How we helped grow a telco challenger from 0 to 20,000 customers in 6 months with PPC

Executive Summary

MyRepublic

MyRepublic is the first purpose-built National Broadband Network (NBN) service provider, delivering ultra-fast internet services to Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

MyRepublic was looking to partner with a specialist Search agency to lead their entry into the competitive Australian ISP market. Their selection criteria was to find an agency who would offer a close-contact approach and who had experience scaling up online advertising in accordance with aggressive targets. Following a competitive pitch that included both independent and network agencies, MyRepublic selected Reef to handle all online advertising including Search, Display, Mobile and Youtube.

Since its launch last year, MyRepublic’s AdWords campaigns have steadily expanded to deliver thousands of conversions, capturing maximum demand from all around Australia while remaining within commercial cost-per-acquisition targets.

Challenges

When Singapore-headquartered MyRepublic launched in Australia in November 2016, it was facing multiple challenges. Being new, there was little to no brand recognition on the Australian market, a significant obstacle when competing against established ISPs. Furthermore, competitors knew the effectiveness of AdWords so had been running and optimising mature campaigns for years, with large online and offline budgets.

MyRepublic’s primary objective during the first few months was to raise brand awareness amongst the Australian public and build excitement for the disruption they planned to bring. Following that, customer acquisition would then become the most important goal.

To secure a successful launch in Australia and carefully allocate budgets for maximum effect, Reef and MyRepublic created detailed projections about traffic volume, sales and cost-per-acquisition goals, to be tracked at all times.

How we tackled these challenges

Defining our approach and strategy

With every new client, Reef conducts a thorough fact-finding and research phase. We began our engagement with MyRepublic by immersing ourselves in their business to understand as much as possible about who they wanted to most reach and why. This provided our team with a deep understanding of their vision, challenges, broader marketing strategy, target audience and of course, their goals and key performance indicators.

Next came the planning phase. In order to achieve these goals, we designed a tailored multi-channel strategy, of which Search is the primary channel with approximately 80% of the media spend dedicated to it.

After an extensive keyword research process which gave actionable insights on competitor activity and industry cost levels, the decision was made to use multiple segmented Search campaigns targeting the most prominent keywords within the industry, such as NBN, ADSL, Internet and Broadband, precisely configured according to geographic and demographic user behaviour.

These keywords being highly competitive and MyRepublic having a lower media budget than most of its direct competitors, we needed to approach the account structure in a unique and clever way in order to secure lower cost-per-click and limit ad wastage.

We ironed out our strategy and divided our approach in three phases:

Phase 1

During phase one, which lasted around 10 weeks from the end of November 2016 to the end of January 2017, we designed campaigns focusing mainly on branded terms, to establish and reinforce MyRepublic’s brand presence on search result pages in alignment with Public Relations and offline media plans.When MyRepublic Australia launched on November 15th, 200 orders were made in the first hour, and more than 1,500 on the first day, so it was vital to ensure that navigational searches for the brand name pointed to the most appropriate page of the new site.

Phase 2

During the second phase, the account was expanded to cover non-branded, high-volume generic keywords such as ‘best NBN plans’, to reach prospects in the research and consideration phases.

An aggressive bidding strategy was applied to grow impression share and raise MyRepublic’s profile as a major new player, focusing on the most searched keywords with strategic value.All AdWords campaigns used established best practices combined with an in-house methodology designed to lift Quality Scores as quickly as possible.

A close relationship between Keyword, Ad Copy and Landing Pages was maintained at all times, to maximise relevancy for the searcher.This resulted in strong click-through rates and lean cost-per-clicks.Each ad group contained several ad copy variations to allow for A/B testing of unique selling points (USP’s) and calls-to-action (CTAs).

Ad extensions such as Sitelinks (including descriptions), Callouts, Structured Snippets and Call Extensions were also used.Finally, we also made sure every click was directed towards the single most relevant landing page, maintaining a tight relationship between ad copy and landing page experience. This maximised the likelihood of conversion while ensuring searchers found what they were expecting to.Technically, the final outcome was the creation of a client MCC account and 64 sub-accounts.

These sub-accounts are split based on desired targeting settings such as Device, Gender and Age, and will be activated gradually as the account continues to grow. The intent of having so many accounts is to clearly understand performance across these segments to adapt messaging accordingly.For example, our ads can focus its messaging on ‘dependable’ or ‘reliable’ for older users, or ‘ultra fast internet’ for younger users.

We can also split the budgets according to which device, gender or age shows the highest conversion rates. Eg. MyRepublic is a great solution for gamers, which is a more male-biased audience. So being able to invest more money into this particular audience can lead to increased conversion rates.With the structure in check, we then synced our Google AdWords account with Google’s DoubleClick Search platform, so we could leverage its algorithms to further increase traffic and conversions, and reduce CPA. The build-in bid strategies from DoubleClick proved to be of great assistance in working towards our KPI’s.

Conversion tracking
Conversion Tracking was our biggest obstacle to overcome. Clear visibility on conversions is possibly the single most important item to get right, in order to accurately track sales for the client, and ensure we are on our way to achieving the given CPA targetsWhile analysing the top conversion paths and various attribution models, we discovered something wasn’t right.

Upon closer inspection, we found out that the Payment Portal that MyRepublic uses was hosted on a different domain than the main website, which resulted in every conversion being identified as a referral conversion in Analytics.

Our first priority was to adopt the First Click attribution model to report on conversions until the issue was solved.

Our approach to solving this challenge consisted of the following:
Firstly, we enabled cross-domain tracking within Analytics.
Secondly, we created a Google Tag Manager account and liaised with the clients’ developers based in Singapore to ensure the tags were properly implemented across all pages of the main website as well as the payment portal.

Once completed, we removed the Analytics tag from the main website and re-implemented it through Google Tag Manager. We ensured all conversion tags from other platforms were also implemented via the Google Tag Manager. Some platforms such as AdRoll needed unique HTML scripts to enable tracking, which we’ve also successfully implemented.

Following this advanced integration, we were able to track conversion data across Analytics, AdWords Search, Display and YouTube, Bing, AdRoll and DoubleClick, giving us the clarity we needed on keyword, ad and video performance.

Phase 3

When managing an AdWords account, it is absolutely necessary to keep a very close eye on its performance. This is particularly true for brand new accounts which have no historical data to analyse and plan optimisations around.

Every day, our team looks at the performance data, attempts to identify trends, areas that are working well (and why), and areas that are not working as intended (and why).

Throughout these checks, which occur at account, campaign, adgroup, keyword and ad copy levels, we are able to identify a number of optimisations which we carefully plan and implement.By going after Head terms on modified broadmatch, we risk our ads from showing for queries that are less relevant.

Therefore, we reviewed search queries attentively and added an abundance of negative keywords thanks to our observations as well as pre-made lists of common negatives for this industry.This helped reduce irrelevant impressions, unwanted clicks and ultimately reduced budget wastage.In parallel to our Search activity, we decided to test multiple display advertising platforms including the Google Display Network and Adroll to increase brand awareness, increase assisted conversions and remarket to visitors who have not yet converted.

Cross-device and cross-channel reporting had to be setup to ensure we have a clear and complete picture of performance.Last but not least, MyRepublic produced video assets which we promoted on Youtube.

We believe this channel is essential in building further brand awareness.We love how it plugs into AdWords so we can leverage remarketing list targeting, for example. We tested various formats, video durations and targeting options to see which produced the best results.

Each week, we attend a work-in-progress meeting at the client’s office, along with the other agencies involved with offline activities.Reef took the lead in multi-agency meetings whilst creating a performance media reporting dashboard in Google Sheets and Google Data Studio that centralises performance metrics from every marketing channel, whether managed by us or someone else. This has been instrumental in ensuring everyone is aligned on a strategic level.

Results & Achievements

We are pleased to see that performance has been steadily improving and that, as we collect more data through DoubleClick, our optimisations – whether manual or automated – will continue to deliver increasingly good results.

  • During our biggest growth periods, we saw:
  • Conversions increase by 85% (12/03/2017 – 21/05/2017)
  • Conversion Rate increase by 170% (12/03/2017 – 21/05/2017)
  • Cost-Per-Conversion decrease by 35% (19/03/2017 – 21/05/2017)
  • Clicks to the website increase by 120% (05/02/2017 – 26/03/2017)

In the 6 months since their launch, we have helped MyRepublic gain over 20,000 new customers at an average CPA consistently below the set CPA targets.
While their objective was to secure 1% market share of all new orders, they are now sitting at around 3% market share which is very exciting.
With such results, MyRepublic has been increasing their Search budget consistently, and by 625% between Months 1 and 6, with plans to continue to increase the digital and AdWords budget with results.

Do you relate to one of these situations?