Project Description

NODDLE CASE STUDY

Noddle is the very first provider of the unlimited free for life credit score in the UK.

However, in 2016 the market changed.

RESULTS

77.8%

lowered the CPCs by 77.8%
(preserving the brand at £0.20)

£7,200

saved the client £7,2000 by lowering Brand Exact Match per lead (from £2.26 to £0.64)

25.9%

maintained Brand Exact CPC under 0.20p
25.9% cheaper than when we started the hourly script.

Experian, the largest of Noddle’s competitors, launched their own version of the free for life credit report.

With this came an aggressive pay-per-click bidding strategy.

The approach from Experian involved particular emphasis on bidding for Noddle Exact Match Brand Keywords.

For instance, if a user typed the search query “Noddle” into Google, the top paid search results would include Experian as well as Noddle.

This is when Latitude invented a clever solution...

An automated AdWords script which could modify bids not just at different intervals throughout the week, but every hour, 24/7. The script essentially works around the limitations of Google's ad schedule modifiers.

Noddle Screenshot

OBJECTIVE


Reduce Noddle's CPC for Exact Match Brand

The sole objective of the campaign was to reduce Noddle's CPC for Exact Match Brand despite unprecedented aggression from Experian.

Latitude identified the preservation of these costs as paramount in protecting the overall Noddle brand on paid search.

We also identified a target audience as:

  • New & returning users searching for Noddle brand keywords
  • 18+
  • UK residents
  • Non-registered users

THE CHALLENGE

This was an adversarial situation Noddle couldn’t ignore.

At a glance, it seemed like they had only two options.

Either outbid Experian in an attempt to maintain the top spot, which could prove very expensive in the long-term.

Or, they could sit back and simply allow their main competitor to steal prospective customers who were already affiliated with the Noddle brand - having searched for “Noddle” specifically. Whilst also overpaying for users who search for their brand.

As a direct consequence of this bidding strategy, the average cost-per-click for Noddle Exact Match Brand Keywords increased by 42%, along with Experian's impression share.

Noddle Brand Exact Match

Month Avg CPC Experian Impression Share
Sep-16 +21% 56%
Oct-16 0% 60%
Nov-16 +42% 81%

Noddle therefore felt that they could not adequately protect their brand across paid search, with CPC rising at such an alarming rate.

Latitude were well aware of the fact that only a well-executed strategy could be used in response.

To combat a competitor of Experian's size we needed a flexible and resourceful approach.

Therefore, the challenge laid in deploying a script that didnt miss a single opportunity to steal a march on Experian.

We needed to strike only when Experian were at their least aggressive if we were to succeed in saving money for the client whilst minimising the loss of customers.

THE SOLUTION

Analysis of Experian's keyword bidding behavior enabled us to identify the moments they were least aggressive.

The script bid hourly adjustments were programmed after analysing hour and weekday Brand CPC performance to identify when Experian were most active and lower our bids during the least profitable times of the day and week to avoid spending over the odds for lower quality clicks.

After 30 days of success, we upgraded the script with an Impression Share Modifier, to adjust bids based on the rise and fall of Experian's impression share.

Furthermore, through audience targeting, we were able to only target new and returning users who were yet to complete a sign up on the Noddle site, thus keeping our campaign as targeted and as lead-orientated as possible.

Noddle Chart

Avg CPC for the Exact Match keyword [noddle] by day

THE RESULTS

Not only did Latitude preserve brand CPCs at previous levels, we lowered them by 77.8%

To achieve this was one thing, but the campaign went above and beyond the primary objective...

Our Brand Exact Match cost per lead lowered by 72% - which equated to approximately £7,200 in savings for the client.

Since launching the hourly script strategy, we have maintained our Brand Exact CPC under the target which is 25.93% cheaper than what we saw in November 2016.

As a result of the savings we made, we were able to suggest the introduction of further audience segmentation. This was defined as:

  • Users who had interacted with the sign up page for 5 mins or less, but didn’t convert.
  • Users who had interacted with the sign up page for 10 mins or less, but didn’t convert.

These users would then be targeted with personalised ads to encourage them to complete their sign up.

We would also make use of the bid modifiers to bid more aggressively on these users through search remarketing.

We are currently achieving an average of 40 additional sign ups per month at our targeted CPA.

We were also able to start bidding on both GDN and search as a prospecting exercise to further enhance our reach and find other users that were also potentially in-market for the Noddle product offering.

These have generated a total of 499 sign ups at a CPA at 11% below our target CPA!

Furthermore, we tested bidding on “Mortgages”, “Remortages” and “First Time Buyer” type keywords as a way to prospect further users.

This consisted of users who might be in-market for a new mortgage and may therefore need access to their credit report in order to assess the likelihood of this being accepted.

With the budget saved from December, we were able to include these highly competitive keywords in our PPC account for Q1 and achieved an additional 150 sign ups in just three months.