Extra Space Storage has hundreds of locations across the country. The ability to deliver hyper-localized ads, while operating at an enterprise scale, was crucial to its success. So they turned to digital. Five years later, the company is all in, allocating most of its marketing budget to an aggressive cross-channel approach. Through a combination of search, display, mobile and social efforts across Google, the company is hitting all of their marketing goals, from building awareness to driving rentals.


  • Reach people needing storage at the right moment
  • Operate at scale while marketing over 1000 local facilities Maintain variety of touch points with customers across channels
  • Maintain variety of touch points with customers across channels


  • Shifted most of its marketing budget online
  • Grew digital spend by more than 30% in past year while maintaining a low cost-per-acquisition
  • Influenced consumers and drove sales with a cross-channel strategy


  • Share of rentals from online channels grew 1300% in 5 years
  • Digital marketing spend grew while CPA remained consistent or dropped
  • ZIP code targeting ROI topped 184%, with a 77% CTR
November 2013

For more than 30 years, Extra Space Storage, the nation’s second-largest self-storage facility operator, has made storage available to customers at important moments in their lives, including moving, marriage and childbirth.

“We fill a need when they need more space in their lives,” says Scott Jensen, the company’s senior director of interactive marketing.

Since it has a location-based product, Extra Space Storage needs to reach potential customers nearby with relevant, timely information. This requires the ability to be hyper-localized at an enterprise scale. With so many locations (more than 1000 across the country), this had been a difficult challenge for the company.

Going all in on digital

Extra Space Storage found its solution in digital marketing. During the past five years, it has allocated most of its offline marketing budget to digital channels. They’ve gone all in — with great success. In the last year alone, Extra Space Storage increased its digital spending by more than 30% while maintaining an equivalent or lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

“Digital marketing is just easier to scale and measure,” says Jensen. “It allows us to provide a richer, fuller experience for our customers.”

Taking a cross-channel approach

To reach people the moment they need storage, Extra Space Storage started with simple paid search ads. It has since evolved its investment with Google into a full cross-channel strategy that includes display, mobile, YouTube and Wildfire.

By using these channels together, Extra Space Storage has been able to build awareness and create an easy path to purchase, driving rentals. In fact, it has grown its share of rentals from online channels by 1,300% over the past five years.

Running targeted and efficient campaigns

To reach people whenever and wherever they’re looking for storage, Extra Space Storage’s cross-channel strategy includes Google Search and Display across different devices with an emphasis on mobile. Looking to drive more sales, Extra Space Storage runs relevant ads across channels with pertinent information to streamline conversions.

The Extra Space Storage team uses ad extensions to make ads more useful to users searching for information on desktop and mobile. With ad extensions in Google Search, Extra Space Storage grew its click-through rate (CTR) by 35% and conversions by 67%. Call extensions were also particularly effective. These add a phone number to desktop ads and a click-to-call option to mobile ads, making it simple for customers to call the nearest location. Jensen says such mobile tools are “incredibly efficient” at driving offline conversions; 90% of Extra Space Storage’s mobile conversions occur at call centers.

Enhanced campaigns allow us to be more efficient at managing our campaigns across paid search, mobile and display.

Another way Extra Space Storage drives sales across channels is with the Google Remarketing Tag and remarketing lists for search ads. When users visit Extra Space Storage’s website without converting, the Google Remarketing Tag lets the company reconnect with them across Google Search and Display. With remarketing lists for search ads, Extra Space Storage retargets and influences these users with tailored ads as they actively look for storage on Google.com. Remarketing lists for search ads generated an 18% increase in CTR and a 100% lift in conversion rate.

With Google’s sophisticated tools, Extra Space Storage can adjust bids and ads across channels based on customers’ devices, locations and the time of day for ultra-targeted and efficient marketing, all while working at an enterprise level. “Digital marketing allows us to operate on a local, neighborhood level, considering the needs of individual communities, yet do things at a much greater scale,” says Jensen.

For example, Extra Space Storage uses location-based solutions to show users where the nearest facility is, right in the ad. “With Google, we can match customers to the right facilities with features like ZIP code targeting,” says Jensen, adding that ZIP code targeting lifted return on investment (ROI) by 184% and CTR by 77%.

It also adjusts bids to reach mobile users within a given radius of a facility. This strategy has boosted ROI by 269% and increased conversions by 234%.

To stay on top of all these moving parts, the company upgraded to AdWords enhanced campaigns. “[They] allow us to be more efficient at managing our campaigns across paid search, mobile and display,” Jensen says.

Finding new customers, keeping them engaged

Thanks to its engaging cross-channel presence, Extra Space Storage delivers the right content to the right people and keeps its products top-of-mind. The group creates widespread awareness with the Display Network, using the similar audiences feature in particular to reach valuable new potential customers. Similar Audiences automatically finds new users who share interests with people on Extra Space Storage’s existing remarketing lists — in other words, people likely to be interested in storage.

Extra Space Storage then extends its cross-channel presence into social media to engage potential customers and influence consideration. Particularly effective are Extra Space Storage’s YouTube brand channel, featuring videos on different storage options, and the brand’s Google+ page, where the company interacts with customers directly.

By using YouTube and Google+ in tandem, Extra Space Storage keeps its content fresh and engaging. The group shares its YouTube videos on its Google+ page, along with tips and news. This integrated presence across YouTube and Google+ engages both potential and existing customers, influences consideration and ultimately drives more sales. And using Wildfire to manage its social media, Extra Space Storage saw a 39.1% engagement rate for its first campaign.

This cross-channel approach enables Extra Space Storage to capture new customers across the web at any given moment. To then stay connected and encourage conversions, Extra Space Storage uses remarketing across Google Display.

Continuing to innovate at scale

To continue growing business in a trust-based industry, Jensen says his team is always looking for innovative opportunities to offer relevant, localized experiences to customers across the U.S.

“Google consistently provides the ability for us to do this at scale in the best way we can,” he says. “Our partnership with Google will continue to grow in the future as we discover new products and opportunities to better meet our customers’ needs.”