Engaging more people with personal stories through Intent

How do you make uncovering a family history even more relevant and personal in a crowded marketplace?


Ancestry came to us with a problem. Their brand and site engagement plateauing, which was directly starting to impact on their sales.

At the same time, the competition was increasing their spend with the direct targeting of the Ancestry customer base using price lead offers and promotions.

The initiative helped reshape our approach and expectations from non-brand paid search. It is great to work with a team that looks to push the boundaries of our marketing channels.

Jennifer Dodd
Senior Marketing Manager, Ancestry ANZ


Our media activity was performing well and consistently delivering strong results for Ancestry. But in the light of Ancestry’s sales challenges, we identified an opportunity to how re-engage prospective customers – particularly around focussing the messaging to make it more relevant.

Utilising our proprietary Intent Based Planning (IBP) framework, we were able to target keywords and classify them into respective Intent Stages, namely Opening, Understanding, Exploring, Evaluating and Buying.

All ad copy was then completely overhauled and rewritten following these Intent principles.

For example, we could identify the user was early in their journey and looking to “understand” the category, so we would shift away from sales type messaging to put a greater focus on education type messaging.

The Intent driven approach allowed us to vastly improve the relevance of our communications and significantly increase our investment, especially in Non-Brand Paid Search. This improved our presence and prominence, ultimately, delivering increased YoY sales for Ancestry.


The Intent Based Planning tool generated fantastic outcomes for Ancestry. When comparing Year on Year (YoY) results we achieved a +62% increase in Click Through Rate (CTR) and a +58% increase in YoY sales all while maintaining efficiency with Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) only increasing +12%.

  • 62% YoY Increase in CTR
  • 58% YoY Increase in Sales

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