Working with Instacart Ads: Simple Mills + Flywheel Success Story
In this series, Working with Instacart Ads, we take a look at real-world examples of brand partners who have successfully used Instacart Ads to meet, and exceed, their advertising objectives.
In this article, we look at the success story of Simple Mills + Flywheel. Since launching on Instacart Ads with our partner Flywheel, Simple Mills has seen:
- Sales increase significantly and ahead of category growth
- Sales reach lifetime highs in share in June 2021
- A 2x increase in win rate with respect to share driving continual growth
- Increased return on ad spend (ROAS)
Simple Mills is a leading provider of better-for-you snacks, cookies, and baking mixes, founded in 2012 with a mission to advance the holistic health of the planet and its people by positively impacting the way food is made. It uses clean, nutrient-dense ingredients and nothing artificial, ever in its products.
Flywheel is a collection of practitioners who have solved the digital economy’s most challenging problems. Their managed service team in combination with in-house tech stack allows them to cull insights to better inform client strategy, creating additional value and superior results.
Simple Mills was looking to increase its presence on the Instacart marketplace, believing this growing channel provided an opportunity to increase category share and sales beyond what they could achieve at brick and mortar stores alone. They identified the need to win at ecommerce as a path forward. But having spent minimally on Instacart, they needed help ramping up spend efficiently to ensure a ROAS above $2 and ensuring the funding drove share growth.
Simple Mills partnered with Flywheel in Q3 of 2020, due to Flywheel’s strong understanding of search as well as the proprietary technology that Flywheel had built to allow for hyper-specific changes at scale and dayparting that allowed for efficient time of day spending.
Within two months, the brand had seen an increase of at least 1% in share across all four of their primary categories. Simple Mills realized the opportunity here, and they had a best in class budget allocation set up and strong understanding of the value of media. This allowed them to quickly pivot and increase Instacart investment moving into Q4 2020 and into 2021.
“Instacart has been a valuable partner for both revenue and awareness generation for our Brand. They have provided key data insights to help unlock investment and find opportunities for us to grow in our key food categories,” says Todd Hassenfelt, Sr. Director of eCommerce, Simple Mills. “We have collaborative discussions on test and learn opportunities to help us stay competitive.”
Flywheel received additional data from Instacart to understand where missed consumers and sales were coming from to pivot strategy. With the increased investment and updated strategy, Flywheel was able to efficiently deliver against top keywords and push strategic UPCs, increasing both UPC coverage and investment in search and default.
Using their proprietary technology, Flywheel was able to make agile changes in strategy and push those extra dollars as far as they could go, while ensuring that the dollars were not over spent or spent ahead of their flight.
With the partnership with Flywheel and the increased investment, sales increased significantly & ahead of industry category growth in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020 and primary categories saw lifetime highs in share in June 2021. Given Simple Mill’s investment on the platform, they were able to over index on their win rate (2x vs the beginning of Flywheel engagement) with respect to their share driving continual growth. Additionally, Flywheel was able to manage to the ROAS goal, finishing the second half well above the $2 ROAS floor.
“The impact of our Flywheel Digital partnership can be easily measured in our improved performance on Instacart as well as their expert guidance in the online grocery space. Flywheel Digital’s talented team works closely with our partners like Instacart to collaborate on finding true win-win situations,” says Todd Hassenfelt. “They are also a key advocate internally at Simple Mills by taking complex topics and simplifying them so all stakeholders feel comfortable on how our investments are performing.”
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