K-BID and A2C recently collaborated on a marketing campaign to liquidate the assets of a golf course and restaurant. The auction was a huge success due to the hard work of A2C and our ability to target and find the correct buying audience. This case study will explain the process that we took to decide the appropriate budget, where to spend that budget and the results that we were able to achieve.
Project: Valley View Golf Course and Eagle Ridge Restaurant Final Liquidation (www.k-bid.com/auction/8172)
Total Budget: $2,200
A2C is one of our most experienced affiliates and has completed hundreds of successful auctions. During the sales presentation, A2C made a low end estimation that the assets in this auction would be $100,000. Most auctioneers throughout the country have a set budget that they will charge for each auction, typically this is a straight percentage of estimated auction value or a flat fee that they have determined from previous advertisement costs. This auction required additional advertising due to the amount of items available and some of the specialty golf course equipment. In this case A2C chose to go with a 2% estimate of ending sale price to dedicate to auction marketing.
The process for deciding a marketing budget is not an exact science. Like most things in business, marketing is a “get what you pay for” proposition. If we only would have had an $800 budget we would have seen a significant decrease in the amount of people we were able to reach, where we could advertise and most likely a decrease in total auction value.
Some things to consider when deciding a marketing budget:
- Asset type. The more unique the asset(s), the more expensive it will be to find the target audience. The assets in this auction were golf and restaurant equipment, knowing that there are hundreds of golf courses and restaurants in MN, the radius for our marketing was limited to MN and the surrounding states.
- Marketing venue. I knew that Facebook was going to give me the best ROI on this auction due to the asset type. If this auction had very specialized equipment and the most efficient way to reach those potential buyers was through a trade magazine, I would have to research how much that venue would cost to market this auction.
- Time. You pay for marketing in either your time or money. Even if you are going to print out flyers for a cost of $50, take into account the time that you will have to invest to hang or hand out those flyers. We could have grabbed the phone book and started calling every golf course in the state, this would have taken a considerable amount of time.
Campaigns Performed: Facebook ads, targeted email blast from InfoUSA, front page banner on K-BID.com and email bidder blast.
Based on previous experience I knew that this auction would see the biggest ROI through Facebook ads and that this asset type would be perfect for social media. I continually see that Facebook ads outperform nearly every other type of auction marketing. We dedicated over 60% to Facebook ads as I wanted to do multiple ads that would target different audiences.
- Golf Audience: People with an interest in golf or golf course management. Targeting people with an interest in golf would inevitably lead to people who do/have worked at a golf course and eventually a decision maker or owner. The social aspect of Facebook is incredible, people have the tendency to want to help others and be seen as a source of information. Therefore, if I know of someone who owns a golf course and I see an ad for an “Entire Golf Course Liquidation,” I would be inclined to share this information with that person.
Location: United States: Minnesota; Wisconsin, Iowa
Golf Channel, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Golf course, golfing, Golf, Golf club, Golf ball or Golf equipment
Age: 27 - 65+
- Restaurant Audience: People with an interest in restaurant equipment. This auction also had a large amount of restaurant equipment which required a different target market. K-BID has data from previous auctions that allow us to create an audience of people within Facebook who have shown an interest in specific assets. As an affiliate you would not access to these audiences if you were to run your own campaigns, but could see similar results by using the interests targeting method.
Lookalike (US, 1%) - Restaurant Equipment, Restaurant Owner, Waiter/Waitress, Food Service, Bar Owner
United States: Iowa; Minnesota; Wisconsin
Age: 27 - 65+
- Local Audience: People within a 50 mile radius of the auction location. Most auctions have items that would be useful for anyone. I like to target within a 50 mile radius of the auction location to take advantage of the convenience factor. Example: I would be willing to pay more for a wheel barrow that is 10 miles away rather than 100 miles away.
United States: Belle Plaine (+50 mi) Minnesota
Age: 27 - 65+
Targeted Email Campaign through InfoUSA
InfoUSA allows you to rent addresses and send email blasts to a targeted audience based on an demographic, job title, salary, location and more. This option is expensive and can be riskier due to the fact that our targeted audience may have never even heard of K-BID before and could be reluctant to participate in an auction. My recommendation would be to only use this option with an extremely targeted audience.
In this case I had an audience of golf courses in Minnesota that I wanted to target. I knew that my results of this campaign would be much smaller than other avenues, however I also knew that even one or two highly qualified bidders could add a huge amount of value to this auction. These emails are completely legal as far as spam compliance, however you want to make sure that your message and audience are accurate and that the receiving party will be interested in your offer. If not, these emails can be easily disregarded and treated as junk mail.
Type Of Business: Golf Courses 7992-01, Private (Golf Courses-Public) 7992-01, Public (Golf Courses-Public) 7992-01, Semi-Private (Golf Courses) 7992-01
Other Selections: Business Emails
Front Page of K-BID and Email Blast
We knew that we had to take advantage of the thousands of people who visit K-BID each day. We created a front page slide for this auction and included it in the weekly email blast. These bidders are experienced with K-BID, they know the process and are the easiest conversion into another paying customer. Just listing an auction on K-BID already gets a tremendous amount of viewers but we wanted to make sure that we gave everyone a chance to find it.
We saw incredible results from these campaigns and the overall performance of the auction. Not only did we set records with the amount of watchers (1100+) the auction saw almost 60,000 page views and had over 700 unique bidders participating. The seller was ecstatic over the results which easily justified the additional marketing expense. This auction was an ideal scenario of finding the right target audience and letting the market determine the value (there were no reserves!), A2C was able to convey to the seller the importance of finding the "right" buyers and how that can effect the bottom line of the auction.
Communication is vitally important with your sellers, especially after the auction is over. We wanted to make sure that they knew exactly where their marketing dollars were spent and how it impacted the auction. Attached to this page you will see a marketing recap that was given to the seller with the auction proceeds.