Finish Line Boosts Return On Ad Spend 9.5x With Facebook Audience Targeting

  • August 16, 2017 at 12:29 PM EDT
  • By Glenn Taylor
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Finish Line is automating customer prospecting for its full product line, increasing audience reach, and lowering costs-per-sale with Facebook’s new broad audience targeting feature. Using Facebook partner platform StitcherAds, the retailer ran a three-month campaign and generated a 9.5x return on ad spend (ROAS).

Additionally, compared to other static prospecting campaigns, Finish Line saw:

  • 49x more sales;

  • 3x greater reach; and


  • 83% decrease in cost-of-sale.


“We wanted to pull a lot of different levers to create customized ads at the dynamic product level and also create full-funnel strategies,” said Evan Whipkey, Integrated Marketing Strategist at Finish Line in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We know that our retargeting ads were our bread-and-butter and they worked very well, and we tried a few different strategies for prospecting, but nothing stood out at first. When Facebook released its broad audience tool, we realized it was the right option to execute that strategy and expand our reach.”

Data-Driven Automation Boosts Ad Relevance

Prior to working with StitcherAds, Finish Line had difficulty prospecting new consumers on Facebook. The retailer displayed irrelevant ads to the consumers it needed to convert the most — lookalike consumers. These consumers are shoppers who aren’t actively engaged with a specific business, but would likely be interested in the business because they’re similar to existing customers. And while interest-based targeting provided adequate reach for the brand, marketers still needed to segment and target consumers manually.

But combining automation with data-driven technology has enabled Finish Line to showcase certain products more easily based on seasonal popularity or shoppers’ prior engagement with the retailer, according to Whipkey.

“Retargeting is the low hanging fruit which every retail marketer worth their salt should be doing already,” said David Parfect, Chief Revenue Officer of StitcherAds. “It’s just a line item. However, that universe of social users is as valuable as the people already coming to your online stores. Broad audience targeting takes the data that Facebook has on every user — including the web sites they are visiting — which is a bit of a black box. We’re not privy to all of that information… no one is. But the idea is that this data will put the most relevant ads in front of the relevant user.”

Finish Line leverages this data to run co-op campaigns with some of its premier footwear brands, as well as its “Shoes So Fresh” branding campaign, which was designed to represent the one-upping, hyper-competitive nature of sneakerheads and increase brand awareness and engagement.

Additionally, the retailer is working with StitcherAds to use Facebook and Instagram ads to drive in-store shopping and improve offline conversion rates. While the progress of that project hasn’t been revealed, Whipkey noted that Finish Line has applied a valuable lesson going forward with all social projects: “It’s all about putting the relevant content in front of the right audience.”



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