Italboats - Defiant Digital
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Case Study


Increase in revenue in the first 12 months

$3+ Mill

in revenue from a $120k spend


ROI in the first 12 months

Ad Platforms Used:


“We’d never tried ads properly before but instantly knew it was working when clients came in saying they’ve seen our ads. At times we’ve struggled to keep up with the growth! By month 3, we’d made enough sales to see an ROI on Defiant’s services for years!”
Ben Pugh

Winning Video Ads


The Challenge.

When we were sizing up the challenge of growing Italboats, we realised that our blessing was also our curse – we didn’t need thousands of sales to generate a strong ROI as their boats sold for $50-500K+.

But how do you sell such expensive items using Ads? How do you make a brand feel premium and build trust with your audience? And how do you get in front of the right people who have a few hundred thousand to splash on a luxury inflatable boat?

  • 1

    There was no existing ad account history

  • 2

    Their Wix-built website was not conversion optimised

  • 3

    They had no CRM system in place to collect and work leads

  • 4

    Google ads were being used purely for brand terms

  • 5

    Online traffic was virtually non-existent

Italboats © All rights reserved.

Launch on Paid Social

At this point, the only ads that Italboats were doing were on Google and the mindset was that people who are in the market for a rigid inflatable boat will be on Google looking for that kind of thing.

But we saw the opportunity to combine their beautiful, Italian designed boats with our teams motion design capabilities to create ads that anyone in the market for a boat like this would stop, and click on.

Our design team immediately got to work on engaging video ads with strong call to actions and we began our initial rounds of testing.

Key Learnings: Within weeks we had CEO’s of Australia biggest brands enquiring via Facebook ads. Ben instantly realised that showcasing his boats in a visual way was a great tool to get in front of high net-worth prospects. We ended up shifting majority of our budget to Meta in the first month of the campaign.

CRM Implementation

Generating leads was useless without a proper CRM system in place to collect, manage and follow up with them. We setup Hubspot for the Italboats team and funnelled all leads into a central source of truth.

The CRM became a vital tool in the Italboats sales process, allowing our team and theirs to visually understand the progress of leads, giving us an opportunity to refine ads for lead quality.

Key Learnings: At first it was a steep learning curve for the team to integrate a CRM system into their sales process as they had never been exposed to this kind of thing in the past.

Alot of their deals were and still are done by people walking into their showrooms, but overtime the value of their CRM system became evident and they were adopting it in a way that helped them drive even more ROI out of our campaigns.

We also learned that contacting leads within the first 30 minutes gave the team the highest strike rate in converting them into sales.

Italboats © All rights reserved.
Italboats © All rights reserved.

Using creative for targeting

“My customers aren’t on social media”

We often hear this statement from brand owners who think that their customers are unique individuals who don’t use social media. Thankfully, the Italboats team were much more open minded, but in their case we wouldn’t blame them for thinking that it’d be hard to convince someone to spend 50-500K on an inflatable boat!

The first thought would be to try and target the exact individual. People who like Rolex’s, expensive brands and cars. What we found was actually the opposite. We set our targeting broad, NSW wide and let Meta’s algorithm put our ads in front of the right prospects.

Meta knows exactly what people are looking at and engaging with

By going broad, we were rewarded with extremely low CPMs (Cost to advertise)

Low CPMs, led to low Cost per Clicks and ultimately very healthy Cost Per Lead results

We started noticing highly qualified leads coming in from CEO’s of huge fashion, finance and real estate companies

One customer (who wasn’t on social media) ended up buying 2 boats in 2 days because his 19 year old son saw the ads and convinced him – that’s the power of social media!

Key Learnings: There is no point trying to outsmart the algorithm with targeting, instead go broad and craft ads that appeal directly to your target market. Meta’s algorithm will put them in front of the right people and reward you with lower costs to advertise.


Our Services.

  • 1

    Strategic Campaign roadmap & launch plan

  • 2

    Paid performance (Social & Search)

  • 3

    Creative Strategy

  • 4

    Direct response copywriting

  • 5

    Ads Creative

  • 6

    Email & SMS Marketing

  • 7

    Conversion rate optimisation

  • 8

    Landing page design

  • 9

    Lead generation

  • 10

    UGC Production

Explore More

52% revenue growth (YoY) compared to previous agency
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272% increase in new customer ROAS in the first 30 days
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428% revenue growth YoY within the first 180 days.
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427% Growth in Meta Revenue within the first 90 days.
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128 High-Ticket sales with 41.3x return on adspend.
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203% Increase in Revenue (From Meta) with 22% CTR Increase.
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