increase in student leases compared to averages from previous four years
Raise awareness of furniture rental services by effectively reaching key demographics
Accurately measure effectiveness of advertisements to improve spend decisions
Save money by bringing marketing activities in-house rather that working through outside vendors
95% unique reach to students measured through targeted direct audio ads on Spotify
18% increase in student leases compared to averages from previous four years
Delivered cost savings and greater advertising efficiency by bringing marketing in house
Scaled targeted advertisements across channels through automation and customer intelligence
Digital Marketing Analyst, CORT
One of the biggest expenses of moving into a new home or office is furnishing it. When that move is temporary, the occupants need to consider not only the cost of buying furniture, but the effort of selling, transporting, or disposing of it once they’re ready to move on.
For more than 40 years, CORT has helped take some of the stress out of moving by providing cost-effective and reliable furniture rental services. CORT’s offerings are valuable to a variety of individuals and businesses, including students renting apartments for the school year, realtors staging homes for sale, families frequently on the move, and fast-growing businesses building out new office space.
As a leader in a specialized business, the biggest struggle for CORT isn’t direct competition—it’s raising awareness of furniture rental services.
“Many consumers don’t even realize that furniture rental is a possibility,” says Mindy Oliver, Director of Online Business, Media, and Analytics at CORT. “They just assume that they will need to buy new or used furniture every time they move. The biggest thing we can do from a marketing perspective is expand our reach, particularly to key demographics who have temporary housing needs.”
CORT decided to shift its advertising strategy toward targeted awareness campaigns in key channels—promoted video, social media, and audio. Because CORT works with many clearly defined demographics—such as individuals relocating for work, students, realtors, and growing businesses—the company also wanted to better identify and target audiences.
“We decided to build our digital marketing strategy on Adobe Advertising Cloud for its transparency into spend, the strength of the technology, and the excellent support from our Adobe account team,” says Jake Taylor, Digital Marketing Analyst at CORT. “With Adobe’s partnership, we’ve increased leases for students 18% over our previous four-year average.”
Director of Online Business, Media, and Analytics, CORT
CORT started working with Adobe Advertising Cloud to optimize paid search. Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, powers advanced algorithms used to optimize and forecast ad spend recommendations in Advertising Cloud Search. For example, Performance Optimization, powered by Adobe Sensei, analyzes and enhances ad performance against campaign goals such as developing sales leads or prompting audiences to request a quote. The feature ultimately calculates the best distribution of advertising spend across keywords, ads, devices, users, and other variables.
By using the artificial intelligence to optimize search bidding, CORT can maximize returns on its search advertising budget. Over time, the forecast simulations and spend recommendations become even more accurate, making it easier to plan campaigns. Model accuracy reports give CORT confidence that the forecast models are delivering as expected.
Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, delivers the essential data and insights that power Adobe Advertising Cloud Search. Data about search, ads, and performance flows back into Advertising Cloud in real time to continuously refine the search strategy. With real-time insights into how customers are responding to different campaigns, marketers can quickly adjust campaigns to better capture audiences.
Analytics combines these insights with CORT’s first-party data to segment audiences and identify high-value customers. Working with this audience information, CORT can target specific groups of potential customers, such as college students, and personalize ad copy to better connect with customers.
After experiencing success with Search, CORT added Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP to manage audio, display, native, social, and video advertisements in-house. Marketers can bid on advertisement inventory across online banners, digital video, digital audio, social media sites, and other digital platforms. Because these campaigns are managed under one platform, marketers can easily plan and optimize omnichannel advertising campaigns that target and retarget key CORT audiences.
“Working with Advertising Cloud DSP was a big deal for us because we were able to bring advertising in-house rather than working with a third-party vendor,” says Taylor. “We eliminated a lot of agency fees for a huge cost-savings.”
CORT relies on Advertising Cloud for several reasons. The robust Adobe solutions use powerful capabilities to analyze advertising strategies across multiple channels and help the marketing team find the best avenues to invest in for great returns.
Bringing advertising in-house with Advertising Cloud also helps CORT achieve much greater visibility into budget, performance, and customer engagement. The marketing team has full access to information about audiences and how advertisements perform. Instead of relying on third-party agencies, the company can dig deep into the data and gain clarity and insights critical for making intelligent advertising decisions.
“We have a small marketing team, so the automation and customer intelligence in Adobe solutions is essential for us to scale across channels in order to reach more customers,” says Oliver. “Adobe Advertising Cloud offers powerful capabilities that help us get the information we need to shift our dollars and adjust our strategies to reach audiences with high-performing ads.”
One of CORT’s key target audiences is college students. The student market is very seasonal, as most students move between May and August. The CORT marketing team previously tried many tactics to promote awareness amongst students by placing ads in school newspapers and reaching out to student housing groups. But they reasoned that the most effective way to reach a young, connected audience was through digital channels.
CORT decided to try using Advertising Cloud DSP to deliver direct audio ads on the music streaming service Spotify. Marketers had attempted a Spotify campaign once before, but they had no way to measure results accurately. But with the segmentation capabilities of DSP, CORT marketers could more accurately target its audience and measure results.
Initial tests of the Spotify tactic proved to be a success, achieving a 95% unique reach. “The Spotify campaign had a much wider reach than previously expected, helping us connect with audiences that we weren’t hitting through any of our other social media, display, or search marketing,” says Taylor. “Adobe Advertising Cloud allows us to quantify our successes so that we can encourage much greater awareness of CORT for new audiences.”
With the ability to accurately measure and compare advertising performance across several channels, CORT is turning its eye toward testing and personalization. The marketing team wants to test and compare the performance of different ads to continue attracting core audiences. They also want to explore geotargeting ads for specific regions, cities, or even individual schools. They also plan to focus on social media and video.
“We know that the more we target our core audiences, the better chance we have of raising awareness of CORT services,” says Oliver. “Adobe Advertising Cloud gives us the tools to continue scaling and personalizing advertisements to reach audiences more effectively and grow our business.”