The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure.
This year, Parkinson’s was aiming to increase year-end revenue from ads—while maintaining the same or higher return on ad spends year over year.
Last year’s campaign was already a very successful year for our client, so driving growth in 2021 would be challenging. We knew achieving both Revenue and ROAS growth would be extremely difficult. As any advertising program scales, you typically can lose some efficiency, so we knew we would need to be very strategic this year. In order to achieve the same ROI as last year, we knew we needed to take what we learned from past campaigns, but also provide room for testing and adjustments to make sure we were using our budget as efficiently as possible.
We carefully planned our media around key learnings from last year, while leaving room to pivot quickly and react to emerging trends.
Some optimizations we made based on 2020 results:
Some quick pivots we made in 2021:
By keeping a close watch on daily and channel performance, and reacting quickly, we were able to significantly exceed our client’s goals and increase revenue by 75% year over year – at 37% higher ROAS.
We planned campaigns around key moments (Giving Tuesday, end of year) to prioritize spend when conversions would be highest.
Then, we made adjustments throughout the campaign to maximize revenue in key channels and on key days.
For example, Giving Tuesday was even stronger than we initially expected, so we stayed plugged in to make sure we allocated enough budget to maximize revenue on that day. We ended up spending 66% more than last year to drive 63% more revenue (only dropping ROAS by 2% year over year).
We maximized delivery of Paid Search ads where donations and ROAS were highest—which resulted in moving budgets towards paid search.
Additionally, due to success on paid search, continuously optimized keywords and increased budgets where we had seen success in the past.
Some of the best performing keywords were around non-branded keyword terms like “Parkinson’s charity”, “Parkinson’s donations” and “Parkinson’s research”. We had targeted these keywords to a small extent last year but really pushed on them this year due to strong results.
We also leaned into competitor keywords after we had success with that tactic in 2020. Competitor keywords drove 794 donations and $141K in Revenue. Nonbrand keywords (e.g. “Parkinson’s charity”) drove 286 donations and $74.7k in Revenue.