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Client & Project Background


Nisbets are Europe’s largest supplier of catering equipment. Nisbets develops, makes, and supplies equipment to a diverse range of businesses including restaurants, cafes, schools, and hotels. They supply their own brand goods and third-party products, and sell online, via mail order, and through physical retail outlets.

Working closely with the Nisbets team, Pixel Linx has transformed the Nisbets b2b and b2c search strategy and performance by restructuring search campaigns, rolling out into new territories, and combining Kenshoo and Google intelligent bidding to grow Nisbets digital overall.

In February of 2020, COVID-19 became a global health concern and by March / April social distancing and then lockdowns on social and business activity were in effect across all of Nisbets’ key trading markets. Its core business customers - restaurants, cafes, schools, hotels - had to close their doors. The business began trading only online and by catalog, focusing on the b2c side of the business which still saw some demand.

At the end of May, the UK government suggested that restaurants and hospitality could re-open from ‘early July’. Nisbets and Pixel Linx needed to relaunch b2b strategy and campaigns quickly but flexibly to address the end of the UK’s first pandemic lockdown, and help the industry get back on its feet.




The brief was to maximize b2b ROI for paid search in a very volatile UK market. The existing strategy and expectations clearly wouldn’t fit the new landscape. Three strategic objectives were:

1. Quickly track where business customers were coming through in the search account.

2. Understand how business customers could be targeted quickly and effectively as new trends and peaks emerged

3. Implement optimisation tools and practises could be put in place to ensure a performance-led ROI driven campaign was delivered.

Nisbets tasked Pixel Linx with delivering more revenue at a higher rate of return year on year, while also driving new customers beyond the existing business customer base.

The strategy had three elements: reconnection, growth, and scale.

1. Reconnection

Aim: to reconnect with business customers during lockdown, there was a need to update audience targeting to understand the fast moving location and keyword trends for business customers preparing for re-opening.

For targeting and to refine bids, Pixel Linx used customer match lists and Nisbets internal data to segment the search accounts for which keyword and interest areas were driving business customers.

2. Growth

Aim: focus on growing Nisbets market share by amplifying reach to increase the number of new b2b customers ordering.

Leveraging the first party data Nisbets had was crucial to this tactic. Building new audiences to amplify and extend the reach of the reconnection strategy - forming new connections to similar catering businesses to existing customers who had either never engaged with Nisbets before, or who had never had an online-first approach to sourcing business supplies before.

3. Scale

Aim: use a new layered bidding strategy to both stabilise and scale activity.

Pixel Linx needed to reactivate activity from a standing start, and quickly apply learnings at a faster than previous rate. We needed a combination of bidding and optimisation mechanisms which could be layered to deliver ROI. We chose Google’s Smart Bidding x Kenshoo’s Budget Navigator to optimise to ROI from small data sets and real time reactions to sudden shifts in demand across every targeting type - keywords, audiences, time of day, locations, demographics, devices, ad unit selection.

Amazing ROI Growth in Difficult Times

For June, the campaign delivered an ROI of 6.2. This ROI was up 70% year on year.

Optimisation and scaled up portfolio bidding delivered much lower CPCs year on year, enabling the campaign to find business customers efficiently and at scale despite the standing start and difficult market environment. This growth ensured that Nisbets was in a prime position to grow and capture the changing demands and needs of the catering sector.


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