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Baker Book House Case Study

March 26, 2020

This case study explains how Symposia helped Baker Book House increase its online conversions, transactions, and overall revenue. This was done through an overall digital marketing strategy that included specific Facebook ad campaigns, targeted audiences, copy, creative, & photography, and complete ad creation that synced with Baker’s products.


Baker Book House is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based brick-and-mortar bookstore with national online sales. With ongoing challenges of tough competitors such as Amazon, and emerging trends in digital, leadership knew it needed to focus on e-commerce sales of their books, gifts, and other products.


Having never previously launched PPC campaigns, BBH had everything ahead of them. Through extensive research and interviews with various customers, Symposia defined BBH’s user personas and built comprehensive Facebook audiences. These audiences responded to the various PPC campaigns including brand awareness, product promotion, and remarketing.


Symposia launched PPC (pay per click) advertising campaigns from the ground up on Facebook and Instagram which resulted in a 112% increase in revenue compared with the previous period. There was also an 84% increase in overall conversion rate and a 189% increase in transactions.

The Challenge

Marketing Strategy

Every successful campaign is built upon a well-informed and data-driven marketing strategy. Initial working sessions between Symposia and Baker Book House determined and documented BBH’s goals for product marketing, as well as their desires for a company-wide digital transformation initiative. The overall PPC (pay per click) strategy was formed with the combination of BBH’s customer knowledge, Symposia’s data investigations, and persona interviews to determine which channels (for example Facebook, Instagram, Google) would ensure a responsive, interested, and engaged audience. Finding the right user audience includes learning who they are as people so that all marketing assets align with their interests, desires, and demographics.

Audience Building

To make a PPC campaign successful, the right messages need to be delivered to the right people. After the PPC strategy was formed, the campaign needed custom-developed audiences for each of the appropriate marketing channels. By utilizing existing user demographics and website data, the best possible audiences were created for each unique channel. Collaborating with BBH’s existing customer knowledge and its various user personas, advertisements could begin moving from concept to production.

The Journey

Ad Creation & Design
These examples are from the “12 Days of Christmas” campaign. Each product ad was displayed in a variety of Facebook Ad Placements. 5 of the 22 placements are shown here.

With the right audiences and channels determined and a product list ready, Symposia’s creative team got to work on product photography and design for ad concepts. A carefully-styled photo session with all the physical products in the campaign took place with our photographer and designer. The images were used with custom, branded ad designs which would become the backbone of the ad campaign’s visual style.

User and product research, as well as the BBH brand’s voice and tone, guided the creation of ad copy. Each ad included specific copy written to reflect the individual product and visual, and utilized the audience demographics to create compelling, user-specific messaging based on each campaign’s unique needs.


12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: A stylized, professional photoshoot was conducted to produce compelling, product-specific creative during the “12 Days of Christmas” campaign.

EASTER AND LENT: Similar to the “12 Days of Christmas” campaign, a photoshoot was conducted of the top products for both the Easter and Lent campaigns. The visuals needed to reflect the appropriate tone of the specific holidays while representing the brand and engaging the audience.
CHRISTMAS: The creative for this general Christmas campaign reinforced the “Home For the Holidays” theme with a focus not only on sales but on overall branding.

TOP PRODUCTS: For this campaign, a templated design was required for displaying dozens of individual products in a consistent, branded style.

BLACK FRIDAY: Featured products promoted for Black Friday and during the holidays were selected to be shown in their own unique and engaging way through custom designs consistent with the overall Christmas campaign’s style.

Once the creative (visuals/design) and copy (text) were approved and finalized, we launched the PPC campaigns on their respective channels.

The success of any PPC campaign requires more than simple monitoring. Dynamic creatives were used to quickly identify and optimize the most successful ads. We focused on various determined audience types to best understand how each audience reacts to the ads and the brand overall.

Using real-time analytics, Symposia’s paid media specialist oversaw and maintained each ad variation in the campaigns, measuring and fine-tuning as necessary (including adjusting ad placement, ad spend distribution, creative elements, and more) to achieve total optimization.


Even with an active e-commerce, brick-and-mortar businesses – particularly bookstores – have a natural disadvantage in the world of modern shopping. The increase of BBH’s sales had come through a tough battle, up against the most difficult competition: Amazon’s pricing and free shipping. But with exhaustive research, pin-point targeting, compelling creative and copy, and the right ad spend budget, Baker Book House saw a rise in sales like never before.

Baker Book House continues to command digital success while maintaining their treasured brand and longstanding values. Now, with a 189% increase in transactions.