Room to grow: The Yorkshire-based furniture company that used adverts on MailOnline to reach new customers

Advertising Feature

When lockdown first hit in March 2020 and businesses were forced to close their doors, furniture company boss Anne Davies’ first concern was for the welfare of her staff.

But, after a short decline in sales, within a few weeks orders were pouring back in to her kids’ bed company, Room To Grow, as more families looked to revamp their homes.

Anne Davies, 46, watched her business boom in lockdown – and now she’s pushing it further

As furniture sales boomed across the country, Anne, 46, from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, knew it was an ideal time to support parents and children who were stuck indoors, and expand their range by launching nursery products too.

Anne said: ‘There was a week when everything stopped, and I had that horrible sinking feeling.

‘My immediate thoughts were will my staff be OK – there are ten of us. I thought I was going to have to go back home and work from my dining room table.

‘Then e-commerce began to pick up, and we worked closely with key suppliers to still be able to deliver, then day by day, week by week, I knew we could keep it going.

‘Then as people believed more in online shopping, and gave us a chance, it was great, and we had a great year.

‘But I couldn’t have done it without my team, they’ve been fantastic.’

While launching cots and new furniture to meet the demand, Anne noticed that demand for different children’s products grew as lockdown continued.

One of their bestsellers is now the teenage ‘pod’ bed – a high-sleeper, with space underneath for a computer screen and a desk.

Demands for the children’s furniture grew, so Anne and her team launched new designs

Anne said: ‘Pod beds are for gaming, which has become much more popular in lockdown.

‘Instead of parents saying “You’ve spent enough time on the computer”, they’re saying, “Actually, you’ve got all the time in the world, and it’s great you’re keeping busy”. So these beds have become a big thing.’

As lockdown began to ease earlier this year, MailOnline launched a new advertising platform with SMEs like Anne’s in mind – helping them to come back thriving.

Ad Manager allows entrepreneurs to advertise to MailOnline’s huge 25 million readers, but without a hefty price tag.

As a local business distributing nationally, Room To Grow jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first companies to try out the new platform – as Ad Manager allows you to target potential customers by postcode, interests and life stage.


Cost: £4,983.62

Ad impressions (how many times the ads were viewed): 1,311,230

Web clicks: 620

Laura says: ‘I’m thrilled with the results. We’re already looking to book our next campaign!’

Laura Sutherland, Room To Grow’s marketing manager, said: ‘We want to maintain the momentum. But we want to make sure we target the right people – parents with children in our age range. So Ad Manager was perfect – offering the gateway to that kind of exposure.’

The company’s first campaign ran over the August Bank Holiday weekend – a key trading time in the furniture world.

It focused on audience and content led targeting in order to drive traffic over the desired period – resulting in more than 1.3 million impressions and more than 600 click throughs to their website.

Laura added: ‘Our first Ad Manager campaign was all about building a campaign and reaching our core customers in a new way over the Bank Holiday weekend.

‘Getting click throughs was important to us, but what was vital was that brand awareness on what is a key trading time for us. 

‘We are really happy with how the campaign went – and we’ve already booked our next campaign!’

Advertising on MailOnline with the Ad Manager platform allows businesses to target more people in your area than your local titles can reach.

Most of all, you’re in control – from the budget to the creative design, to the audience you target.

You decide how many of our 25 million consumers you would like to reach, and how.

Here’s how you can advertise YOUR small business on MailOnline:

Behind The Business:

As a mother, Anne Davies knew all too well about balancing the wants and desires of her daughter Elena, now 13, with functionality and practicality – while keeping an eye on the cost.

So when she took over Room To Grow in 2012, when it was a little store in Ilkley, she knew she would be able to take it forward with that ethos.

Anne knew the store had limited space to showcase the store’s beds, so she launched it online, adding: ‘It’s safe to say I have never looked back.’

‘I grew up in Yorkshire, but moved away to start a family. I moved back with my daughter when my marriage failed – Elena was only four at the time.

‘I had great plans to launch a new gym bag business but I thought I need to get a real job. So I went to work for Room To Grow and the gentleman who owned it had other business interests and he was letting it slide.

Anne moved home to Yorkshire and took over the business because she could see its potential

‘I could see the potential and I loved it. He said he was going to sell so I said would you sell to me if I can raise the funds, so he did.’

Anne admits she was ‘naive’ in thinking having her own business would give her more time with her daughter – but adds she enjoyed every minute of it.

‘How wrong could I be! But it was great, we’d do a victory dance each time an order came in. It grew, and then I began to employ people, and we’ll be hitting our tenth year next year.

‘For children, a bedroom isn’t just a place to sleep, it’s so much more. A space to play, relax, study and explore in surroundings that are truly their own where they can be totally themselves.

‘My mission is to help you create fabulous bedrooms for your children, spaces that make them feel safe and secure, help them to develop and grow, and harness the confidence to become the amazing individuals they already are. After all, happy children means happy parents!’


David Taylor, head of digital at Pure Agency, which booked the campaign for Room To Grow, said:

‘Ad Manager is a powerful, simple tool that allows you to connect your business with millions of potential customers every day.

‘The system is quick and easy to use, has the ability to target by audience or by content, and can be quickly turned around.

‘Brand awareness is key for any growing businesses marketing mix – Ad Manager provides great CPMs and targeting to make brand awareness work.

‘It offers great value for money and helps you easily add another string to your marketing strategy – creating and targeting display ads for clients.

‘With extensive guides and help available, you can have your first campaign up and running within an hour – but you should spend a day getting your ads right!

‘We would definitely recommend Ad Manager campaigns and the tool to our clients.’

  • Click here to see what MailOnline’s Ad Manager could do for your business

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