increase in US leads from Google Ads (YoY)
reduction in CPA (cost per action) from all ad networks
increase in opportunity pipeline revenue (YoY)
Learning Pool are experts in workplace e-learning with a mission to be the top integrated platform for workplace learning.
Learning Pool’s expert team creates the content and technology SaaS solutions that engage and empower modern learners around the world. With 450 colleagues across the UK, Europe and the US, they support the needs of more than 5.1 million learners in 21 countries, with over 800 e-learning modules.
We kicked off our partnership in 2018, with activity focused purely on the UK market. In 2020, Learning Pool launched into the US market via a number of strategic acquisitions and, since then, we have been tasked with creating and delivering against a revised marketing strategy to expedite the growth of the business through market expansion in the US, with the aim of the US revenue outstripping the UK revenue within three years.
An unforeseen challenge was the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. With many businesses making cuts, our strategy needed to consider how the pandemic might impact businesses’ budgets and their ability to spend on workplace learning. Following the immediate uncertainty, there was a boom in the e-learning marketplace throughout COVID and our strategy pivoted to capture the increased demand.
What we did
As Learning Pool’s strategic marketing partner overseeing activities across organic, paid and earned media, we recognise that advertising is key to growth in new markets. And Google Ads would enable us to achieve rapid growth through a combination of search and brand-building activity.
As our primary objective was lead volume, we weighted the majority of agreed advertising spend in the US on Google Search, focusing on their target audience of HR and learning and development roles within large enterprises. We have also invested heavily in display and video, in order to build mental availability with potential Learning Pool customers, in turn making any sales activation activity more efficient.
At the inception of the business, Learning Pool’s website was tailored to a UK audience, it being their core market. However, we needed to pivot to ensure the US market wasn’t being left behind. Before diving into Google Ads solutions, we discussed localisation and customer experience considerations, both of which would be critical to ensuring the success of advertising campaigns.
We set up a range of search campaigns based on the products Learning Pool offer, and we distributed the spend and target CPAs based on which products bring in the most revenue for the business. For example, some products are recurring subscriptions over three years, and some products are one-off purchases. Having an understanding of lead value is key to setting the right CPA targets in Google Ads, and was key to us driving the right quality of leads for Learning Pool in the US.
Learning Pool have scaled budgets over the last year by incorporating more UK products into their US offering over time, with Hallam carrying out demand and cost analysis using Google’s Market Explorer tool prior to launching any campaigns to assess market demand.
As a Google International Growth partner, we were able to utilise Google’s Market Explorer tool to assess the expected cost of these leads in Google Ads, which enabled us to agree on an accurate budget required to deliver on growth targets in the US.
As our objectives were focused on a specific lead target, we weighted the majority of agreed advertising spend in the US on Google Search. Our focus was on their target audience of HR and learning and development roles within large enterprises and we used audience data to help ensure our campaigns were targeting the right demographics.
We set up a range of search campaigns based on the products Learning Pool offer, and we distributed the spend and target CPAs based on which products bring in the most revenue for the business. For example, some products are recurring subscriptions over 3+ years, and some products are one-off purchases. Having an understanding of lead value was critical to setting the right CPA targets in Google Ads, and was key to us driving the right quality of leads for Learning Pool in all territories.
To support our Google Ads activity, we also ensured a full LinkedIn strategy that considered:
- Targeting specific job titles, company sizes and business-heavy districts within the States
- Mid-funnel conversions such as ‘demo requests’ and ‘downloading ebooks/whitepapers’
- Broad reach brand awareness activity
Through increasing spend on US Search (Google Ads), Learning Pool saw a 27% uplift in opportunity pipeline revenue last financial year compared to the one prior.
This financial year, our work has delivered a 76% increase in US leads from Google Ads compared to the financial year prior while also showing a reduction in the overall Google Ads account CPA of 63%, through improving the efficiency of spend over time, and as brand awareness in the US has grown significantly over the last 2 years.
2022 to date has shown a reduction in the account CPA of 63%, as we have used automated bidding to improve the efficiency of spend over time, alongside growing brand awareness in the US over the last two years.
The increased number of qualified leads has given Learning Pool confidence to expand their headcount in the US. Staff numbers are increasing and extra investments have been made towards innovation, further marketing campaigns and a new international website.
After the fantastic growth we have already achieved for Learning Pool, we will continue to test new networks in order to grow their UK and US market share. We’ve also made it through as a finalist in the International Growth category in the prestigious Google Ads Premier Partner Awards 2022 for our collaborative work with Learning Pool after helping them expand into new markets and drive sustainable, international growth.
We currently have Native, Audio, Connected TV and Digital Out of Home advertising in the pipeline in order to reach wider audiences at all touch points of the conversion journey.
“Our business and products are complex; Hallam has taken the time to understand our in-depth needs and saw what needed to be done in order to grow online. The results speak for themselves!”Rob Carter, Director of Marketing Communications at Learning Pool
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