How Tesco Mobile saved £1.1m by streamlining search marketing

After rigorous efforts to boost the efficiency of paid and organic search, Tesco Mobile identified big opportunities to reallocate budgets.

Tesco MobileAgainst the backdrop of Covid-19 and a spike in ecommerce activity, the need to ensure efficiencies between paid and organic search was a priority for Tesco Mobile and its performance marketing team. So, to better understand where efforts could be streamlined – and where current spend might be wasted, Tesco worked with QueryClick and Merkle to start testing a hypothesis: was it possible to switch off brand exact and maintain the same level of sales across both paid and organic channels? In particular, was it possible to limit current spend on brand bidding and push this budget elsewhere to improve the visibility of Tesco Mobile?

Testing this hypothesis meant combining Google Search Console and AdWords data to understand which queries ‘expected clicks’ on search engine results pages were being met, and where they were falling short. Doing so revealed areas where more paid support was needed, but also areas where Tesco Mobile could afford to cut spend thanks to a strong organic performance.

It proved a highly successful project for the business, one which sees Tesco Mobile awarded the 2021 Marketing Week Masters award for Search Marketing.

In fact, thanks to the rigorous process Tesco Mobile identified £1.1m that it had previously spent each year on brand exact bidding but which could be reallocated to other areas of paid media with zero impact on sales. Plus, without paid media cannibalising brand exact, organic search also experienced a bump in traffic and sales that Tesco Mobile would otherwise have had to pay for.



Case study: Patagonia’s ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ campaign

Josie Allchin

Outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia was founded by climbing enthusiast Yvon Chouinard in 1973 and is using a marketing strategy which could be thought of as being part nudge, part shock tactics. The company initially made climbing equipment but changed its philosophy to focus on environmentally-sound products after Chouinard realised his climbing tools were causing damage to rocky cliff faces.