In this case study you'll find out how construction business Polar Cool turned their 599,000 THB monthly sales revenue into over 2,000,000 THB in the space of 16 weeks.
And all it took was 4 key changes to their existing marketing strategy that you can start applying to your business right away.
Here’s how Polar Cool’s online sales revenue increases look before and after applying the changes we’ll be covering:
Most business owners assume that it’s difficult (and costly) to actually make money from their marketing campaigns. But everything seems challenging without a proven system to help guide you all the way.
When you apply a tried and tested process based on experience, your marketing results can be exponential. And in the sections below, we’ll explain step-by-step how we tripled Polar Cool’s monthly sales revenue by applying a winning process to the brand’s marketing campaigns.
Like many business owners, Polar Cool’s founder started out managing his own online marketing campaigns from scratch.
And while his efforts did make the company some money (around 500,000 THB / month on average), things could have still been much better: especially for a company in the construction industry.
Polar Cool’s key product is innovative, heat-resistant sheet metal, used in homes located in areas with hot and humid weather like Thailand.
The product and market were a match made in heaven, and the founder knew he needed to get his marketing to the next level to maximize the brand’s potential.
But since he was still managing his own marketing campaigns, there were two challenges in the way of Polar Cool’s growth:
But after we started working on Polar Cool’s marketing campaigns, we made these 4 simple changes to their marketing strategy to successfully take their campaigns to the next level.
When you want to improve your marketing campaigns to increase sales, it’s always best to start by revisiting your existing marketing strategy.
This means making sure your strategy is 100% clear and aligned with what you want to achieve in the first place.
So if your business needs more money, it needs more sales. And your marketing strategy needs to clearly define how to achieve those sales numbers.
If you’re using your marketing campaigns to get more reach for the business, the idea of how exactly you’re going to achieve more sales through increased reach needs to be clear.
If the objective of your strategy is just to get more reach by increasing website traffic or more ad impressions, the focus turns to increasing reach.
You’ll have the whole marketing team worrying about ways to increase website visits instead of increasing sales.
And no matter how many technical tweaks you make, like changing the style of your creatives or audience targeting methods, the focus will still be on reach.
This is where many businesses end up losing money from their marketing efforts, despite putting months of hard work into making changes that they thought would work.
As you can see from the infographic above, we started our changes for Polar Cool by laying the strategic groundwork down (Steps 1-2) before we even touched the creatives (Steps 3-4).
Strategic tweaks are where your time and effort are best spent. But they’re more challenging to get right, and that’s why most marketing teams overlook them and make technical changes to compensate.
However, something that really helped our team understand how to focus on strategy before tactics is The 80/20 Principle, a book by business consultant Richard Koch.
The book talks about the 80/20 rule, which is basically the idea that 80% of your positive results (like sales) come from 20% of your time and effort.
The goal then is to always make that 20% of time count by focusing on the things that matter most. That you’ll really make the most out of your results, or the remaining 80%.
So that’s why our approach to increasing Polar Cool’s sales revenue started with the strategy.
And in the sections below, we’ll break down exactly what we did to drive the brand’s success with this mindset, based on the following 4 stages:
When it comes to marketing that needs to drive sales revenue, success should be black or white: It’s either you’re getting more sales from the strategy, or you aren’t.
And the best (and easiest) way to measure success here is to pick the right primary KPI that can be tied back to sales.
Finding the right KPI to drive you more sales needs to be done from Day 1, because it sets the foundation for future results.
Examples of KPIs that can be tied back to sales are: the number of purchases on your website, messages sent to your Facebook inbox, or number of people who have filled out a survey/form.
Of course there can be a bit of trial and error at first, but the winning metric should always be the KPI that increases your sales. In other words, it’s the metric that increases while your sales also increase.
Looking at 1 key KPI at a time ensures that your marketing efforts will always be driven by data, not by what-ifs. It also helps everyone in the team stay focused on increasing your sales, because 1 KPI is always simpler to follow than monitoring 3-4 KPIs at once.
Now there will naturally be a few secondary KPIs to monitor for additional signals and future trends. But the focus must never split from the primary KPI.
When we stepped in with our sales-driven performance marketing strategy, we immediately focused all Polar Cool’s campaigns on driving 1 KPI: Messages.
The brand’s existing marketing strategy used different campaigns with multiple objectives, like engagement, reach, messages, traffic, video views, etc.
This made it incredibly difficult for them to find out what was going wrong.
So why did we choose Messages as Polar Cool’s 1 key KPI?
Messages were the closest measurable metric to direct purchases possible, under Polar Cool’s existing setup.
Here’s a summary of why messages worked best for Polar Cool’s Facebook marketing campaigns:
A. Messages are most likely to convert into buying customers.
A new message from an interested user is like a potential customer walking into your store. Compared to clicks or video views, a message from someone basically means the person is reaching out to you for more information.
And the more you are capable of accurately targeting people who are part of your target audience to send you messages, the more likely you are to get more potential customers, hence more sales.
So it’s not only about the number of users you can get to send you messages: It’s the number of quality users who send messages.
For Polar Cool, this meant getting contractors or other B2B representatives to message their Facebook inbox, as their sheet metal product would mean nothing to someone who isn’t part of the construction industry.
While driving messages isn’t the only way to drive more sales, we’ve found that it works exceptionally well for many of our clients in Thailand.
Especially for Thailand, messages are currently the easiest way for customers to pay online (customers can transfer the final amount, then send over their transfer slip all in one chat).
The fewer steps you have for your audience, the more likely they’ll convert into buying customers.
Over half of our success stories were achieved with messaging campaigns; You can check them out here later on.
B. Polar Cool’s website wasn’t purchase-friendly.
Their website mostly features information about their product, and different channels to contact their sales team with:
If the website featured an e-commerce platform to buy their products, then optimizing for direct purchases would be an option.
But even then, Polar Cool’s core audience don’t normally do business via e-commerce. They usually buy in bulk, and that normally requires a lot of back and forth with the internal sales team.
And that’s where using Facebook messages as the key KPI came in. We helped get more people from Polar Cool’s target audience to send them messages, while Polar Cool’s sales team would turn them into real customers.
This first tweak to the foundation of the marketing strategy was the backbone of how we tripled Polar Cool’s monthly sales revenue.
The marketing campaigns had a clear focus on how to increase sales. We could control the amount and quality of messages that were coming into Polar Cool’s inbox daily, while the founder could measure the direct business impact of the campaigns by reviewing his sales figures.
The key here is we kept track of everything in daily KPI sheets, where we filled out the amount of messages we received per day, and Polar Cool’s team filled out the sales they closed per day.
Here’s part of the KPI sheets for reference:
By doing this, we’d know immediately whether we’re doing a good job or falling short. Plus it made progress monitoring super simple for Polar Cool’s team.
So after establishing the key KPI to keep track of sales, it was time for the second strategic change to Polar Cool’s marketing campaigns: re-structuring them according to different stages of their customers’ readiness to buy.
The most successful business owners are those who put their audience before everything else. Many already do have that mindset. But the challenging part is learning how to actually apply it to their businesses.
In Step 2 of our changes to Polar Cool’s marketing strategy, we mapped out their campaigns based on their target audience’s buying habits.
Because it’s not only about whether the audience is buying or not: It’s when they’re buying that really matters.
Most people aren’t willing to buy something right away, especially if the product isn’t an impulse purchase. And since Polar Cool’s product is a planned purchase, their marketing efforts needed to reflect the nature of their product.
So here’s how we organized all the marketing campaigns based on their audience:
This Sales Pyramid, referenced from renowned business consultant Chet Holmes’ book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, has played a vital part in our successes in audience targeting.
The basic thought process of this pyramid is that only 3% of your entire audience is ready to buy your product right then and there (Buying Now).
The remaining 97% of your audience are either still gathering information before they decide to buy (17% Information-Gathering Mode), know they have an issue that needs solving (20% Problem-Aware) or don’t care about the issue your product solves at all (60% Not Problem-Aware).
Especially for digital marketing, where there are billions of people online, the Sales Pyramid helps you clearly define the specific audience groups that you need to target.
And because only 3% of your audience are actively buying, the job of your marketing campaigns is to turn non-buying audience members into buying ones, by moving them up the Sales Pyramid.
It’s easy to make advertisements for the top 3% of your audience. It takes much more strategic planning and expertise to gradually turn a non problem-aware person into someone who is going to buy in the future.
You communicate with your audience through your ads, and that’s where you need to apply the Sales Pyramid: by creating ads that speak to the audience at different stages of the pyramid.
Polar Cool’s previous campaigns were somewhat targeted at their top 3% audience, but in reality the campaigns were targeting people from all over the Sales Pyramid, with no goal of moving them up. This was why results weren’t picking up as quickly as they should have.
So when we stepped in, we started making ads that corresponded to the different stages of the pyramid.
Here’s an example of an ad targeted to those lower in Polar Cool’s Sales Pyramid (not interested in the brand yet):
Since this ad was targeted to people who didn’t know who Polar Cool were yet, the ad focused on an educational angle.
The main idea with these ads lower in the pyramid is to educate the audience before you convince them to buy.
People need a reason to buy, so if you provide them with reasons why they need your product in their life, they may be compelled to buy either right away or later on.
You could show them a promotion and tell them to buy immediately, but generally this works for products that are on the cheaper side. Plus it’s not a long-term way to get sales, as nurturing your Sales Pyramid while you get sales is more valuable.
Thus, the key focuses of this Polar Cool ad were identifying the problem that the product can solve for the audience (hot air circulating around the household), and presenting Polar Cool’s cooling sheet metal as the solution. Product details were also included in the copy of the ad.
Now here is an ad targeted to people who already knew who Polar Cool were, but didn’t yet send them a message after seeing the first ad above:
While the key message in the video is the same, the captions strictly focus on presenting testimonials from satisfied customers. And since the main KPI is messages, the ad also made use of a call to action by asking interested audience members to send a message to Polar Cool’s inbox.
In addition to successfully driving more messages to the inbox, this ad also helped decrease the cost per message, meaning it now cost less of the advertising budget for someone to send a message.
And getting more messages for less of the cost, while purchases increased, further proved that our strategic changes were working.
Now that we’ve got the strategic groundwork in Steps 1 and 2 covered, now it’s time to move on to the technical changes after the strategy has been clearly defined.
In Step 3, we’ll explain exactly how we used testing to make sure we were spending the budget on the right things that maximized Polar Cool’s monthly sales revenue.
While there are no one-size-fits-all marketing strategies in the world, most successful strategies in the long-term have 1 thing in common: They never stop testing and refreshing existing best practices to improve results.
In this case, testing typically means creating several variations of ads and audience targeting methods to find out which ones make you the most money. Then you can test them further to find out how you can improve on them to make you even more money in the future.
A common misconception for people who run Facebook ads is that you can get by with a few best-performing ads. But the truth is all ads eventually die off, so you can’t rely on one “hero” ad to carry your marketing campaigns.
The truth is it requires weekly testing for your digital marketing campaigns to be successful. From our experience, it takes at least 5 ads/audience targeting methods per week to ensure your campaigns are working at their maximum potential.
Yes, it requires a lot of effort to brainstorm, create, test and record the results. But aggressive testing is the difference between marketing campaigns that generate the best results vs. those that get you the same results that everyone else is getting.
Creative testing is incredibly time-consuming, and it requires lots of manpower and expertise to get it right.
However, we’ve found that the best way to ensure your budget is spent on the right creative ideas is the A/B Testing Model.
It’s basically a comparison between different variations of ads where we test one variable at a time, keeping everything else virtually the same.
That way we would know exactly what the audience liked and didn’t like about an ad, and improve it the next time we test them.
Here is what our testing structure looks like:
In the example, you can see we tested different creative focuses, but all with the same audience. By doing this, we would find the creative focus that drove the most sales from Audience A.
The ads you saw in Step 2 were examples of those that worked well for Polar Cool. Here’s an example of one that didn’t work so well:
On paper, many marketers would celebrate this post as a success because it received lots of comments and shares by industry standards.
But in the strategic stage we already clearly defined the key KPI as messages, so comments and shares are secondary, as they don’t generate direct sales.
This ad simply wasn’t a success because it didn’t generate enough messages to be traced back to an increase in sales revenue.
And while the ads in Step 2 had way more shares and comments than this ad, they were chosen as the best ads because they generated the most messages for the least cost, leading to more sales for the business.
In addition to creative testing, you also need to test your audiences weekly. Test 2-3 audiences with the same winning ad, and the audience that generates the most results will be your winner.
Facebook makes audience targeting seem easy because you can use the platform to target people based on their interests, behavior and even income levels to a certain extent:
And Facebook’s AI is quite strong; It’s just not perfect yet. That means the automatic stuff rarely generates the results you need.
That’s why you need to test with a data-driven approach to make sure which audiences really generate results, instead of assuming they will work just because they sound like they will.
For Polar Cool, one would assume that targeting people based on their interests in land development and real estate companies would work.
But after aggressive testing, we found that broader audiences, like people interested in home improvement, or those who listed themselves as general contractors, for instance, worked far better.
This is why you’ll need to test on a weekly basis. Digital marketing is incredibly fast paced, and testing is the only way your marketing campaigns will always stay on the cutting edge.
On to the final step of the changes we made to Polar Cool’s marketing campaigns, we introduced daily budget optimization to the mix.
Optimization ensures your marketing budget always gets spent on the things that make you the most money, like your best-performing ads and audiences.
Again, Facebook’s AI already optimizes your ads for you. And this leads to the common myth that you don’t have to manually optimize your budget as often.
But from our experience in generating over 1.104 billion baht for our clients by spending 250 million baht in advertising spend, we’ve found that daily, manual optimization can easily lead to a 10-30% increase in results every single day.
That’s 10-30% more sales revenue, just by adding a small step to your strategy.
How We Applied this to Polar Cool’s Marketing Campaigns:
When we started out with Polar Cool’s marketing campaigns, their cost per message was around 240 baht per new message. 16 weeks of daily budget optimization later, the number is now down to 66 baht per new message.
That’s more than 70% cheaper for someone to send them a message, while sales tripled in the process.
Overall, it took around 2-3 weeks for Steps 1-4 to be fully put in place. What followed were improvements based on the data generated by the campaigns, as well as strategic tweaks according to external changes, like the Covid-19 pandemic and seasonal discounts.
It sounds simple, and it should be that way to ensure the strategy is effective and easy to follow for everybody involved.
But why then do most marketing strategies still fail to drive a 3x increase in sales revenue, despite already applying aspects of what we just covered?
It all comes down to the team that’s executing the strategy.
There are hundreds of great Facebook marketing courses out there. What’s more than that is after you start establishing yourself on Facebook by making more sales and spending more on the platform, Facebook reps will even call you directly.
They’ll treat you as a business partner and recommend how you can make your campaigns better, for free.
But the truth is that Facebook marketing is very complex, mainly because it changes every day. That’s why courses become outdated so fast in today’s market.
Another important factor to consider is that a lot of the advice from Facebook reps doesn’t work for everybody. This is natural, because fundamentally their agenda is to keep you spending more money on their platform.
That’s why you’ll need a marketing team to truly nail your Facebook marketing. Such a marketing team will need 1. A proven track record of success, and 2. Neverending curiosity to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Many companies with in-house marketing teams hire one key person as their strategist, hoping their expertise alone can take them to the next level.
But the reality is there will always be someone who is better at something than the other person is. Someone who is a brilliant strategist may struggle to find the right words for a killer caption.
Or you could find an incredibly skilled marketer to become your marketing manager, only to find that they’re not that good with people.
That’s why we’ve tried and tested several team setups to find out which one works best in terms of generating results for our clients.
And here’s our best setup so far:
Working with a team that maximizes each person’s potential by allowing them to play to their strengths while learning to be better each day is your best bet at staying on the cutting edge.
The next thing you may be wondering is whether you could actually hire an in-house team based on this structure to drive you more sales.
Yes, you can. But it’s incredibly expensive, and you’ll need the best in every position listed above to make it work.
That’s why in a competitive market, a business that is partnering with an agency that breathes marketing in and out each day will almost always beat an in-house team that is working on one business at a time.
We’re not just telling you this because we’re a marketing agency. More and more agencies are coming up each year, and all of them are looking for the best talent in the industry to work for them.
If you’re building a racecar, you’d want the best people in their positions to work on a car that will help you win a race:
Marketing that drives real sales revenue can only work if everyone is firing on all cylinders. And in the end it depends on what you want for your business, whether you are OK with average marketing or whether you want your business to seriously compete at the top of your industry.
The secret to Polar Cool’s success was they selected the right marketing partner for their business’ needs. This meant both Polar Cool and we were able to assemble a racecar to keep us ahead of the competition.
And if you can find the right team that can clearly explain how your business can get from Point A to Point B, then your business will achieve similar growth and success as well.
1. Making money from marketing campaigns isn't as hard as you think.
All you need to increase your online sales is the right balance of strategic expertise and tactical implementation.
Surround yourself with people who have successfully driven real sales revenue for businesses like yours before, and are passionate about improving on a daily basis.
For Polar Cool, the impact of their 3x increase in sales revenue has been immense. The founder can now finally focus on the company’s direction without worrying about his ads.
And with the revenue they’ve earned, they can reinvest it into the business’ marketing to increase sales even more in the long run.
2. Simplify your KPIs from the start.
The easiest change you can make to your strategy on your own is to simplify your KPIs. Focus on one highest-impact variable at a time. For Polar Cool it was messages, because they could directly be tied back to sales.
If you need sales, focus on the things that get you more sales, not anything else. This simplified mindset will be easy to follow for everyone in the team, meaning things are less likely to go wrong, and more likely to succeed.