Save your nickels and dimes — you won’t find any slot machines at the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach. Named in the nineteenth century, when the word “casino” still meant ‘gathering place’ (it’s the Italian diminutive for “house”), the oceanside building dates back to 1899; it’s hosted musical acts since 1927, “everyone from Duke Ellington to Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, U2,” says Andy Herrick, Director of Marketing at the Casino Ballroom since 2004.
With an idyllic location, an ideal size (2000 cap), and all that history, it’s no surprise that the Casino Ballroom fits a lot of programming into a limited season. Herrick advertises around 70 shows in the Ballroom’s barely-eight-month season. That’s an average of 2–3 shows a week.
Let’s not forget that the Director of Marketing has more on his plate than running campaigns for events. “We’re a small business, I’m the person buying all of the advertising for our shows,” Herrick says, whose responsibilities also include sponsorship analysis, experiential delivery, and all the other Casino Ballroom brand touch points. “I have to make sure that I have time to do everything else I’m responsible for. And as the years progressed, Facebook and Instagram ads started to take up more and more of my daily time. ToneDen was a solution to cut that back.”
ToneDen Slashes the Time You Spend on Ads
What is it about data? A few numbers go a long way toward igniting the left brain.
As Andy tells us, “Before, because of the time constraints, I wasn’t running multiple audiences on a given campaign. I was just going in and throwing a bunch of different audiences into one ad set. My hunch is that’s probably what most people do because it’s just the way the Ads Manager works … but the idea that you can throw five audiences at this, optimize it for a certain spend, run it against something else, and have it all be really quick [like it is with ToneDen] — all that stuff sort of hit me square in the face right off the bat. I was like, wow, I’ll make up the cost of this product with my time.”
Indeed. What Herrick observed when he started using ToneDen was just how much time he saved — as in, how many minutes. He started doing the math. Minutes became hours; hours added up to entire days spent building campaigns.
Before Herrick used ToneDen, he’d spend 15 minutes building an ad in Facebook Ads Manager. Once he partnered with ToneDen, he cut that time down to 5 minutes: 37.5% of what it once took.
ROAS Up, Ad Spend Down: The Power of DEAs
When Herrick’s really looking to maximize efficiency (and returns), while minimizing ad spend, he uses ToneDen’s Dynamic Event Ads. Think of them as calendar ads for the cutting-edge digital marketer. With one campaign, DEAs allow you to advertise an entire catalogue of events — a month or a season, whatever you prefer. Users who engage with specific events will see ads for those events in the future, eliminating all those worries about whether you’re really doing your most effective targeting when, say, announcing The Beach Boys and Whitesnake’s Flesh & Blood tour — in the same ad.
Those were just two of the acts on the Casino Ballroom’s calendar when Herrick ran a DEA. (Others included SiriusXM The Pulse Presents: The Mighty OAR w/ American Authors, Black Label Society, Michael McDonald, Justin Moore, Eddie Money, Chase Rise, Foreigner, and Badfish.)
Herrick spent $44.99 on the campaign, which reached 2763 people. Of those reached, 322 click on the ads and 49 made purchases. The cost per purchase? Less than a dollar. The campaign’s value? More than $5800 — a 129x return on ad spend.
Herrick admits to being blown away. “I am surprised. I was skeptical based on some programmatic history in the “dynamic” space, but once again ToneDen delivered.”
A Partner Lets You Realize Your Potential
When Andy began using ToneDen, two years ago, the idea of saving time was part of what sold him on the platform, along with the promise of increased conversion rates and the ability to A/B test or, “apple-to-apple your campaigns and try different things out. These were the three buckets that were pain-point buckets for me as an advertiser.”
Those pain points have been alleviated, and ToneDen has brought Herrick additional perks. “The customer service has been awesome, which is the bonus because I did not come on board for that part of it. I came on board for the solution to my pain part problem. I feel like [ToneDen’s] a partner in the whole thing.”
A good partner doesn’t just band-aid your problems; they help you learn about your industry. That’s what happened when Herrick explored ToneDen’s playbooks. “The Messenger idea is a good one,” he says. “It has to be a part of your ideology.”
Small advertising teams or the data-averse, in Herrick’s opinion, “should be using ToneDen: it makes it easy and forces you to really pay attention to some of that stuff.”
But the truth is, Herrick unequivocally recommends ToneDen for all people. As much as he wants to “keep DEAs all to myself,” the truth is:
“With ease of use, advancing ROAS and a commitment to the live entertainment vertical, the secret’s out: if you aren’t using ToneDen you’re not realizing the full potential of your shows.”