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Helping New Balance drive incremental revenue and scale to new markets
How Brave Bison and Feedonomics partnered to improve New Balance’s ROAS by 95%
- Using a feed management tool with limited functionality and speed
- Diminishing feed accuracy at scale, increased competition, and rising CPCs
- Scaling campaign budgets without a higher return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Update feeds often to improve accuracy of listings across markets
- Support A/B testing to find new feed optimizations and strategies
- Consolidate feed management under one roof with a fast and intuitive platform
Increased ROAS by 95%, revenue by 22%, and conversion rate by 15%
Decreased cost by 38% and cost-per-click by 26%
Expanded social commerce presence to 13 markets
After experiencing rapid growth in its lifestyle and running categories over the past few years, New Balance has established ambitious growth targets.
The company has been working alongside Brave Bison, a digital media company based in London, for the past six years to run shopping ad campaigns in growing markets and sales channels as part of a wider digital strategy.
In the face of the continuous evolution of ecommerce and strong competition, the paid media strategy has to be dynamic to deliver on New Balance’s targets.
In order to justify scaling campaigns for New Balance, Brave Bison first had to increase the return on ad spend for its marketing efforts, but the feed management tools it was using made it difficult to drive better performance in growing markets.
Data was taking too long to update, and there wasn’t enough scope to optimize New Balance’s product listings as quickly as needed. This limited how quickly Brave Bison could scale campaigns beyond the brand’s core European markets of France, the UK, Germany, and Spain.
“Performance was good across the core markets, but without the ability to have the inventory localized, we had certain challenges around making sure that we could generate good performance across other markets,” said Andy Hunt, Paid Media Performance Director at Brave Bison. “Conversion rates were lower, click-through rate was down on certain accounts … We have quite a strict ROAS target, so in order to deliver that we need accurate information in the feed.”
After years of working with other tools, Brave Bison switched to Feedonomics and New Balance consolidated all its feed-based marketing to the London-based agency. With better data transformation rules and the ability to manage multiple feeds in one place, Hunt and his team feel better equipped to support New Balance’s strategic goals.
“I think some of the rules that we were using [before] weren’t as sophisticated, and then we didn’t have the same functionality in terms of the different outputs that we were using,” Hunt said. “So working with New Balance, we have several different outputs. Obviously, Google Shopping activity, Meta, different social media platforms, affiliates—that’s all kind of under one roof now, which is helpful. And yeah, [we have] the ability to create a better output at scale, given the scope of the [Feedonomics] platform, compared to what we were using previously.”
After a year of working with Feedonomics, Brave Bison’s efforts have resulted in increased ROAS and conversion rates (CVR), higher revenue, lower cost-per-click (CPC), and New Balance’s expansion to more social commerce channels in 13 total markets.
“We have the ability to create a better output at scale, given the scope of the Feedonomics platform, compared to what we were using previously.”
Andy Hunt, Paid Media Performance Director at Brave Bison
Scaling with improved data quality
Once Brave Bison transitioned to Feedonomics, the first goal was to improve data accuracy and boost performance. According to Hunt, problems with updating stock availability meant that ads occasionally showed shoppers sold-out products, which meant clicks without sales.
The impact of inaccurate data is often widespread. Not only can out-of-date ads lead to a poor customer experience, they can also mean a total pause on incoming revenue from Google Shopping if the problems persist long enough to cause an account suspension.
Hunt said the team found some of the issues with data accuracy a concern for longer-term suspensions in France and a few other markets.
Brave Bison was able to resolve its issues by bringing supplemental feed data into the Feedonomics platform and updating product listings in Google Merchant Center four times a day, something that had not been possible before. New Balance has not experienced any account suspensions since switching to Feedonomics.
Along with accurate, localized inventory data, Brave Bison supplements the primary feeds with sales prices for specific products, which means that crucial promotions for New Balance are advertised at the right time.
“In terms of performance, I think the best [supplemental feed] that we’ve used is the sale price, making sure that’s accurately reflected across all the markets,” Hunt said. “So New Balance will offer sales maybe twice a year, and it’s for quite an extended period. So [we’re] making sure that that information is added to the feed, so we can push those products.”
Strategic optimizations with A/B testing and custom labels
With New Balance’s feeds running smoothly, Brave Bison is free to focus on optimizing its ad campaigns and executing additional strategies that help the shoe giant achieve its goals. The agency takes full advantage of the Feedonomics platform’s capabilities, such as importing campaign performance data from Google Analytics and grouping products with custom labels.
“We have an automated list of best sellers imported directly from Google Analytics,” Hunt said, “and we use this real-time data to support our feeds, which we can then segment in our actual shopping activity. And then the other outputs as well—like Facebook, for example—can use those labels to make separate campaigns.”
By identifying and grouping best sellers, Brave Bison can optimize bids on those products to be as effective as possible with the allocated budget. The agency uses additional custom labels that identify end-of-season sales or Christmas promotions to similar effect.
A/B testing is another key component of Brave Bison’s strategy to scale and maximize its budget. Feedonomics’ flexible data transformation rules make it simple to adjust product attributes in the feed for each channel, and add product attributes that may improve the performance of campaigns in different markets.
“A lot of our traffic’s mobile, so we found that creating a shorter title particularly for that format has meant that we get better click-through rate and then better visibility in shopping,” Hunt said. “If click-through rate goes up within the shopping campaigns, then we start to appear for more searches because of relevancy, and then we start to get more volume, and we can scale off the back of that. So the short-title test has been a big part of our approach and one of the main optimizations we’ve carried out so far.”
Brave Bison has tested other changes to product titles as well, such as putting the names of shoe models—like Fresh Foam and FuelCell—at the beginning, including nouns like “trainers,” adding the manufacturer part numbers, and comparing the effectiveness of “gender neutral” versus “unisex.”
The value of these efforts has led the agency to incorporate additional testing across other key feed attributes into its ongoing strategy.
“We’ve got quite a well-built-out testing roadmap, which really wouldn’t be possible without the [Feedonomics] platform,” Hunt said.
“We’ve got quite a well-built-out testing roadmap, which really wouldn’t be possible without the Feedonomics platform.”
Andy Hunt, Paid Media Performance Director at Brave Bison
A partnership with great results
Mark Byrne, Director of Paid Media at Brave Bison, has noticed other benefits to working with Feedonomics—namely, the improvements in speed and service. Byrne said that the time difference was massive (”half an hour, versus a couple of hours”) when describing how much faster the team could make updates using Feedonomics, compared to its old provider.
“[With] our previous tool, it just took so long to try and be reactive to a client like New Balance,” Byrne said. “It’s a fast-paced fashion brand, where we need to be able to react. It’s fairly close to real time across markets, across multiple platforms, so that’s the one of the key things that we’ve been able to see the difference from with Feedonomics.”
And although Brave Bison’s team members actively manage feed optimization themselves within the platform, Byrne says it never feels like they’re on their own. Feedonomics’ interactive training portal, FeedAcademy, has enabled the agency to work independently and get up to speed quickly on the platform, which Byrne describes as “intuitive.”
“With our previous tool, it just took so long to try and be reactive to a client like New Balance … So that’s one of the key things that we’ve been able to see the difference from with Feedonomics.”
Mark Byrne, Director of Paid Media at Brave Bison
The agency also receives ongoing support and consultation from a dedicated feed manager at Feedonomics, who offers feedback on new opportunities for optimization and testing.
”Making the relationship a partnership is definitely a big part of Feedonomics,” Byrne said. “It’s a true partnership which sees us working very closely with the team when it comes to troubleshooting, ad hoc support, and also attending partner events.”
What are the results of that partnership after a year?
Brave Bison has seen improvements across the board for New Balance’s campaigns:
- Cost decreased by 38%
- CPC decreased by 26%
- Sessions increased by 5%
- CVR increased by 15%
- Sales increased by 21%
- Revenue increased by 22%
- ROAS increased by 95%
Once Brave Bison saw the necessary performance improvements across the board, scaling New Balance’s advertising efforts to new markets became the obvious next step.
Simon Matthews, Senior Paid Media Analyst at Brave Bison, said the support the agency receives from Feedonomics has made multi-country expansion a seamless process.
“The ease of the platform has allowed us to expand the channels for which we have feeds,” he said, “and since starting with Feedonomics, we have created feeds on TikTok and Pinterest across various markets. The assistance we have received has been exemplary. Whenever we have questions, they are answered promptly and with detail, and the monthly catch-up we have has been great for discussing optimization tips and strategy ideas.”
“The ease of the platform has allowed us to expand the channels for which we have feeds … The assistance we have received has been exemplary.”
Simon Matthews, Senior Paid Media Analyst at Brave Bison
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