Why did every INR 1.00 invested in ad-spend generate INR 84.60 worth of revenue? [Hint: Inbound Marketing]

I have been following Hubspot, A product company in the Internet Marketing space since about 4 years now, more so for a fantastic marketing blog they maintain.The blog speaks largely about Inbound Marketing, a method that Hubspot strongly endorses to win more customers & increase your firm’s revenue. Being interested in Internet Marketing, I have always tried to employ strategies to my personal projects – A Facebook based Indian Fabric store that my wife runs as ( Vaani Fabrics).

Vaani Fabrics was hosting a 2-day exhibition in October of 2016, and I was in charge of strategy to get more customers walk in through the door. I got my first win during this exhibition and every INR 1.00 that the business invested as ad-spend generated INR 84.60 worth of revenue. Needless to say, It’s just a small win. But since it worked, I wanted to share it with you folks here.

Here’s a short account of how Facebook Advertising & Inbound Marketing strategies helped to boost revenues.

A Quick Background about The Business:

Vaani Fabrics curates Indian fabrics ( cottons / silks & more) from various states of India. They offer this on sale via their Facebook page (Vaani Fabrics), exhibitions, their online store ( The Online shop on Meesho, now deprecated) & via prior appointments. The industry is basically Fashion & it caters 100% to women. So you can take a guess, How big the market really is.

The Target Market:

Vaani Fabrics caters to all the women in the age group of 26 to 55. These are the women who care about fabrics and get them stitched according to their own taste. To make it more specific, we decided to target women in this age group who shop online , are interested in boutiques, jewelry & live closer to where the business operates ( The city of Pune).

The Goal:

Early in October 2016, Vaani Fabrics decided to host a 2-day walk-in exhibition. They kept their curated fabrics on sale & decided to use online marketing with a goal to see a clear increase in revenues.

Existing Social Presence:

Vaani Fabrics was a 6 month old business in October 2016. They had an active Facebook page that had ~1000 fans. Their products were liked well by their customers, but marketing was largely done via a word-of-mouth in an already established social network ( friends & family). The challenge now was to get in unknown customers to consider a purchase from Vaani Fabrics.

The Situation:

We had about 4-5 days in hand to come up with a strategy & implement it. There were no professional graphic designers at hand and neither was there access to good photography equipment.

The Strategy:

Since the business enjoyed a certain following on Facebook, we decided to employ Facebook advertising to generate awareness about the brand & hence walk-ins to the exhibition.

This is the post we came up with about 3-4 days before the exhibition. The strategy was to drive engagement from the target group & get their Name, Phone & the day they would attend at the exhibition. The display text clearly displayed information about the exhibition including the date, location & products on display. We purposefully left out details including – The exact details about the venue & the timing. The post contained one single hyperlink that directed the user to a small form that captured their Name, Phone & Preference of day of visit to the exhibition. We targeted an audience that satisfied the following criterion – All women who lived in Pune , between the age group of 26-55 years, with a keen interest in Online Shopping , Boutiques, Jewelry & the festival of Diwali. October is the festival of Diwali in India and most of India shops for the festive season. Since Vaani Fabrics had festive products on display too, we decided to use that input in the targeting as well. The image used for the post was shot with the smartphone camera & we were set. We invested the decided budget ~ 1.5% of the revenues generated towards marketing via Facebook Ads & an SMS broadcasting service provided by TextLocal.

The exhibition went well & the revenue generated did justice to the overall aspirations of the event, the stock levels maintained by the business & the goals set before hand. Needless to say, Inbound Marketing worked very well.

The advert reached 13,144 people in our target group. As soon as the advert was seen by the people, the interested ones’ took action. They either clicked on the link provided and proceeded to fill in a form ( You can click here to view the form), OR they wrote in a comment on the Facebook post asking for more details about the address and timings of the walk-in exhibition. The customer service team at Vaani Fabrics, responded to every single message by writing in to the person in their inbox directly so as to extend a personal invitation. 80 people filled in the form & provided their Name, Phone and Preference of day of visit for the event. Every person who filled in the form was sent out a Whatsapp message along with a Google Map location to make it easy for them to find the venue.

We sent out 3 SMS based messages ( SMS is still the favored targeting mechanism in India) to remind the people who had opted-in by providing their details to Vaani Fabrics. We also rolled out 1 offer valid during the days of the exhibition and communicated about it via SMS.

Ultimately, we generated 28 brand new customers for the business who had opted in to keep updated about Vaani Fabrics. We got 33 new fans to the Facebook page & 5 new subscribers to Vaani Fabrics online shop. Last but not the least, every 1.00 INR generated 84.60 INR in return as revenues.

Why did the advert generate returns ? Here are some quick points, I feel worked:

  1. With an opt-in based system, the fans / visitors opted-in to know about the event. On the contrary, had the focus been on likes only we could not have measured the outcome.
  2. The existing activity on the business’ Facebook page was legitimate and professional allowing the users to trust a new brand.
  3. Every lead generated was provided personalized customer service to invite them to the event. We invited them personally through Facebook & Whatsapp based messages & also sent SMS reminders.
  4. Proof of the walk-ins generated was shown via photos published on the official Facebook page.
  5. Last but absolutely not the least, The Product was top-notch, The Pricing was correct, There was a ready market to buy, The season was correct for a walk-in exhibition, The venue of the exhibition was easily accessible and the promotion just apt.

Do you have a personal experience about Inbound Marketing ? Do share in the comments

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