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0 to 100 Real Fast: How Burrow Doubled ROI Year-Over-Year With Podcast Advertising


Burrow has made a name for itself among the furniture industry with cleverly crafted, customizable pieces. From award-winning sofas and sectionals to tables, rugs, and storage – Burrow’s modern aesthetic, easy-to-build modules, and unique features have made it a fan favorite. 

Which is why the brand behind the “internet’s favorite sofa” rolled out a two-pronged, podcast advertising strategy – to introduce its products to new listeners while helping generate conversions.

How Burrow began

Ironically enough, the company started because its founders themselves had poor experiences buying sofas. While studying at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, future CEO Stephen Kuhl bought an inexpensive couch he’d end up throwing away after just one year; and future CPO Kabeer Chopra wanted to buy a designer sofa, but was told it wouldn’t be delivered for 16 weeks which by then, the semester would be over. 

Fast forward to a class project in which Kuhl and Chopra pitched the idea for a new kind of furniture company – one that actually took into account how people shop for, ship, assemble, use and move their furniture. The concept was modular at its core – allowing pieces to snap together so it could be built quickly and moved easily (think: lifting a sofa up narrow staircases and 3-4 story walk-ups). 

These benefits are still a part of their ethos today. And unlike most furniture companies, Burrow begins its product design process by speaking to thousands of customers first – to understand exactly their needs, wants, and problems to solve. For example, early on they uncovered that outlets were hard to access when hidden behind sofas. So, Burrow built USB ports right into armrests of their Nomad seating collection. Some other pain points they’ve addressed include: using scratch- and stain-resistant fabrics, allowing folks to grow or reconfigure with corner seats, and making assembly and disassembly even easier. 

Burrow’s advertising challenge

From the beginning, Burrow had seen success in a variety of advertising channels. But ultimately, they turned to podcasts to diversify and expand their marketing mix and elicit a direct response. Their goal was to attract new audiences and incentivize them to purchase, directly from their site. 

Of course, big-ticket items like furniture typically require a longer purchase decision window that goes beyond the impulse-buy items of your typical direct-to-consumer advertiser. So, Burrow looked to Veritone One, the industry leader in performance advertising, to help them achieve their goals. With podcast advertising, Burrow found a way to create consistent messaging across scalable campaigns where prospective customers were highly engaged.

While Burrow was well-positioned to serve a market shopping from home during the pandemic, podcast advertising proved to be an especially effective and efficient channel. Despite the fact that folks could no longer shop for furniture in-person, and often considered these life-altering purchases for weeks at a time – the bet that direct response audio could work for a luxury item, like a sofa, paid off. With a successful year of direct response behind us, now Burrow is expanding their strategy to include an overarching brand awareness campaign.

With the addition of its first brand awareness campaign at the end of 2020, Burrow is ready to reach new audiences – whether it’s driving traffic to site immediately or planting the seed for future furniture purchases. Separate from its direct response program, Burrow will evaluate awareness performance differently – evaluating top-of-funnel traction, instead of just conversions and ROI. Thankfully, Veritone One has come up with a strategy to approach these two initiatives simultaneously to both credential the brand while also converting leads into sales. 

Growing a podcast advertising strategy

Burrow worked closely with Veritone One to enter and find success in the audio space, wielding the power of podcast advertising to drive sales and awareness for a category (home furniture) that isn’t always purchased online. From day one, Veritone One worked hand-in-hand with Burrow’s audio campaigns, from drafting the ad copy to hand-selecting podcast hosts, to recommending genres, and show tests to ensure Burrow could get their best possible return.  

Through meticulous host selection, strategic flighting, optimizations and creative approach, Burrow’s return on podcast advertising investment grew by 90% year-over-year in 2020.

“We’ve seen great success with podcast advertising for Burrow, as the channel consistently attracts qualified prospects at every stage of the marketing funnel,” said Whitney Blau, Head of Conversational Marketing at Burrow. “Hosts are devoted to building strong relationships with their listeners, so their endorsement is invaluable and carries great weight. Multiple touches cement the message so when listeners find themselves in the market for furniture, Burrow is top of mind.”

 Stay tuned as Burrow continues to launch new products and categories across the home this year. If you’re looking for durable, stylish furnishings, save $75 at Burrow.com with the code VERITONEONE.

If you’d like to evaluate how Veritone One can create a podcast advertising strategy that performs for your company, learn more here.