How TOMS refined their mobile and search marketing strategies to attract more online customers

July 2019

When the footwear company challenged their agency to grow by 20% year over year, they knew that refining their approach to attract online customers was crucial. After discovering mobile and search marketing as two key areas to grow their business – they implemented new strategies that saw TOMS’ mobile revenue overtake desktop revenue for the first time across six European markets. Here’s how they did it.

The business challenge

Footwear company TOMS aimed to grow by 20% year over year – higher than the average growth expected in retail overall. When the brand challenged their agency to find opportunities for growth through Search marketing, MediaCom Worldwide identified mobile and Google Shopping as two important areas of focus. 

In line with industry trends, TOMS was seeing the number of clicks from mobile increasing over time. However, the effectiveness of these clicks lagged behind those on desktop and tablet. “The rate of traffic from mobile was increasing at a faster rate than revenue, and we wanted to convert growth in clicks to generate incremental revenue,” explains MediaCom.

The approach

First, the team customised ad content according to device so that a link to the TOMS “mobile shop” appeared when users were searching on a mobile device. They then used audience signals – including customer match, in-market audiences, and remarketing lists for search ads – to get ads in front of the right people on mobile. Bids were optimised for device, audience, and location to improve efficiency. Finally, they set up broad match modifiers in Google Ads to help control when TOMS ads would be shown for closely related keywords. 

Looking to expand beyond brand search for additional sources of revenue, MediaCom overhauled the TOMS Shopping campaigns. Although the return on ad spend was especially strong in sale periods, the team wanted to improve the performance of the brand’s always-on Shopping activity.

MediaCom prioritised best-performing products to fuel growth outside of sale periods. They segmented discounted products into separate campaigns for more effective budget management. Categories that required high spend but delivered low performance were paused, while discounted items were given higher priority in campaign settings. Borrowing from mobile search, the same audience strategy was applied to Shopping campaigns. The team also worked to simplify product attributes to align with searches, for instance substituting “olive” or “forest” with “green.”

MediaCom paid close attention to the synergies between mobile and Shopping. “In Shopping campaigns, we prioritised bestsellers and discounted items so that our highest converting ads were dominating the mobile real estate,” the team says. “We also optimised toward mobile using bid adjustments as we quickly saw that Shopping ads were most effective where the real estate was most prominent.” 

The results

Thanks to these efforts, TOMS saw mobile revenue overtake desktop revenue for the first time across six European markets (the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria and Ireland). Year over year, the mobile conversion rate in the region went up by 45%, mobile revenue increased by 30%, and mobile return on ad spend improved by 13%. Shopping campaigns saw similarly impressive outcomes, with 59% more orders, a 43% higher conversion rate, 31% more revenue, and a 36% improvement in return on ad spend year over year.

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