Royal Mint Bullion’s business model, selling gold to investors, is a low margin business, so there’s a constant need to squeeze the most from advertising.
In 2017 the Royal Mint were under pressure and set us our toughest targets ever; 504 monthly sales, which equates to roughly £600,000 in revenue.
Our new sales target was bigger in volume - 15% above our previous target - but that wasn’t the biggest problem. To make matters harder Royal Mint’s budget had shrunk. We therefore needed a CPA of £62 - an improvement of 40%.
To try and hit our targets we needed to probe deeper into why consumers bought gold in the first place.
We began by analysing historic search volumes to understand when interest spikes. We then matched those peaks to news stories.
We discovered that interest in gold was driven by turmoil. Whether it was the IMF intervening in Cyprus, the surprise of Brexit or Trump getting elected, shocking events resulted in more searches.
These were not small increases in volumes. They were spikes. Shocking world events resulted in a five-fold increase purchases and a six-fold increase in the value of sales. These moments caused such an increase as investors turned to gold because of its reputation as a safe haven.
Crucially, we also analysed our competitors’ behaviour and discovered that they were not capitalising on these moments.
Our strategy followed naturally from the insight. We moved move from the standard and cluttered approach of bidding on keywords to a unique approach in the category of focusing our spend on moments of turmoil.
However, world-shaking moments of turmoil like Trump’s election are rare. We needed more regular surprises to hit our targets month in, month out.
We therefore analysed search data on a granular level to see if smaller surprises created enough instability for us to capitalise on.
Everything from foreign policy interventions to economic announcements to European elections – all of them created small ripples of turmoil which in turn boosted gold interest.
Next, we needed a way of automatically reacting to moments of uncertainty.
The solution came from our earlier data analysis of search trends. When we cross-referenced search interest with news we noticed that when gold interest boomed so did FTSE volatility.
However, that broad trend wasn’t enough. We needed to understand the exact nature of the relationship.
After much number crunching we found our sweet spot: a drop of 0.5% or more, or an increase of 1%, on the FTSE 100 lead to a significant uplift in gold searches.
We then needed to put his into practice.
TVTY was used to track the real-time performance of the stock-market. When the FTSE conditions mentioned above were hit TVTY would trigger all campaigns to increase bids which, in turn, increased our visibility at key moments.
The real-time response was essential. Investors react quickly to shocks. Since many of these surprises happen outside of work hours there was a danger we’d miss our window of opportunity if we reacted slowly.