EMP, one of the Growth 2000 major players, began as a mail-order business in Germany 30 years ago. Its small team created a catalogue where music enthusiasts could buy their merchandise from a single place. It was soon able to branch out of Germany and is now Europe’s top supplier of alternative clothing, with its catalogue still being delivered to loyal customers across the region.
In the UK, EMP is a pure-play store stocking the UK’s largest collection of official TV, movie, gaming and rock and heavy metal merchandise – stocking more than 55,000 products.
To grow still further, the retailer tasked Coast Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency, with doubling EMP’s return on ad spend (ROAS), reducing cost per acquisition and increasing year-on-year revenue by 150%. For a mature brand that has been growing for some time, this was quite a challenge.
Highlighting the issues
When Coast Digital initially started working on the account, it completed an extensive audit to help provide focus to their activities. The main issues that were identified included:
- High spend
- Low return on ad spend (ROAS)
- High cost per acquisition (CPA)
- Low revenue (below client targets) even though EMP was spending significant amounts each month.
One of Coast Digital key tasks was to improve performance across the board, particularly with Black Friday and the busy Christmas period fast approaching. This was an extremely important time period for the client commercially, so they were acutely aware that the work they undertook would have to yield positive results quickly.
Using a carefully researched and structured action plan, it set about addressing the problem areas in order to achieve the desired performance.
Given the enormous size of the account – hundreds of campaigns, thousands of ad groups, hundreds of thousands of keywords – it was not feasible to use standard analysis tools to evaluate them. As such, Coast Digital used Big Data Analytics in order to gain useful insights from the client’s marketing data – making use of a range of tools in order to collate and analyse over 1.2 million rows of data.
This analysis enabled Coast Digital to quickly cut wasteful areas in the account, focus exclusively on areas that have historically performed well, and restructure the account in order to streamline management and allocate spend more appropriately.
Putting analysis into action
Search campaigns were reorganised so that wasteful keywords and ad groups would be removed, profitable keywords were reorganised into more efficient and manageable ad groups, new ad copy was introduced across the board and new negative keyword lists were applied.
PLA campaigns were broken out into product-level ad groups so that Coast Digital could alter bids on individual products – allowing them to be more precise with spend and targeting.
Previously, these campaigns were only arranged into broad product category ad groups, which not only reduced relevance but also made it difficult to discern which products were profitable and which were not. Therefore, these needed amending as a priority.
A master negative keyword list, comprised mainly of the results of the data analysis, was also applied throughout the account; immediately cutting down spend on thousands of wasteful, non-converting keywords.
These actions were all based upon a solid foundation of insight gained from data analysis and ultimately, have allowed Coast Digital to improve the efficiency of the campaign.
An optimised account delivers results fast
Positive results were produced soon after optimisation. Within two weeks of implementing these changes to the account, EMP saw some impressive figures:
- Weekly spend dropped by 18.82% from €24,258 to €19,959
- Revenue generated per week increased by 49% from €42,029 to €62,920
- Average cost per acquisition dropped by 42% from €19.24 to €11.01
- Return on Ad spend (ROAS) improved by 186.7% from 0.75 to 2.15.
Speaking on the results achieved by Coast Digital, Ajay Nassa, Managing Director, EMP UK says: “We consistently saw very strong growth in both revenue and ROI. High-level analysis facilitated strategic use of budget. Coast’s sole focus was always on increasing the profitability, and constantly tested different ROIs and the resultant revenue to determine which levels maximise profit and ultimately to increase market share.”