Sales & Marketing

How Evans Cycles is gearing up for seasonal customers with programmatic advertising

7 min read

28 July 2015

Ange Bussy-Socrate, online marketing manager at Evans Cycles, explains how businesses can use data to identify and reach new audiences.

Image: Shutterstock

One of the major challenges for digital marketers today is that there is so much data available, generating many advertising opportunities, which cannot all be implemented at the same time.

The days when digital marketers could mass market one campaign to as many consumers as possible are a thing of the past. Now, with all of this data available, brands have the opportunity to take a more intelligent approach to driving awareness campaigns to our audiences if we can use this information to tailor our marketing messages.

At Evans Cycles, our online marketing team wanted to reach a new, wider audience, and grow multi-channel brand awareness. To achieve this aim, we are working with Turn, the digital hub for marketers, to implement a data-driven approach to our online marketing which opens up the opportunity to find and engage this new customer base.

Using programmatic ad technologies to take a more consumer-centric approach to digital marketing, we have taken away the guesswork in digital marketing, using audience-first thinking; putting individual customer interests and preferences at the heart of everything we do. Now, our online marketing team can optimise campaigns in real time based on what is resonating with consumers, and create more agile campaigns.

This adoption of programmatic has been so successful for Evans Cycles, that we are now expanding our digital marketing team to run programmatic campaigns in-house full-time. In our first two months using the Turn platform, Evans Cycles prospecting campaigns exceeded cost per acquisition objectives by 20 per cent compared to the last year – and they don’t show any signs of slowing.

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We have found that using programmatic is much like riding a carbon fibre TT bike; it can be highly powerful, but only when you combine it with the right rider and maintenance to keep it running successfully does it make for a winning combination.

The secret to success is asking ‘How can I use programmatic technology to the best of its ability to help me reach my goals?’ and here are our top tips:

Take away the guesswork in marketing

By harnessing anonymised data from customers such as personal preferences, spending habits and average visits to a site before purchasing, brands can drive better awareness campaigns. At Evans Cycles, we used programmatic ad technologies to take a more consumer-centric approach to our digital marketing.

Greet your audience at the right time

Walk down the street or browse the internet for 20 minutes, and how many adverts do you really notice? According to Route Research ATD, a short walk through Oxford Circus tube station exposes a commuter to as many outdoor frames in a few minutes (71) as an average Brit sees in a whole day (also 71). 

With ads all around us, the race for the attention of consumers has become fiercer than ever, making driving engagement and, ultimately, conversions more challenging. Brands should consider how harnessing data such as precise location, time and context can help them understand when their audience is in the right frame of mind to be targeted with an ad.

From our own campaigns, data revealed that the core Evans Cycles audience is not always looking at cycling websites. Rather, their time online is spent on specific sections of marketplace sites like eBay and national news sites such as The Guardian. 

This enables Evans Cycles to expand its strategies beyond the obvious contextual targeting, and employ additional tactics around Private Market Places, retargeting and site extensions, to good effect.

Get your digital marketing integration in gear

By increasing real-time bidding campaigns, we have been able to develop better digital marketing integration throughout the consumer’s path to purchase. With Turn’s support, Evans Cycles has been able to co-ordinate brand campaigns at the start of the research process through to later messaging focused around influencing the customer’s buying decision.

For example, if a registered customer who has previously shopped with Evans Cycles, has placed a bike into their order basket but not completed the purchase, anonymised data may show that other shoppers who bought that bike also purchased cycling gloves.

As such, it may be worth marketers upselling to that returning customer with an offer on cycling gloves to complement the bike. Not only will this encourage your customer along their path to purchase, but it will also reassure the shopper that they are a valued customer.

Programmatic advertising has set us on the right track to identify and target key audiences, and gather a single customer view of how cyclists – both seasonal and enthusiasts – behave online.

For other brands looking to identify potential customers and re-engage returning customers, it’s time to get on yer’ bike and take on a more intelligent approach to driving awareness campaigns – it’s the only way to stay ahead of the competition!

Ange Bussy-Socrate is online marketing manager at Evans Cycles, one of Britain’s largest cycle retailers.

Image: Shutterstock