*Month prior to Mabo Media management vs same month one year later

Stonehill has been supplying office supplies to industry and commerce since 1976.




Stonehill had managed their PPC advertising successfully in-house for a number of years but as more and more advertisers joined the AdWords auction (in what was already an exceptionally competitive marketplace) it became harder to maintain profitability and even harder to grow them. We were given the opportunity to review the account and advised that the shopping campaigns were covering all product ranges with little bidding control. There were instances where the clicks were leading to low session duration visits as customers were not engaging with bestsellers and because the bids were set to a median level for overall performance it meant that low-value items were getting higher impression share than the high-value items. This would need to be remedied to improve profitability and make growth sustainable in the long term.


After being given the go-ahead to be the first agency engaged to manage the Stonehill account we began the process of restructuring the shopping campaigns to maximise control and find areas of profitability. Campaigns were built around the site categorisation for organisation and then the inventory was broken down into small pots of product types; finally bidding control was built to the individual item level. We were given an ambitious ROI target but one we felt would be realistic once we had a handle on the data and could make informed decisions on which ranges and products we could profitably push.


As the restructuring was so significantly different from the original campaign structure we advised the client that there may be an initial drop in performance and unsettling of the account. We knew that we were likely to pick up impressions and start building clicks in areas that had previously not had the ad rank to receive any traffic so we didn’t have historical data to fall back on to tell us expected conversion rates or where to set the appropriate bid levels. So the plan was to maintain the site-wide coverage and use budget control to ensure spend didn’t run away with itself. Then once we had meaningful data we could decide which areas to push and which to scale back.

When we set the new work live even we were surprised by quite how much it unsettled performance. Despite sensibly choosing not to increase bidding on low-value products, even they picked up impression share and the click spread was across a wider proportion of ranges than even the all product targets had allowed. For the first few days, there was actually a drop in the ROI. At this stage, it would have been easy to panic and revert all the changes, but we knew our strategy was right and stuck to our guns and, despite some misgivings, the client kept their confidence in us.

Within a few days, we had found the true volume of available traffic for many of the product ranges and we quickly cut down spending on areas that weren’t performing to leave core target areas with higher session duration and conversion rates. That allowed the ROI to recover and as more data built we found more opportunities to both push and to scale back specific products and ranges consistently. After the new campaigns had been running a couple of months, we were meeting the ambitious ROI target and exceeding year on year sales volume with significantly lower spend than previous months.


Once we started to meet the ROI target consistently we then had the platform to grow the account. By maintaining the strategy and pushing for higher average order values we started to exceed AdWords revenue records despite still proportionally lower spend. After the initial wobble, it was particularly satisfying to know that our service had delivered for the client.


We had a bit of a shaky start – which I sort of expected … But things have massively improved and am glad I made the switch to Mabo Media. Feel like they are very professional in appearance and now in their results. Thanks Guys !”

James Hewitt – Senior Sales Account Manager (on reviews.co.uk)

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