The brief

Burton Snowboards is a global retailer of winter sports and snowboarding gear. They chose to work with Search Laboratory in 2015 after struggling to get results for both their English and German PPC campaigns.


They were keen to evolve their PPC campaigns, increase paid revenue and expand into new international markets.


increase in PPC revenue from 2016 to 2022


uplifting in PPC revenue in French markets since 2016


revenue growth for the past three years


new markets to expand into in 2022

Our approach

Positioning ourselves for growth

After an initial period of consolidation, we ensured we had the correct account structure in place, providing us with a solid platform from which to grow. We rolled out comprehensive campaign coverage across the initial markets, segmenting by brand, non-brand, product categories and gender and focusing on search and shopping campaigns.


This was the initial blueprint we used which could be rolled out across future markets. A clear ROAS target was established and Google auto-bidding strategies (tCPA and tROAS) were leveraged to help scale activity at or above target efficiency.


We stayed close to new product developments and incorporated these where appropriate to sustain growth within the EU. For example, we have had success leveraging local campaigns in recent years to provide Burton with valuable support for their physical stores across Europe.


More recently we have increased investment in upper-funnel activity, utilizing discovery and display prospecting as well as remarketing activity to drive brand awareness and help sustain longer-term market share and growth.


International expansion and localization

We worked with our native-speaking digital marketers to build bespoke strategies for the non-English speaking markets. This local, relatable approach strengthened our position in these regions alongside resellers by building credibility and trust to resonate with the target market.


Initially we focused on brand head terms such as ‘burton jackets’ to compete against resellers for traffic and gain traction before expanding the keyword coverage. We made use of RLSA to re-engage with non-convertors and be more aggressive on broad terms.


By tapping into our internal resource of native speaking digital marketers, we were able to provide a clear boost to interaction rates and conversion efficiency which enabled us to scale further. Once we had proven success in a region, we continued to assess the opportunity for expansion and looked to increase market share to aid EU growth.

Market assessment and expansion

Once we noticed the levels of success in the core EU markets (Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland), we began to explore further markets with similar levels of potential. Visualizing the opportunities as well as the level of risk with each market enabled our client to make informed and profitable decisions on where to expand their business.


Combining Google Market Explorer data and utilizing additional inputs from Google Ads (impressions, impression share, click-through rate averages, cost per click, conversion rates and average order value), we were able to forecast the size of global opportunities within the snowboarding industry and estimated investment costs, revenue, ROAS and CPA for multiple EMEA markets.


Our international team also conducted market research to provide additional insights into local and global competitors and their activity in the new markets. By unearthing price points, consumer expectations around delivery time and payment methods, we began to gain insight into the markets’ potential and possible barriers we should be aware of.


We used Market Explorer to understand English vs. non-English language query share for the snowboard category in each identified market to spot opportunities for running English campaigns.


The market expansion off the back of this has been as follows:


  • 4 new markets entered in 2019
  • 6 new markets entered in 2021
  • 4 markets identified for 2022.

Key achievements

Each year has seen consistent results for Burton Snowboards, successfully entering new markets, increasing revenue, and growing market share across Europe. We have continued to explore new opportunities, evolving our approach over the years to maintain momentum and sustain growth and progress throughout our seven-year partnership.


Some key results include:

  • Expansion from 50 campaigns across 5 countries to 375 across 17 countries
  • 590% increase in revenue from 2016 to 2022
  • Exceeded ROI targets every year whilst growing revenue
  • Revenue growth of 40% or more for the past three years.

Employing a range of tactics saw a strong year on year increase in paid performance and revenue across all three markets. Our work with Burton Snowboards has been selected as a finalist in the international growth category at Google’s Premier Partner Awards.


Thanks to these strong results, Search Laboratory has been asked to launch paid campaigns into four new markets in 2022, three of which are non-English speaking.

Expanding for the future

Past success has afforded us the ability to operate on a threshold spending model, where budget is unrestricted, provided we can deliver at (or above) target ROAS. This puts us in a great position to further scale and explore additional markets moving forward.


Since adopting this model, we have doubled investment year-on-year and we plan to take market coverage to above 20 countries by the end of 2022.

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