Rental furniture business CORT uses the Google Display Network to extend its customer presence at all stages of the purchasing process. As a complement to Remarketing campaigns, CORT runs Similar Audiences, an audience-targeting tool that lets CORT reach new customers who demonstrate the same browsing patterns as its current customers. As a result, CORT grew conversions 31% and lowered cost-per-acquisition by 43%.

Goals

  • Capture online share of voice
  • Expand reach to a wider audience
  • Reach qualified people similar to current customers

Approach

  • Moved 70% of budget from offline to digital: 40% on search, 60% on display
  • Began using Google Display Network, Remarketing
  • Boosted budget, used Similar Audiences for Loews Regency Hotel campaign

Results

  • Overall: 10%+ revenue, 9%+ bookings, 5%+ unique site visitors
  • Remarketing generated $60,000 for $800 spent
  • Loews Regency Hotel campaign: 60%+ revenue, 57%+ bookings, CPA dropped 9%
  • Cyber Monday campaign: Grew revenue from $1.3M to $2M YOY
Published
May 2013
Topics

Over the past several decades, CORT has provided millions of customers with furniture rental, transition and relocation services, event furnishings and more. Its wide portfolio of services also includes the ApartmentSearch.com website and nationwide Clearance Centers selling previously rented furniture at reduced prices. CORT.com is an important revenue generator for the company with its main objective being to drive leases for residential rental furniture through CORT's fully transactional web platform.

Creating awareness across multiple channels

Devoting the vast majority of its digital marketing spend to Google, CORT focuses first and foremost on its high-performing search campaigns. To extend its reach and presence in front of customers at all stages of the purchasing process, CORT also markets on Google's Display Network and on mobile platforms. "CORT's depth and breadth of services and solutions make us well suited to meet the needs of customers nationwide, from major corporations and property managers to the individual college student," says Nic Cauwe, director of online strategy at CORT. "Our goal is to create awareness among a variety of audiences about everything CORT does through various digital channels."

"Casting a wider net" with Similar Audiences

To create this awareness, CORT uses Remarketing in tandem with Similar Audiences, an audience-targeting tool that lets CORT reach new potential customers who demonstrate the same browsing patterns as its customers. Similar Audiences targets highly qualified groups of users by combining Google's rich audience data with CORT's Remarketing lists (which target previous visitors to CORT.com, segmented by site section). Over time, Similar Audiences auto-optimizes its intelligent targeting to find new, high-performing audiences. For CORT, this means reaching potential customers who have not yet visited the website or may not know the brand, but are likely to be interested in CORT's services.

Remarketing makes sense because it allows us to reach customers who already know the CORT brand... but where Similar Audiences shows a lot of potential is in casting a wider net, and creating awareness among potential customers who may not even be aware of CORT.

Using Similar Audiences helps CORT build on the success of its Remarketing campaigns and extend their impact. "Remarketing makes sense because it allows us to reach customers who already know the CORT brand, but may not have required our services in the past," said Nic. "But where Similar Audiences shows a lot of potential is in casting a wider net, and creating awareness among potential customers who may not even be aware of CORT.

Boosting Remarketing's impact

By using Similar Audiences and Remarketing together, CORT extends the value of its Remarketing campaigns. Even if Similar Audiences drives new users to CORT.com and they do not immediately convert, CORT can use Remarketing to re-establish contact with these users and bring them back to the site at a later date. "We use Remarketing while users are in their shopping and comparison stage to remind them about CORT's vast portfolio and service offerings. It creates that top-of-mind presence and keeps our brand in front of people who may not have decided yet what kind of solution they want," says Matthew Kelly, who manages online demand generation and analytics at CORT.

Growing conversions and cost-effectively extending reach

Similar Audiences is a simple way for CORT to add value to its marketing efforts and grow the business. Since implementing Similar Audiences with its Remarketing campaigns, CORT increased account conversions 31% and grew conversion rate 27%. Similar Audiences also helps CORT grow visibility and acquire new customers in a cost-effective way — cost-per-acquisition dropped 43%, and CORT's eCPM for Similar Audiences was 63% lower than the eCPM for Remarketing for the same volume of impressions. "We'll definitely continue to use Similar Audiences, in particular to reach the student population, as we are trying to raise awareness with that group," says Nic. "There is no question that it's an effective tool to use."

Partnering with reliable teams and tools

CORT's next plans include experimenting with different Remarketing lists based on customer behavior and ecommerce patterns on the site, and using Similar Audiences to capture new users based on these lists. For guidance on using these tools in various ways to reach their full potential, CORT counts on Google. "We have an awesome relationship with our Google reps. In the six or seven years I've been working with Google, the people who make a difference are the account managers," said Matthew.

In addition to being happy with its Google team, CORT is pleased with Google's suite of solutions that help it create awareness among its target audiences, bring new traffic to the site and drive online leases. "Google can do it all — search, display, retargeting, rich media, video, mobile — there aren't a whole lot of networks out there that offer this breadth of tools with this reach," said Matthew.

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