Committed to keeping up with the mobile boom, Extra Space Storage used customer insights from AdWords, among other places, to improve its mobile site experience. Thanks to the self-storage company’s adapt-and-react strategy with customers, the site has seen a 24% increase in mobile conversions.


  • Be an agile company that provides customized, tailored experiences to customers on the go
  • Better understand how to convert most valuable customers
  • Increase conversions from mobile


  • Applied customer insights to enhance mobile site performance
  • Focused on mobile across the company, with the digital, research, and call center teams driving the core strategy
  • Developed simplified personality model to segment customer personas


  • 24% increase in total mobile conversions
  • 53% increase in conversions from mobile phone calls
  • 33% growth of paid search conversions from mobile
June 2015

Extra Space Storage® Inc., the second-largest operator of self-storage in the U.S., wants to be there for people at the crossroads of life events, such as a big move or a change in family or roommate situation. The company believes that everyone is a potential customer and that the most valuable ones are increasingly on their mobile devices. In response to the on-the-go nature of its customers, the company focused on developing a great mobile experience. Extra Space Storage started by exploring who its customers are and then analyzed how they interact with its mobile website.

Paving the way with mobile marketing

Just five years ago, Extra Space Storage allocated the majority of its marketing budget to print, running ads in printed directories. Today, it's a different story; 35% of its budget goes to mobile—an increase from single digits just 18 months earlier.

Across the company, the focus is on mobile, and every team is responsible for delivering on this segment. For example, Extra Space Storage has messaging tailored to its customers on the move, who often only have access to the company's site from mobile devices. Thanks to its mobile-centric strategy, Extra Space Storage has managed to be flexible while adapting to a rapidly changing market.

With an eye into the future, the company's agile move toward mobile was possible because of insights gleaned from a wide variety of data sources integrated into its digital strategy.

Analyzing customer personas to understand customer needs

To better understand the nature of its varied customers, Extra Space Storage looked to data. Gathering background information from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, Google AdWords, and more, the company developed different customer profile types, ultimately recognizing what drives specific customers to make a purchase.

Google has been a very important partner for Extra Space Storage in our efforts to find customers at their time of need and deliver the best experience. Google has given us many tools to build a better custom experience for our customers and we’re excited about what we will test in the future building on top of their platform.

In addition to these data sources, which include demographics and geographic location information, the company looked at how its customers were interacting with its mobile site, Based on how different customers made decisions on the site, it applied a simplified Myers Briggs personality model to segment customer personas. Customers are labeled with personality types such as "fast and logical" or "slow and emotional."

For instance, an individual who makes quick decisions on the site and knows what storage needs he or she has would be labeled as "fast and logical." Conversely, a person who needs more human connection and affirmation during the buying process would be deemed a "slow and emotional" customer.

A mobile site tailored for customer personas

Committed to keeping up with the enormous growth in mobile, Extra Space Storage used these customer insights to improve its mobile site experience, which is already on its third iteration.

Using real-time data, the site was built to intuitively respond to particular types of customers, featuring different actions for different customers. For a "fast and logical" customer, for example, the "call now" action is made more prominent, whereas for a "slow and emotional" customer, the pop-up chat box appears sooner. The more confident the site is about the visitor—which can vary depending on the available data—the more it will respond according to that customer type.

For instance, a customer who initially navigates three particular steps on the site will be identified as logical, with 45% accuracy. The accuracy of the personality label increases with each visit. A logical customer, for instance, might visit the site once, leave, and return to the site a few days later to seek more information on pricing or location. At this point, the customer's profile accuracy increases to 80%, as the site recalls his or her previous behavior.

In addition, customers visiting Extra Space Storage's mobile site are given a unique click-to-call number, so the call center can respond to the particular individual appropriately, armed with knowledge about the caller's location and his or her stage in the purchasing journey.

Extra Space Storage goes the extra step to match the caller with a call center person that indexes higher in converting that particular personality type.


The company uses all of these insights to tailor messages to suit specific customer types—and deliver them to that customer at just the right time to ensure the highest customer lifetime value.

Mobile success metrics help uncover most valuable customers

Extra Space Storage has been quick to adapt and react to the needs of its increasingly mobile customer base. The third iteration of its mobile site has already seen a 24% increase in conversions from mobile, thanks to its flexible responsiveness to customers.

With a focused mobile strategy and an agile marketing organization, the company has seen a 33% increase in paid search conversions from mobile—a 19% increase YoY. It has also managed to reduce inefficiencies by only bidding on its most valuable customers, a move that has ultimately reduced CPAs.

Extra Space Storage has been able to easily support the full journey of its customers. These insights and features have ultimately led to a 53% increase in conversions from mobile calls, driving home the importance of optimizing for mobile.