The problems of mobile display advertising and its association with limited creativity have been well deconstructed and documented. But that doesn’t mean there are no success stories.
Case in point: Home Depot was able to attract increased store visits. But it was able to do so by working with Google to bridge search and display ads. Ultimately, over the past year, a Think With Google study said that over 1 in 3 people who clicked on a mobile search ad had visited their store and 36 percent of their in-store revenue during peak periods was driven by mobile. That added up to an 8x ROI from the amount Home Depot spent on mobile display ads with Google.
Home Depot customized the ads to reach consumers who were within 15 miles of a Home Depot store. And not just any consumers: The Home Depot team combined local targeting with Google’s audience data to show these ads specifically to do-it-yourselfers and home decor enthusiasts.
The ads ran for four weeks in the areas around Home Depot’s 20 highest-volume stores. Consumers browsing nearby on their smartphones saw dynamically-generated mobile ads designed just for them, with colorful visuals, directions, and details about their nearby Home Depot.
“We know that our busy consumers are looking for answers quickly,” says Dincer. “We used Google’s most relevant products—in this case location based ads and technologies—to be there for our consumers at just the right time when they were looking for garden products that we sell.”
“Mobile location extensions for display really proved their worth very quickly. We’re able to reach do-it-yourselfers who are close to our stores and make a just-in-time connection that brings them the information they really want in their I-want-to-buy-it moments.”
By the end of the test’s first week, Home Depot could see that the the ads were working. And by the end of the four-week test period, the company was seeing more than 8X in-store ROI from their mobile display ads.
In fact, 93% of the sales created by the ads happened in-store, with the remainder happening online.
The results were so good that Home Depot quickly expanded the gardening and outdoor goods program to 2200 stores nationwide — and again saw 8X in-store ROI. Currently, Home Depot is also planning to expand the pilot to other categories, like paint and related merchandise.
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