How I helped Onduline

to increase sales by 11%
in 6 months

Onduline #1 bitumen roofing material manufacturer
#1 bitumen roofing material manufacturer
Having increased sales by 11%, Irakli made us forget about socio-demographic characteristics of target audience and start targeting buyers' context.

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The Onduline company contacted me because notwithstanding their excellent brand knowledge and a significant marketing budget, they didn’t get the highest possible sales results they deserved. They had troubles with marketing communications, and after endless and ineffective experiments they decided to find out the core of the problem.


In half a year buyers’ interest in Onduline raised by 30% (according to Google Trends data); a launched blog got 60,000 unique visitors compared to 0 at the beginning; sales increased by 11% and the revenue - by $17 mln.

  • 11% Sales Growth

  • $17mln Revenue Growth


Stage 1

Concept Development

Target buyer's context instead of audience with specific socio-demographic characteristics

A refusal to define a target audience based on socio-demographics was grounded on the following idea: since Onduline’s target audience (men aged 30-55 with above average income) totaled 27 mln people, the number of people willing to buy roofing materials was 2.5 mln, and only 200,000 people wanted to buy Onduline, 91% of money was spent on people who didn't even intend to buy roofing materials. Thus, marketing activities were focused on the context that 2.5 mln potential buyers delved into each year.

Stage 2

Buyer Persona Research

Identifying buyers' context and using it as a target for future marketing activities

A buyer persona research was conducted prior to a strategy development. 10 people from 6 different regions were selected and interviewed. Totally 619 minutes of interviews, 57,833 words of text were received.

As a result of the analysis, 29 unique insights were gained and 2 buyer personas were identified: those who built a new house ('builders') and those who repaired an old roof ('repairers'). The first group cared about waterproofing, noise and heat insulation, getting a beautiful and comfortable house. The second group worried about the simplicity of solving the problem of a leaky roof.

Two different approaches to product values resulted in the necessity to develop marketing campaigns for each buyer persona.

Stage 3

Marketing Strategy Development and Execution

Creating specific marketing communications

More than 500 specific marketing messages for each communication channel and each buyer persona were developed. Besides, 3 groups of communications were identified. They coincided with 3 steps of persuading people that Onduline was a perfect fit for their needs.

Step 1 Increasing potential buyers’ interest in Onduline

While using outdoor advertising and TV, a completely different approach to messaging and marketing activities was applied.

Instead of concentrating on Onduline’s target audience (men aged 30-55, with above average income), the focus was on the context all prospects (who had roofing problems) interacted with.

As a result, buyers' interest in Onduline increased by 30% compared to the previous year. Apart from this, according to Google Trends data, search queries for Onduline exceeded that of metal tile roofing, a competing and more popular roofing material.


TV was used not as a media for marketing messaging but as a source for creating content that persuaded 'builders' and 'repairers' to choose Onduline.

Irakli ran a project with the top national TV channel. The channel’s regional production teams went to real buyers and asked them to share the experience of choosing and using Onduline. Then videos were shown in the top regional news three times a day. Besides, videos were uploaded to the Onduline’s channel (ondulinerussia) on YouTube which let prospects find and watch them after the end of a marketing campaign.

This approach was more efficient and let the company get the following:

  • Wide media coverage in regional news which helped persuade potential buyers who watched the video in news;
  • Trustworthy content created by a source (a top national TV channel) that was more credible than the Onduline company;
  • Valuable testimonials from real satisfied buyers who shared their experience of using Onduline;
  • Lifetime value of content uploaded on YouTube: even after the end of the campaign the content went on attracting people who searched for Onduline reviews in Google (10k search queries per month). 

Outdoor Advertising

A 'Repairer' Buyer Persona 

Since people went to their country houses by cars, billboards with messaging were placed on country roads.

For creating short messages used in traditional mass media Irakli developed the following formula: Trigger + Success Factors + promotion of content that helps the potential buyer solve a specific problem. A message created according to this formula meets 3 challenges:

1. It informs buyers about the product.

2. It associates the product with the ideal solution of the existing problem.

3. It involves the potential buyer into the product’s media scene.

Thanks to Five Rings of Insight , it was noticed that the roof leak triggered buyers’ interest to evaluate solutions for a roof repair; and a success factor for Onduline’s buyers was material’s ease of use: easy to carry by car, easy to fix by yourself, and additionally, there’s no need to remove the old roof covering. 

The developed banner offered buyers to visit the corporate site and download the Onduline fixing guide. It was done for assuring them in the simplicity of a roof repair with Onduline. As a result, the following message was created: “Need to repair a leaky roof? Onduline is easily fixed on top of the old roof covering. Download a fixing guide at”. 

A 'Builder' Buyer Persona

 A message for this type of buyers was created according to the same formula but its content was changed because of the difference in decision-making process. A dream to have a private house supported by financial means triggered buyers’ decision to start selecting the roofing material. Buyers found comfortable and beautiful house with waterproofing, noise and heat insulation to be an ideal solution of their problem. Besides, the Buyer’s Journey insight revealed that people needed to look at high quality home plans to get an idea on how to better construct their private homes.

Consequently, the following message was created: “Dreaming about your own home? Onduline will help you build a comfortable house. Download free home plans at”.

While it took 'Repairers' from 1 to 3 months to make a purchase, 'Builders'  started selecting the roofing material at the stage of construction planning, i.e. more than a year prior to building the roof. One of communicative challenges was  not only to assure prospects to consider Onduline as one of possible solutions from the very beginning of the buying cycle but also to remind them about the product before making a purchase. And this task was successfully completed with the help of useful content (high quality free home plans) provided to potential buyers.

Thanks to this present, the developed marketing message provided real value to people who were building their houses, and the advertisement retention increased by 64%.

Step 2 Retaining interest, removing existing barriers and preparing prospects for the purchase

The research showed that a potential buyer of roofing materials read for about 30 pages of quality content before making a grounded buying decision. A new content strategy was fully based on how buyers solved their problems, what information they needed for decision-making, what criteria they used for evaluation, what barriers prevented them from buying Onduline.

Besides, a corporate blog was launched, and 134 articles were published during the first half a year. Blog posts covered the topics that were extremely useful for 'builders' and 'repairers' (e.g. "The influence of air temperature on different roofing materials", "How to repair roofing damaged by hail," "How the use of Onduline influences the size and weight of a rafter system," etc.). In contrast to short messages aimed at increasing interest in product, blog articles helped clearly and reasonably explain why Onduline was a perfect fit for prospects’ needs and dispel doubts that might occur before the purchase of expensive or high-consideration products. The blog’s traffic increased from 0 to 60,000 unique visitors in 6 months.

Step 3 Converting leads to sales

Since 99% of sales were made offline, and it was impossible to raise conversions with A/B testing,  a sales promotion campaign at POS was launched.

The goal of BTL activities was to assure buyers who selected between Onduline and metal tile roofing and came to POS for fingering the material. The idea of the campaign was provided by Andrew, one of Onduline’s buyers, who explained how he solved his own objections against Onduline purchase. He took the Onduline’s sheet and carried out different tests: he set it on fire, froze it in his fridge, walked on it, threw it out from the second floor, etc. Andrew finally bought Onduline only when he made sure the material possessed all needed characteristics.

The distribution of more than 17,000 pieces of Onduline accompanied by Andrew's guidelines on how to test the material helped overcome buyers' ultimate barriers and significantly influenced the sales growth by 11%.

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