The challenge

Hobbycraft had been investing in PPC for a while, but spend was minimal, everything was automated, coverage was limited and conversions were being double counted. When they were told that digital spend was going to be seriously ramped up in the run up to Christmas, the challenge went to us to rebuild the account from the ground up.


increase in sessions


increase in new users


conversion rate increase


increase in transactions


increase in revenue

The approach

Hobbycraft covers an extremely wide range of products ranging from the fairly expensive to very cheap. Additionally, the store caters for a range of different customers- from the savvy crafters – who spend a lot of time and money on their pursuits and know exactly what they are looking for – to the dabbling hobbyists who casually try out different projects.

All this meant that we needed to ensure we had great coverage of both the very specific product names that Hobbycraft stock in addition to the more generic short tail product category keywords.

The way that we solved this problem was with using a few different types of AdWords campaigns. We ran inventory feed campaigns through DS linked with the merchant feed in order to build out over 7,000 product-specific ad groups (with the name and price of each product in the ad copy).

We also added AdWords labels to the feed in order to split out the shopping campaigns into high, medium and low value products so that we could bid according to price in Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

The rest of our campaign was split out into ad groups for different product brands, more general hobby-based campaigns and Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) with low bids to pick up any queries not already covered.

Inventory feed campaigns
When a user searches for something like 'singer 3321 talent sewing machine', we can be fairly certain that they are at a different stage in their research process, compared to somebody searching for 'sewing machine'. The former know the brand they want, and even the specific name and model.

We used DoubleClick Search (DS) feed campaigns to target users searching for specific products with ads which contained the name of the product, the price and free delivery (depending on whether the price was above the £30 threshold). When a searcher clicked on an ad with this much information, we could be confident that they had a positive intent to buy.

Shopping Campaigns
Shopping campaigns were vital to Hobbycraft's strategy around Christmas. Previously, there had been a strategy in place which excluded all low cost products from the PLA campaigns because they had found it difficult to justify paying for clicks on low value items which would not provide a good return.

We didn't want to exclude anything from the campaign without testing it first, but wanted to keep bids as low as possible for cheaper items. We solved this problem by adding custom labels to the feed which split all products into high, medium and low value items. We were then able to keep these in separate ad groups with bids and promotion text to match the product values.

Upper Funnel Activity
With all the activity above, we had covered the most engaged customers who were looking for very specific products, but it was also vital that we were targeting those who hadn't yet decided which product they were going to buy. In order to cover customers at all stages of research, we used the following campaign types:

  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) campaigns targeting all previous site visitors who searched for 'gift' related keywords
  • Very generic "craft store"-style ad groups
  • Hobby-specific "card making", "papercraft", "decoupage" ad groups
  • Brand specific ad groups covering the multitude of brands stocked on site
The team not only delivered fantastic performance results, but offered great insight and understanding of our customers.

Jennifer Marsh

Digital Marketing Executive, Hobbycraft


The outcome

  • Increased PPC spend on specific keywords and generic terms, to increase access to the different customer bases
  • Used DoubleClick Search to feed campaigns to target users searching for specific products with ads which contained specific product names and messaging
  • Added AdWord labels to the feed in order to split out the shopping campaigns into high, medium and low value products to bid according to price in Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

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