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Sportique's programmatic campaign increases YOY sales by 40%

Westword's campaign yields best 2 days ever and 40% year over year sales for a month

Bert Ross, Senior Multi-media Account Executive and creator of winning campaign, in the Colorado hills.
A popular brand, a great deal and a multi-media campaign pay off for all concerned.
Campaign results
Campaign results

Technology: Programmatic advertising

Platform: Adcellerant

Media: Westword, a City Weekly owned by Voice Media

Market: Denver, Colorado

Client: Sportique

Account Executive: Bert Ross, Senior Multi-Media Account Executive

Campaign: Two Day Liquidation Sale of Urban Scooters

Objective:  Sportique had been the steady print advertiser at Westword, then went dormant for a few years. “After two or three years of pestering them, they agreed to test us again,” Ross said.

The immediate objective was to promote their first ever liquidation sale in March 2017.  For the sale floor model scooters, including Vespas and other popular brands, were discounted 30% to 50% off, raising cash and making room for new models.

The market for the sale was broad-based, including millennials, college students and urban dwellers, who were about 65% female, living in the  ten to fifteen mile area in and around Denver. 

Strategy: The strategy  was to create a multi-media campaign,  “front loaded” ten days prior to the  sale with about 25% of the buy, and continuing  for another two months with generic ads for sales and service. The campaign utilized all of Westward’s owned  assets but relied heavily on programmatic buys. Here's how the multi-media campaign was put together: 

• Programmatic buys targeted a fairly broad demographic skewing younger and more urban in a ten to 15 mile radius in and aroud Denver,  starting ten days ahead of the sale. Using AdCellerent's programatic buying platform, Ross was able to guarantee a CTR of .1%, or 606 clicks for 560,000 impressions (see full results in the attached slide deck). 

• Exclusive e-blast of Westward's popular event's new email  list, an audience of  43,000 five days before the sale added 4300 opens and 87 clicks. 

• Mobile interstitial ads on Westword that pop-up as the page is viewed also ran the first day of the sale,  yielding 37,000 impresssions  and 1,243 clicks, with the highest CTR's of  3.39 %, although many may have been clicks to remove the ad. 

• A print ad ran the week before the sale in Westwards "7 days" events area. The retro look and feel of the  print ad matched the online and email ads. 

• Westword also ran the ads on it own website. A site-takeover 24 hours before the sale in the news section added an audience of 4,600 with 114 clicks,  with another high .39% CTR. 

• Standard online display ads ran throughout Westward's website for three days before the sale, generating 16,505 impressions and another 46 clicks. 

About one third of the campaign ran ahead  of the sale. After the sale, generic brand and service ads for Sportique ran programmatically  for another 2.5 months. 

At the last minute idea, the client asked if they could target another 250,000 to 300,000 people who were going to attend Denver's  Pride festival.

"They said we wished we had talked to you a week ago because we have nothing set-up for Pride."

Ross called Adcellerant to ask if they could switch the campaign from demographic targeting to microproximity for the duration of Pride.

“We wanted to run a micro-drop and switch gears for two days to target people on the festival site, as well as off-site entertainment and night clubs."  


In the ten days leading up to  the sale, Sportique was already seeing new customers.

“People were coming in two to three days before the sale saying they could not make it on the sales dates, and asking if they could get the same prices,” said Ross. The store happily complied. 

When Ross showed up the morning of the sale to check it out, and support his client it was already busy.  Ultimately, the sale provided the two best days of revenues in the store's history. "While they sold a lot of old inventory, they also sold more new inventory than they had thought possible, " Ross said. In the weeks afterward, sales were still up 40% over the prior year. 

They have never seen this much growth, and the only thing we are doing (for the last two months) is the programmatic. It blew out their expectations.”

Based on number of clicks, the programmatic ads from Adcellerant were clearly the power behind the results, also the owned-media added extra buyers and more importantly, visual branding. 

Results were also visualised element by element in a sliide deck (attached). 

What Judges Liked: 

This is a textbook example of how to put together a great multi-media package. Scooters are a great product  with creative to match  for Westward's urban demographic and the offer was significant enough to motivate buyers. 

Adding programmatic not only allowed Ross to get the client interested, but also to buy across all media citywide, and across all platforms.  Being able and willing  to turn on a dime and swith the buy to  microproximity for the two days of PRIDE shows that everyone on the team was working for the client. 

The results prove the case. The slide deck display that visualized results for  each element is well-constructed, and the ultimate tally of results, the increase in store revenues, says it all. 

Lessons Learned

Multi-media packages work, especially for smaller media to allow them to cover a narrow target citywide. Don't be afraid to rely heavily on programatic to deepen the reach of valuable owned assets, especially when the client is looking for digital options. 

This success also reflects  the competence of Westward's  team.  For those media who have been relunctant or unable to cross-train their teams on multi-media, it is worth pointing out that Ross is a 27 year veteran of the sales department, who over time, has learned to effectively sell multi-media, search and audit  companies ahead of sales calls,  and work with measurable results. Westword  also employs a healthy sales organization for a city weekly: 13 sales people,  2 digital-only reps, and a digital manager. Investment in digital at C-level for about twenty years is still paying off. 

westward, ross, voice, adcellerant, progrommatic, ad networks, microproximity, scooters, automotive


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