Case Study Furniture Content – A Global Teak Outdoor Furniture Manufacturer
Poor Reputation from a digital perspective of the manufacturing company prior to engagement.
No pure E-Commerce potential; all orders had a manual finalization procedure with a phone call mandatory and a significant shipping/handling upcharge
Limited budget for easy wins – PPC budget was limited even though it produced pure profit
Significant scope creep and required directional changes from management
Significant brand building needed to ensure credibility
Multiple levels of required authorization and extended timelines for changes/work approvals
Product and Collection copy for thousands of products
Branding and re-branding efforts to improve credibility
Significant synergistic benefits throughout the entire business
Thousands of SERP improvements through a dedicated content program
Massive revenue growth with only a 10% workforce increase
A completely new website platform – Twice, upon desire of the management team including a swap from WordPress to Magento and back again, to a completely reimagined, custom developed WordPress Website
Significant improvement in peer competitive positioning and B2B sales
Work Flow for this Project
We positioned a static employee in place at the business and worked remotely part time for oversight and implementation
In this specific case, we bid a contract based on results, not hourly or per piece. This is atypical, but not out of the question
Research was part of the on-the-job process, there was no segmented research process
Changes were allowed with approval from both sides, with significant deference paid to ownership of the furniture company for approvals
Engagement was 24 months, but results were tallied at 18 months
Daily reporting was sometimes necessary, with weekly reporting being the standard
Servicing of the work continued for 6 months after results were achieved. our metrics and proven success was utilized for very profitable exit strategy for ownership
Production of more than 2 million words of premium product and business tied copy
Increased revenue by 9 million USD in 18 months – budget was roughly equivalent to 2 full-time workers in mid level marketing wages
Established the brand as a premium outdoor furniture provider in the teak furniture space
Ran a PPC/Digital Ad campaign that yielded more than $17:1 ROAS (returning 17 dollars for every dollar spent on advertising)
Added 14,000 new customers over the project lifetime
Routinely saw purchases over $100k on a single ticket, where previous records were in the $25k level, with an average ticket price of more than 9k, with most tickets being in the $3-7k range previously (for the 8 years prior)
Led company into B2B space with an increase of over 10,000% from a customer volume perspective
Have a Similar company or need? Get Samples.
We work with more than 100 furniture industry companies at this moment, and have provided world class content to more than 1200 furniture clients over the years we have been in existence. Our level of expertise and ability to contribute meaningfully to a company’s content program is hard to match in this space. We invite you to ask for samples. If you want, we can also produce a custom sample for your needs.
Read about how we helped this outdoor furniture company grow from $3 to 12 Million revenue per year in 18 months – This is an interesting Case Study for this industry
It started with a popular technical expert in their seminal SEO book mentioning the website (which had been in existence for years) as one of the worse ways to utilize a domain for a business. The commentary was something to the effect of: “This website is simply a brochure for the company’s retail locations, and does nothing to court, or retain new clientele digitally.”
The commentary was not inaccurate, and the uphill battle was initiated.
What took place over the next 18 months was a wholesale change in how the website should be structured and function as a way to attract and retain new potential clients and serve as part lead generation for a well-established retail footprint, and as a fully-functional digital purchase portal.
Unfortunately, the process for purchasing the furniture, which was a necessary evil, because of the way it was delivered (fully assembled), required us to route all sales through a sales team over the phone or in person.
Nevertheless, the difficulty of bringing this brand up to speed from a digital perspective resulted in 4x revenue over 18 months, and the ownership team stateside eventually made a successful exit and moved on with their other regional outlets.
Not every engagement runs smoothly, or is an easy win – Digital Marketing and SEO can be difficult
This is a reality with SEO, marketing and business consulting. While we believed there was still significant upside potential for the brand, we knew it was important to build a brand and customer experience that was more sustainable and produced a revenue stream consistent with management’s wishes, not necessarily chase industry best practices, or force our desires onto the owners. We are exceptionally proud of the work that was accomplished during this endeavor and the lasting results, including today’s (still lofty) SERP rankings on core keywords and concepts prove that best practices yield long-term results with little effort moving forward if planned properly.
We want to ensure that both parties stay on the same page in a content marketing engagement
We hope it’s clear that we are staging these case studies in a way that prioritizes all challenges and successes fairly, instead of just looking like all engagements run perfectly or have the same hand-in-hand approach between ownership and consulting firm. There were never any difficulties in the relationship between our firm and the client, but any transformational work on a large digital asset like a global website will not be a smooth, easy road all throughout the journey. It’s important to understand that there are hard decisions to be made, and alternative options to consider, and even if we, as the assisting agency are relegated to implementation mostly, there is still the potential for incredibly positive results.
It’s important to weigh out all options on both sides of the consulting engagement
Ideally a company will hear all suggestions, weigh data appropriately, and use their own experience to find a happy medium for growth and sustainability. And ultimately, the type of relationship we are working to find with businesses, is one that supports their ultimate goals and leans heavily on our experience and processes to get results. There is a give and a take on both sides. But what’s best for the business, should be considered by both parties. Suffice it to say: as a digital agency it’s important to understand roles up front and champion appropriate budgets, directional planning and implementation, rather than just try to enforce an agenda.
As a digital agency and business consultant, our maturity level grew on this engagement. It helped us to understand that just because we are confident that something is a best practice and will be a viable concept moving forward, not all parties always agree on execution. We deferred, with great success to the client in some matters on this engagement that would not have been as successful had we not experienced strong pushback on the topics. It was important for us to work within their internal constraints to ensure operational integrity, even though we knew that we were leaving significant profits on the table from a purely digital marketing perspective.
Ultimately, why was this engagement a success and how did Content Creation contribute to the success?
The results of this campaign to improve the company’s bottom line was a direct result of the following concepts being utilized and a significant amount of work being undertaken to improve baseline implementations across a broad portfolio of focused outdoor furniture products.
After months of data analytics work and in-depth trend discovery and monitoring, we attribute about 65 percent of the value of the project results to the content focus. And about 30 percent of the value to the architectural and strategic SEO and technical work, which includes the website development. The remaining 5% we attribute to spectacular success in the PPC Campaigns which were driven by a $17:1 ROAS at the end of the project.
While many Search Engine Optimization professionals might scoff at such attribution, this was a battle to fundamentally change the direction of the business, that ultimately wasn’t in the cards. The company could not simply change their procurement, manufacturing and distribution channels for the sake of some dollars to the bottom line for a few years. Only a long-term, proven pathway was acceptable, and even then, that pathway needed to be built incrementally. We served as a baseline consultant to help establish those best practices and set the business up for serious success, even after a sale to new ownership, who retained our digital agency to help train staff to move forward on different strategic initiatives that we felt could be served better by a different company.
During our tenure with the company, this was a change that took a more gradual approach. The ultimate goal shifted from – “get new customers” to enhance the ability of the website to increase revenue through all channels and utilize factory and assembly capacity to improve margins throughout all facets of the business.
This can come with a bit of a tightrope walking effect. To pivot to vast, unclear goals from a very focused goal at the onset can be difficult. But this is generally how every project goes in the real world when there is significant scope creep or a steep learning curve for the company as they tread into unknown waters.
Project management and granular control over work flows must often give way to the needs of the business, which, in this case, changed midway through the engagement.
As a result, we worked on hyper optimizing collections of furniture from a collection perspective, and optimizing digital delivery of static brand assets to assist a fully offline sales staff. The scope of the project quickly shifted to a plan to get as much value out of time spent, in funneling leads to the phone center that could then be sold through manual entry of an e-commerce checkout system. No revenue would be generated simply through cart inclusions – every ticket had to be finalized by a human being in collaboration with a customer. Furthermore, the company had a longstanding practice of delivering only pre assembled, white glove delivered products that were to be installed on site by highly paid delivery personnel.
Here’s the takeaway for this case study: some things cannot be changed easily or quickly, but when properly planned for, exceptional value can be driven through proper use of broad skillsets and a lot of hard work.
Some concepts to consider about the success of this Content-focused approach
The number of products that were in the catalog grew from about 1200, to about 8000 in 16-18 months, and ultimately, a majority of the core items that would get a customer in the door were optimized for, and had successful digital footprints built and grown.
The local and regional SERPs were dominated by the company, where they were never even on the first 10 pages prior to our involvement (despite being the only manufacturer of this type of furniture in a 500+ mile radius).
The global SERP’s placed the company in the first page, above the fold for nearly 95% of the targeted 1200 keywords.
The top 45 keywords yielded more than 200k revenue per year, per URL on average, after 18 months. Growth trajectory at the time of the end of our engagement allowed a very profitable exit for ownership. Nearly all of the SERP’s remain in place now.
The platform that was ultimately built, allowed for the company to eventually start making headway in improving customer journey, as well as purchase throughput at the e-commerce level, and allowed the company to brand itself in a way that is synonymous with the “teak outdoor furniture” market.
While not all successes in an engagement are tangible, most successes can be planned for strategically, and can be measured if you desire to do so. Additionally, the idea that a driven team of marketing professionals can accomplish large revenue improvements with a good roadmap and skills based on best practices, is alive and well.
The following highlights are important indicators of our firm’s success with this project
- Production of more than 2 million words of premium product and business tied copy was implemented. We have 100% of this copy available for sampling
- Increased revenue by 9 million USD in 18 months (representative of 4X original baseline expectations)
- Improved conversion by more than 6000% on digitally based platforms
- Established the brand as a premium outdoor furniture provider in the teak furniture space
- Set trends with technical content that led to a robust backlink profile on the back of world class content
- Managed a tiny budget relative to financial success of the project overall ROI was impressive
- Ran a PPC/Digital Ad campaign that yielded more than $17:1 ROAS (returning 17 dollars for every 1 dollar spent on advertising)
- Added 14,000 new customers over the project lifetime
- Routinely saw purchases over $100k on a single ticket, where previous records were in the $25k range, with an average ticket price of more than 9k, with most tickets being in the $3-7k range previously (for the 8 years prior)
- Increased revenue only required a 10% workforce increase
- Led company into B2B space with an increase of over 10,000% from a customer volume perspective from prior years – this led to revenues in excess of 3 million in 18 months, compared to about 1.2 million for the previous 4 years combined (4 years selling previously to B2B)
- Improved influencer and Hollywood inclusion of the product in media placements organically with zero spend, which led to a large influx of traffic and significant brand recognition
Again, we attribute this success mostly to content and SEO optimized copy that is tied to individual and brand specific content. We also spent significant time on technical deficiencies and shoring up architecture and product bandwidth on site. The resulting value of SEO work from a technical perspective also considerably contributed to bottom line results.
Other facets to be examined regarding this case study
While the PPC work was significantly profitable, the budget for the PPC/CPC was capped, but did yield excellent return for those metrics.
Landing page optimization and conversion optimization is hard to measure for this engagement, despite heavy work to smooth out a difficult order flow. Ultimately we feel some of our best work went into de-stigmatizing the purchase flow and building credibility to ensure a human sales person could close deals that would ordinarily be decided solely by the customer online in an e-commerce fashion and which may have been able to be streamlined without the additional salesperson component or large delivery upcharge.
This process required significant delivery and set up fees, sometimes accounting for up to 40% of the total ticket, which was a daunting task to take on. Ultimately, the improvement in customer retention, conversion, and total volume of orders shows that we had at least marginal success in this arena as well. It may be possible to show some screenshots of analytics for customers in advanced stages of deciding an engagement with our team.
Finding harmony is crucial, even if you disagree with what is possible or what will be implemented
A final note: it may seem like we had some negative experiences with this engagement – we did not. We do find it important, however, to explain that many companies, and worse, many digital agencies act as though processes will be easy and that success is simple. In this world of SEO and competitive landscapes, it is not always a straightforward path to achieve success, and success sometimes means more than a measurable profit gain or ROI, even if that is the initial goal.
If you are a company that is in the furniture industry, we believe that we can help you increase revenue, improve lead generation and provide you bottom line ROI in excess of other digital agencies because of our unique content capabilities and many years of experience catering to trendsetters and innovative brands in the furniture space. We invite you to contact us to explore the ways we may be able to help you.
Get a Writing Sample
Any Industry, Any Format.
See samples we have already delivered, or request a custom project sample.
Learn about our Experts
We have more than 250 Subject matter expert writers and they are led by an industry specific management team of 12
Content is still King, and we are the King of Content for Small Businesses
Formats of Content Writing we can provide
A Complete Content Deliverable For your Industry
We give you a fully vetted piece of content that has had multiple reviews, and offers built-in SEO best practices, including optimized headers, internal links to proper pages on your site, and we help you build a profitable strategic content program, or align directly with your existing planning.
Content Related Services we Offer
Better Results from the Same Content Budget Instantly
We will match pricing, and exceed quality up against ANY DIGITAL AGENCY in the USA. Period.
Why our Content Writing Team is Different
We use a hardcore cross-training methodology in the office. Our team is fully a management level group of professionals. Not salespeople, but experts in their given specialties from WebDev, to Content, to Security, to Networking, to Digital Marketing, etc. We cross train every single member of that team to be world class content writers. We also work with more than 250 content writers with Expert level subject understanding from more than a dozen industries. You get a whole team's expertise, by hiring us in just one of our core proficiencies. Such overlap creates ROI in real-time.
Industries we work with Currently
Consumer discretionary | Furniture | Firearms, military and law enforcement and related industries | Manufacturing, metal fabrication and industrial | Outdoors, extreme sports and affiliated industries | Retail and e-commerce | Scientific and medical technology | Medical and Dental service providers | Professional services providers | Construction Companies and AEC related firms | International brands with HQ in Southwest USA | High ticket items and Luxury Goods | Hard to market products that require innovative storytelling or strategic marketing