Trade Oak Building Kits is a sustainable trade retailer of high quality oak kits and related timber products. As industry innovators, both in terms of design and technology, the company has grown rapidly and reached a tipping point in scale. Recognising that hitting a certain level of production would reduce unit costs and delivery charges, the company partnered with digital consultancy AlwaysFriday to identify cost-effective ways to grow its customer base and minimise production costs.
"The growth in sales has enabled Trade Oak to expand the team, invest in technology and get the peace of mind that this level of sales and growth is sustainable. I can’t imagine another marketing channel having as good a fit."James Harringman, managing director of Trade Oak Building Kits
In the oak outbuildings market, only a handful of larger companies have the funds, scale and staff to implement an integrated digital strategy. As a newer and smaller company with the ambition to capture market share, Trade Oak Building Kits needed to achieve an equally prominent digital presence with fewer resources.
Having prior marketing experience, the company’s managing director, James Harringman was able to handle the first steps himself. However he needed an experienced sales and marketing consultant he could trust to develop and lead a digital strategy for the company. Knowing that some agencies focus on billable hours rather than deliverables and clear ROI, he chose AlwaysFriday, preferring its approach of testing before scaling any idea, and the detailed reporting it provides.
The AlwaysFriday team proactively identified Google Ads and Facebook Ads with audience demographics that matched its target customers as priority channels. First, the team analysed historical data across Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends and Google Ads to identify critical customer behaviour patterns. They then customised ad setup to suit each audience, device type and location, with bids optimised accordingly. For existing users, AlwaysFriday created re-marketing lists to get ads in front of the right people across computers, mobiles and tablets.
Since the aesthetics of Trade Oak products are a strong selling point, the team realised that images would make a huge impact on Trade Oak’s target audience. The PPC team segmented audiences across the various platforms and designed several display campaigns to be delivered to each group according to their online behaviour.
A critical element of the strategy was analysing the landing pages’ performance and mapping the typical user journey. This allowed to identify the best and worst-performing website elements and tweak the website to optimise conversion rates. This involved only a modest cost and avoided the expense of creating a new website.
AlwaysFriday also optimised calls to action across the website and the ad creatives to strengthen interaction with Trade Oak. All improvements were A/B tested to reduce the risk of harming ongoing campaigns, and also ensure each element’s performance could be easily analysed.
Although Trade Oak had run PPC campaigns before, they were very "pleasantly surprised" how quickly the adjustments reduced their customer acquisition cost. Not having run Facebook ads previously, another revelation was just how effective they can be.
James Harringman commented, "As a director of a growing business, time and cognitive bandwidth are precious. With a small investment of time and strategy on my side, AlwaysFriday was able to extrapolate the test data to deliver great results."
As a result of implementing AlwaysFriday’s recommendations, Trade Oak saw 167% growth in leads over just one quarter, while the average cost per acquisition was cut by 153% across all platforms for the same period. Laser-sharp audience targeting, and updated ad creatives helped drive the click-through rate up by 22.2%, while search impression share grew by 12.4%. Google Display campaigns saw the bounce rate reduce by 42.8%. Having invested in an overhaul of its search strategy, Trade Oak has been able to massively increase the return on its digital spend and acquire new customers from audiences that had previously been overlooked.
"The growth in sales has enabled Trade Oak to expand the team, invest in technology and have the peace of mind that this level of sales and growth is sustainable," James Harringman remarked. "I can’t imagine another marketing channel having as good a fit." His advice to companies facing a similar dilemma is to take the time to identify the problems and take even longer to write a clear brief. Then hire a trusted marketing adviser to do the rest!
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