Surveying the digital landscape

Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping agency of Britain and is responsible for the surveying, production, maintenance, and marketing of a wide range of geographic information, relied on by government, business, and individuals. The business is split into three market facing units – B2B, Government and Consumer (OS Leisure).

We are fortunate to have worked with Ordnance Survey for the past three years. Each year we have helped them grow in digital confidence, and encouraged them to expect more from their digital marketing performance. 2020 started with OS Leisure having a strong appetite for being present everywhere across all relevant search environments, no matter what the ad platform. They also had ambitious revenue and efficiency targets to match.

When COVID struck, there was of course some nervousness about the best path forward and what opportunity there would be for their ecommerce offering, but there was also a huge opportunity in PPC for trusted brands and ecommerce retailers to take advantage of search demand. OS Leisure enabled us to demonstrate our expertise and strategic thinking, seizing these opportunities by increasing spend, expanding product promotion and experimenting with features/settings across Amazon, Apple search and Google shopping.

New channels needed

Originally Adido were contracted to manage activity across OS Leisure’s PPC channels including Google & Bing, focusing on delivering strong year-on-year, direct sales growth.

As targets expanded, new channels needed to be introduced, including, Amazon, Universal App campaigns and Apple Search. Throw in the impact of Covid-19 & Ordnance Survey were not without their challenges in the ecommerce space.

A strategic and streamlined approach

Our strategy was to showcase what each platform could offer by testing quickly and rigorously, whilst being mindful of ROAS and stock-level limitations. However, given the ROAS target we approached the budget deployment, platform selection, and brand/generic division with caution to deliver cost effectiveness.

Our success with OS Leisure can be attributed to not only the strategic approach by the team, but also by the speed we adapted to changes within the PPC environment and ecommerce behaviours. Including adopting new bid strategies, introducing new product lines and running tests to maximise campaigns.

When introducing automatic bid strategies to Google Ads (GAds), this was not just decide once and then mass apply. We conducted a staged roll-out of bid strategies to determine which one was optimal for each campaign. We transitioned from enhanced CPC to max clicks/max conversions through to targeted ROAS. As different bid strategies varied, we waited until all were tested within each campaign before making final decisions. Whilst ‘final’ implies the decision was firmly fixed, we continued to run mini-tests intermittently to ensure that our choice was maximising results.

We trialled dynamic search ad (DSA) campaigns within GAds. This campaign type requires huge trust in Google's algorithm; applied hastily it can go astray. We achieved success by refining a massive campaign that contained an ad group for every location OS Leisure had a map for, into a single DSA campaign. This reduced the number of ad groups from 200+ down to 2, removing the requirement for thousands of ads to be managed individually.

As Google had dynamically created custom ad headlines tailored to the search term, we saw improved CTRs and conversion rates. This allowed us to run more efficiently, with less hours spent on maintenance and analysis.

Our values

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We quickly identified from Google Analytics sales data that there was a growing trend towards garden games during lockdown. This had been an area of Ordnance Survey’s PPC account that had not been very successful in the past, but by trialing a new way of running the campaign, a dynamic search ads campaign, we were able to open up a new profitable revenue stream for the business.

Became masters of Apple search ads

Although still limited in features/data/support, we’ve unpicked the Apple search ad platform to increase OS Leisure’s search exposure within the app store and improve its download rate.

We trialled different approaches to campaign segmentation, match type selection, creative variances and bidding. We loathe using simple, default (black box) set-ups, and push for control over what is shown whenever possible.

We implemented ‘'code snippets' in ad copy; mostly countdown offers to promote urgency. We used postcode look up; highlighting free delivery to selected postcodes in certain user locations. Messaging was segmented per device for the app campaigns ensuring iOS users saw Apple based content, while Android copy was more Google Play/Android focused.

Record breaking revenue

The PPC activity has gone from strength to strength, hitting record months for sales, time after time. Looking at year on year performance (April 2020 - March 2021) the website revenue has grown by over 106%, finishing with a ROAS of 6.96 (up from 4.25 the year before).

A trusted relationship

So much hard work and dedication has gone into this hugely successful digital campaign for OS Leisure, using existing and new channels across Google search and shopping, Bing search and shopping, whilst introducing Apple ads, Amazon ads and UAC campaigns.

They, like so many, were apprehensive about what 2020 & 2021 would look like as the Coronavirus pandemic took over our daily lives. With their trust, we were able to react quickly and utilise our skills, to not only sustain revenue and transactions, but increase them!

This culminated in record breaking returns, and is something that we are all so proud of at Adido.

But our work hasn’t stopped there. As an agency which prides itself on building partnerships with our clients, we have been delighted to get involved with other aspects of their business.

375K sales
+ 144% YoY
6.96 ROAS
+ 63% YoY

“Working with Adido we have seen consistent growth across our paid activity, due to this upturn we have increased our annual targets but still confident the team at Adido will be able to use their expertise to achieve these targets. The team at Adido are very responsive, we are in constant contact, with weekly update calls, monthly meetings and a focus on developing new channels and trends. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Adido and building on the success we have seen.”

Gemma Bell
Senior Marketing Manager

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