How luxury pawnbroker NBSP achieved record growth with Pufferr

Pufferr won the Business Transformation category at The Drum Agency Business Awards 2019 with its work for New Bond Street Pawnbrokers (NBSP). Here, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful campaign.

The challenge

New Bond Street Pawnbrokers (NBSP) was founded in 1999 by David Sonnenthal and provides loans to a high-end clientele using luxury collateral items like classic cars, diamonds or rare books. Ever since their formation, NBSP relied on its premier Mayfair location to attract high-end customers.

Nowadays, however, competition has skyrocketed, driven by the growth of digital marketing, changes in customer behaviour (online) and demographics, i.e. many of NBSP’s established clients have moved out from London. This impacted NBSP’s ability to fully leverage the location advantage.

In 2018, Sonnenthal reconsidered NBSP’s approach to doing business, parted ways with NBSP’s long term serving digital marketing agency and employed Pufferr to achieve his vision of becoming the best and most innovative high-end pawnbroking company online.

Twelve months ago, NBSP faced the following challenges:

  • SEO traffic decline;
  • Google Ads campaign losing market share, irrelevant search queries, low conversion rate;
  • No brand identity: outdated website, no social media presence, no content marketing strategy;
  • Google Ads cost increase due to intense competition – no alternative channels.

The strategy

At Pufferr, we are convinced that two particular trends are commodifying the digital marketing industry: outsourcing, i.e. platforms like Copify, Freelancer or Upwork, and automation/advancements in machine learning technology, i.e. 70% of Google ads users are using automated bid strategies, Smart Campaigns, platforms like Wordstream or Quantcast simplify advertising, Rankbrain is already dismissing many traditional SEO ranking factors.

Puffer is a one-stop hub for digital growth and innovation that leverages outsourcing, partnerships and automation to deliver short-and-long term growth for our clients.

This business model enables Pufferr to professionally manage and support its international freelancers base: two web designers within UK, a development team in India (Alexa Skills, Google Home actions, chatbot development i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Website), a software developer in India, a mobile app developer in UK, a small cyber security company in London, a social media freelancer in US, a Unity game developer in London.

Pufferr also leverages outsourcing platforms like Copify for great content, Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer, Omnivirt for VR ads, Quantcast for managed Programmatic Display, MobileMonkey for Facebook Chatbot campaigns and many more.

The campaign

For our work for NBSP, we developed several key innovations:

  • Developed Alexa, Google Home and mobile apps;
  • Facebook, Twitter and website chatbots;
  • Re-designed website (which tripled its size following a mammoth SEO re-evaluation).

We employed a professional film crew, rented a luxury mansion, drones and various high-end assets (i.e. Andy Warhol paintings, Jaguar car, fine watches) and shoot two professional videos.

The campaign was amplified on several digital channels: SEO, Paid Search (Google Ads, Display), Organic Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), PR, content marketing and paid social campaigns on channels untapped by competition, i.e. Quora, Twitter, Waze, Snapchat, Facebook and Chatbot Marketing. We also ran an Instagram Influencers campaign and running a Programmatic Display campaign.

We developed state of art Machine Learning Algorithms (Gradient Boosting Machines, Linear and Deep Learning) to analyse thirteen metrics of website engagement and fine-tuned SEO and Paid Search strategies.

We also commissioned a VR app and a Pawnbroking game. Moreover, we developed these technologies at a fraction of the cost quoted within UK, i.e. for the Alexa skill we received quotes over £15k, while we developed it for $1200. This added value to NBSP and allowed us to maximize the impact of its marketing budget.

The results

Our digital initiatives exceeded al targets set by NBSP:

  • Website traffic up YOY by 360.89%, leads from Google Adwords improved by 120%, market share by 30.11%.
  • SEO traffic improved by 41.66%, social media traffic by 564.88%.
  • Direct website traffic improved by 2354.26%, referral traffic improved by 116.14%.
  • New visitors improved by 362.84% YOY.
  • In terms of revenue, NBSP currently has the highest growth rate in the company history at +80%.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Agency Business Awards 2019.

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