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Terminix and Elite SEM Integrate Sales Data and Paid Search to See 12% Lift in Profitability

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Terminix, subsidiary of ServiceMaster Global, is one of the largest pest control companies, operating in 22 countries as well as in 47 states in the U.S.

Objective

Terminix wanted to better understand the Net Present Value (NPV) of each consumer journey that starts in the digital space, in order to allocate budget more efficiently and improve Paid Search performance.

Paid Search Direct Calls +90% /// Paid Search Profitability +12%

Strategy

Elite SEM worked with Terminix’s Landing Page team at Full Cup Creative and various technology partners (Marin, Dialogtech, Ion, ClickPoint, PowerBI, Cisco and Google) to integrate sales and revenue data into their digital marketing strategy. Data was then analyzed across user paths where users took one of the following actions:

  • call from an ad extension on the SERP (calls before click)
  • call from their landing page, after clicking through an ad to the site
  • fill out a lead form online, after clicking through an ad to the site
  • schedule an appointment online, after clicking on an ad to the site

Originally, Terminix optimized their large digital budget on the efficiency of each of these conversion types. Their goals revolved around scaling leads and calls as much as possible while keeping cost-per-lead and cost-per-call as low as possible. At the end of 2016, Terminix added the ability to schedule an appointment online, which was not originally part of the strategy but would have surprising results after the data integration.

Execution

For the data integration to be successful, the teams needed to map sales and revenue at the most granular level possible. This meant passing session-level and keyword-level tracking from the first interaction all the way through to the final sale. This was difficult for a company like Terminix, whose customer journey involved online, phone call, and at least one meeting at a customer’s home before a lead resulted in revenue. Also, revenue and sales could be generated one time or through a monthly subscription, which made the NPV important in their calculations. Finally, the team had to account for varying time frames between initial interaction and revenue generation, with some products encouraging a very short turnaround time (1 or 2 days), and others requiring a longer timeframe (2 to 4 weeks).

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Session and keyword tracking, from both online and telephone interactions, were essential to understanding profitability across one-time and subscription revenue—and optimizing search campaigns and budget allocation.

To account for all of these factors, Elite SEM focused on displaying and passing unique, session-level, phone numbers through Google and Dialogtech from initial call to sale. The team captured and maintained these phone numbers, along with Marin’s Keyword ID (MKID), for all online traffic in their internal CRM. Having this information tied to a user as they went through the different online and offline paths allowed the team to import most data back into Marin.

Having this type of data at a keyword-level proved vital as it opened the door for new insights into profitability. Elite was able to uncover keywords, campaigns, and categories that were efficient in driving calls and leads historically, but did not have a high conversion rate to sale. Even more valuable to Terminix, Elite was able to isolate keywords, campaigns, and categories that may have seemed less efficient when looking at a cost-per-call or cost-per-lead, but turned out to be extremely profitable due to a high conversion rate to sale.

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User path profitability analysis informed budget allocation decisions.

Elite SEM and Terminix used the newly available data to analyze different elements of their current strategy. They dove in to answer questions about the following segments of data, in hopes of updating the user experience and digital spend mix.

  • Device profitability. By segmenting Google AdWords campaigns by device, Elite SEM was able to prioritize budgets for devices in each product category or campaign group that yielded the most profitable sales. In some cases, to ensure that the best traffic was fully funded, not all devices were utilized. This helped leverage every opportunity for the device type for each campaign that was most aligned with company goals.
  • Campaign and Keyword-level return on ad spend (ROAS). Elite SEM analyzed the NPV for individual keywords and campaigns to bid to a higher position in places that were driving the bulk of the revenue. They also pulled back to lower position in places that were less profitable to help limit unproductive spend.
  • User path profitability. Elite SEM’s team analyzed whether it was more profitable for a prospective customer to call from an ad, fill out a lead form, call from the landing page, or schedule an appointment online. This helped focus budget allocation on driving traffic to the most profitable path and to prioritize landing page tests. Full Cup then optimized lead form and phone number elements help less profitable paths become more profitable.

Results

With new insights from Elite SEM’s successful integration, Terminix shifted budget toward mobile campaigns to favor higher profitability on that device. In some categories, they paused tablet campaigns altogether to allocate more spend to mobile.
The online scheduler had the highest conversion rate to sale and was the most profitable path (133% higher conversion rate to sale than all other user paths combined), so landing pages were optimized to drive this path.

Direct calls from ads were more efficient than other experiences. Budget was shifted away from less profitable conversion types, decreasing their volume by 23%. The team then increased the volume of campaigns driving the most calls directly from the ads and layered in bid modifiers to help call extension show more frequently on those campaigns. This resulted in a 90% increase in calls from Paid Search ads.

As a result of this new approach, profitability across the entire Paid Search channel increased by 12%, confirming that the strategy shift was the best option to reach their objective.

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