Belk, Inc. is a mainline American department store company with nearly 300 stores in 16 Southern states. The company seeks to be the department store of choice by providing superior service and merchandise that meet customers' needs for fashion, value and quality.
To better connect and engage with its customers, Belk partnered with marketing engagement agency iCrossing and Kenshoo, the global leader in agile marketing, to launch and manage its paid search and social advertising efforts.
Belk previously managed its search and social campaigns via the Kenshoo Infinity Suite and achieved great results utilizing many facets of the platform. To take its program to the next level, the team sought to leverage its strengths in search to achieve more great results in social. iCrossing suggested using search click data to automatically create targetable audiences on social media with Kenshoo.
The team wanted to target its highest value audiences to heighten overall performance, increase site traffic and conversions, and lower cost per acquisition (CPA). The goal of its campaigns was to reach users that already showed interest in products via paid search on Facebook and generate conversions.
Belk leveraged Kenshoo's Intent-Driven Audiences (IDA) to automatically create and update Facebook Custom Audiences based on intent demonstrated through search engine activity, reaching, establishing and expanding relationships with audiences across channels. Kenshoo IDA matches clicks on search engine ads to audiences on Facebook in real-time, enabling marketers to show ads to consumers that have searched for specific keywords and also use Facebook's targeting capabilities to find more customers like them.
To understand the impact of IDA, the team developed two tests:
To gauge the success of each test, Belk looked at conversions as its primary key performance indicator (KPI) for these campaigns.In conjunction with IDA, the team also leveraged offer ads that promoted timely discounts and deals to drive offline coupon redemptions and link post ads to drive online sales.
Through the use of Kenshoo's IDA and the expertise of the iCrossing team, Belk generated impressive results in both tests.
Belk's sale campaign saw a 545% increase in conversion rate for branded IDA audiences versus fans of its brand. The beauty campaign saw a 240% increase in conversion rate for Belk cosmetic searchers versus fans of its brand.
Overall, the test resulted in a 67% decrease in CPA. In addition, the team saw a 400% lift in conversion rates when users were searching for Belk specifically (as opposed to non-brand terms), attributing positive brand recall in correlation with purchases.
"Partnering with iCrossing and Kenshoo, we utilized insight from our search campaigns to inform our social strategies, which produced even greater results. This moves beyond remarketing, and helps identify top brand loyalists based on their previous actions searching for the Belk brand and the products we sell online."
– Jon Pollack, EVP Marketing, Sales Promotion, and eCommerce for Belk
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