Case Study: Shock Surplus

Shockingly fast results: Smooth the road to digital growth


Combat rising ad costs & declining performance

Shock Surplus is more than an automotive store. They help customers find the right suspension systems with unbiased reviews, comparisons, and guides. But after years of double-digit growth, soaring ad costs and eroding performance threatened to undermine their DTC model.

Scope & Goals

Shock Surplus had been let down by previous agencies and was reluctant to put another in the driver’s seat. But Quiet Owl got a shot to improve efficiency and get back on the road to profitable growth.

Google Ads  /   Social Media Ads

Fix Google Ads: No more auto-pilot, keep hands on the wheel

Google ad costs had surged to six-figures monthly, while ROAS sputtered. Quiet Owl spotted the causes: 1) No manual oversight on automated campaigns; 2) Loose attribution settings let Google sneakily take credit for conversions it did little to create; 3) Bottom-of-funnel shopping campaigns lacked support from mid-funnel search campaigns.

Our Solution

Quiet Owl immediately cut wasteful spend to stop the skid, then began an account overhaul: 1) Switch to Target ROAS bidding to hold Google accountable for results, rather than spending imprudently – efficiency improved almost instantly; 2) Hands-on campaign management let Quiet Owl adjust targets and budgets based on seasonality, inventory, and product margins – consistently beating the automated setup; 3) Adding properly structured paid search ads supported Shopping performance with middle-of-funnel traffic; 4) Mirror Google campaigns on Bing for another profitable growth channel.

Key Benefits

34% increase in Google ROAS (with more prospecting and less remarketing)

Social ads: Prove value of educational content

There are lots of places to buy shocks. Shock Surplus sets themselves apart with educational content to help people upgrade their suspension – without overspending. Their YouTube channel was full of great videos, yet these weren’t used for ads. Why? Attribution couldn’t ‘justify’ the value of long-form content.

Our Solution

Quiet Owl cut long videos into punchy, ad-ready creative – enticing users to watch the full clip on Shock Surplus’ website. We favored head-to-head comparisons over single product reviews, which drove massive engagement and record low CPCs / CPMs. Most importantly, a digital measurement ‘scorecard’ validated the impact of these upper funnel efforts on bottom-line growth.

Key Benefits

1,120% increase in Facebook traffic (with less spend, and no tricks like optimizing for clicks)


Ads with substance Image

Efficiency + Growth = Best of both

Quiet Owl helped pull a U-turn on rising ad costs and declining performance – achieving annual revenue growth, plus a huge improvement in marketing efficiency.


Revenue growth (YOY)


Improvement in marketing efficiency (blended ROAS)
Client Approved

“The Quiet Owl team does a fantastic job of navigating the latest challenges in digital marketing – both by bringing new strategies for engagement and keeping their eye on the ball for what’s still effective. ”

Sean Reyes | Founder, CEO