude. The team are very personable and we are never seen as asking for too much which is a very good trait as a business, who we have already recommended.”