Unlocking Search Innovation During Lockdown

Agency: Liberty Marketing

COVID-19 caused a stir for most businesses, but not in the least for the finance sector, especially in the commercial property market.

Pure Property Finance is a broker that mainly funds business premises, investment properties, and property development projects. When the pandemic hit, they quickly saw the once-broad range of lenders and loans available disappear. Suddenly, there was a limited supply of finance options which would hinder applications, upset clients, and, consequently, impact the value of traffic that we (Liberty Marketing) delivered through our ongoing PPC strategy.

Pure Property Finance still needed to continue to acquire leads, but only from those whose financial needs could still be serviced. Supply was changing daily, as was market demand, so we had to come up with a completely new way of identifying audiences and a new bidding strategy to maximise value.

The objectives

Our goal at Liberty Marketing was to generate over 50 per cent of the previous MQLs during lockdown using only 25 per cent of the budget. In numbers, that was 75 leads per week using only £7,000 instead of £28,000.

This meant our creativity needed to cover a lot more than just audience targeting and ad copy. How we accessed and used their internal business data needed revisiting because we had to quickly identify the people that were still in the market. We had to only bid on them and not waste a penny on those who could not be served.

This wasn’t easy, as lending criteria changed by the day and many of the people searching within the market had no idea things had changed this much.

The premise of using real-time business data

To avoid wasting advertising spend on anyone that could no longer be served, we needed a true picture of the market. The goal for this data was to impact our advertising strategy to only show adverts to people searching for products available at that moment.

By using business data in this way, we could limit the amount of spend wasted and make our limited advertising budget work much harder. It’s a win-win when less money is spent to acquire a high number of leads.

Our bidding strategy

We moved away from “always on” searches and updated the ad copy to reflect the changes. We also improved and/or added additional targeting to reach the target clients, all aimed at maximising budget.

We implemented tight location targeting. As lenders stopped funding properties and projects in certain regions of the UK, we closed off ads in those areas until funding resumed.

Whilst others were turning off their ads, we used Google Ads to uncover pockets of the market that remained and found the most valuable traffic. We acted as the middleman between those users and the lenders available to them, giving our brokerage client a serious competitive advantage.

The results

  • +10 per cent more leads than the target.
  • -48 per cent cost per conversion.
  • +14.35 per cent conversion rate.

Pure Property Finance asked if they should pause PPC during the lockdown. We knew we could make it work harder, albeit for a fraction of the budget, and we knew that if we applied a different way of thinking we could hit their goals, and thanks to the strong relationship, they trusted us.

The paid media budget fell by 75 per cent, but we still helped the business to make a profit in 2020.

If you desire to work with an expert performance marketing agency, Liberty Marketing should be on your radar. We’re ready and wanting to partner with ambitious brands wanting to grow. Contact us to see how we can help you.