marbles case study

Marbles Kids Museum

From minimal performance to hundreds of ticket sales in 3 months.


Ever heard of Marbles Kids Museum? If your answer is no, let us lure you into the world of fun and play. Marbles is a non-profit located in the heart of downtown Raleigh bringing joy to children since the year 2007. Imagination, discovery, and learning through play are the guidelines that eventually led the NGO to become one of the most popular places to be visited by families across Raleigh, North Carolina. Its magic lies in the dozens of innovative hands-on exhibits, special events, summer camps, and larger-than-life movies.

  • Website:
  • Location: North Carolina, United States
  • Cooperation period: 2021 – ongoing

Marketing goals

  • Audit existing Ad Grants campaigns and bring them to full compliance
  • Increase the website traffic volume
  • Increase the grant utilization
  • Increase the number of completed membership applications
  • Drive ticket sales
  • Increase event attendance

Success Metrics

  • Ramp up grant campaigns to generate at least 1500 website visits per month
  • Configure detailed conversion tracking and generate at least 200 ticket sales per month
  • Increase the grant utilization to $9000+ per month
  • Regularly add new campaigns promoting current events

Initial situation

In the year 2020 Marbles rose to the opportunity of opening its doors to Google Ad Grants. Starting out in good faith by utilizing free ad credit to drive traffic to their website and essentially promote their mission amongst people, turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected. At first, they went about it on their own and unfortunately, like many other Ad Grantees, headed in the direction of low performance and negligible grant utilization.

Throughout this period, numbers spoke volumes. The average monthly utilization of the grant fluctuated around 500$. In terms of clicks, it was one and the same. Numbers rarely got higher than 300-400 clicks per month. All of a sudden, the account found itself stuck in a so-called ramp-up phase, with limited data and limited algorithmic learning, never reaching all its potential. This problem was emphasized by lacking conversion tracking, causing incompliance with Ad Grants requirements and thus putting the account in danger of deactivation.

Impact of Google Ad Grants

Following the establishment of our cooperation in 11/2021, we performed an audit on the existing campaigns, adjusted them to become compliant with the Google Ad Grants requirements, and agreed on creating the below-shown campaigns:

  • Brand
  • Brand Awareness
  • Generic Museum
  • Donate
  • Local
  • Events
  • IMAX
  • Reserve Venue
  • Camps

Once approved, the campaigns were created and ads were pushed live. Simultaneously, we set up conversion tracking to effectively measure the outcomes and provide the optimization algorithms with enough data to work properly.

The campaign performance picked up soon after. The click volume and conversion rate skyrocketed. Conversion volume reached 1300 per month. The analytics is set up in great detail as we track all possible actions performed by the website visitors ranging from ticket sales, filling out the donation form, membership form, volunteering, contact initiations, and more.

Within 2-3 months after the new campaigns were created and conversion tracking was set up, campaigns

  • generated hundreds of tickets sales per month
  • the utilization of the grant increased to $9500+ per month
  • the number of clicks rose significantly to 2000+ per month

In addition to the growing number of ticket sales, the organization thrived from increased brand awareness translated into more impressions, clicks, and a higher clickthrough rate.

The improvement in campaign metrics is clearly visible in this chart:

marbles chart

Last but not least the account achieved full compliance with Ad Grants requirements.

The Road Ahead

Correct evaluation of a problem, tailor-made adjustments, and following monitoring and testing led Marbles from a poorly performing account to a stage where the organization reaps countless benefits. Some may be asking, is there any more room to push the account even further? To that, we answer, yes.

The current situation does not allow us to measure the real value of the incoming orders due to the limitations of the e-Commerce platform used by the organization. In the foreseeable future, however, Marbles plans to update the website, part of which will be the configuration of the conversion value tracking. That will allow us to start measuring the specific value of the orders and gradually modify the campaigns to maximize the ROI, not just the conversion volume.

Besides that, we continuously add new variations of well-working keywords, campaigns promoting new events, and test ads in new formats. These changes help us push click prices down, thereby maximizing the click volume while maintaining full grant utilization.

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