This is the story of how one of the world’s largest social networks is using AdQuick to reach—and strengthen—communities around the world.
Nextdoor is on a mission to strengthen neighborhoods around the world. Since its founding in 2008, the company has expanded its communities to tens of millions of people in hundreds of thousands of neighborhoods in 11 countries across the United States and Europe. One of the biggest value propositions of the platform is the sense of trust that it instills within its user base—every Nextdoor member needs to provide a real name and general address, to join.
“Our mission is to bring communities together—to unite people who live nearby but may not know each other,” explains Dan Laufer, head of growth and product marketing at Nextdoor. “Our platform makes it easier for people to connect and communicate in a meaningful way.”
Everyday people rely on Nextdoor to problem-solve local challenges, engage in discussions, sell items, host block parties, and share details around natural disasters. The platform is a social staple for individuals who want to form productive relationships with the people around them.
Despite being more than a decade old—with already strong engagement, growth, and revenue—Nextdoor is only at the beginning of its company journey. One of the big questions that the company navigated in 2019 was how to move forward with an expansion plan beyond its initial audience of early adopters.
“When you look at growth at established companies, there’s always a diminishing returns curve,” explains Laufer. “But with Nextdoor, you can literally reach the population of the entire world, without a limit.”
Here’s how AdQuick helped Nextdoor find answers to this question.
Flash forward to the future—Nextdoor’s big vision
Flash forward to a future version of planet earth in which every neighborhood has a built-in network. Imagine the possibilities that could result from this level of connectivity. People would have an easier way to get to know each other, the global loneliness epidemic would subside, and people could invest more time solving local problems, together. Long-term, Nextdoor has the potential to strengthen infrastructure and improve the quality of life for every person on earth, substantially.
But big visions don’t come to life, overnight. The Nextdoor that exists today is the product of many tiny decisions, twists, and turns in its lifespan. The company has also given careful attention to ensuring that its $455.2M in venture funding goes to good use, as its business model isn’t yet profitable. For these reasons, the company takes an efficient, low-risk, and high-touch approach to user acquisition, based on detailed projections and reporting.
“We’ve leaned into growth channels that we know work really well,” explains Laufer. “There are a few that are tried and true for us. But now, we’re at a stage at which we know we need to expand beyond our early successes. We’re in the process of carefully expanding into additional channels that we can use in a systematic and predictable way.”
To be a viable company long-term, Laufer and his team know that the company needs to evolve, sustainably and responsibly.
“We wanted to find channels and platforms that could become a part of our company’s operations long-term,” says Laufer. “That’s what brought us to out of home—and AdQuick, in particular.”
Laufer initially discovered AdQuick through a recommendation from a friend, who encouraged him to use the platform as a starting point for venturing into out of home.
“Even though Nextdoor is in virtually every neighborhood in the United States right now—and we have a breadth of coverage, we care about deepening that coverage and our relationship with our audience base,” explains Laufer. “Out of home felt like the right way to reach these individuals. From a cost, profitability, and efficiency perspective, the numbers made sense. We care deeply about performance.”
Despite understanding the value of out of home, Laufer and his team were hesitant to make the jump into launching their first campaign. The reason was a preconceived notion that out of home is hard to measure, that inventory is fragmented, and that campaigns are arduous to execute.
But AdQuick’s platform rewired and reoriented these assumptions. Laufer and his team at Nextdoor were surprised at how easy and cost-effective it would be to get a campaign up and running.
“We have confidence in the quality and location in AdQuick’s inventory,” Laufer explains. “With AdQuick’s dashboard, we can see the placement of all the billboards that we ran. We are able to overlay our membership data, so we can be strategic with our placements. AdQuick helps us set up our campaigns in a way that we can quantify the return on our investment.”
Nextdoor’s OOH test campaign
An effective long-term out of home strategy starts at the very beginning with a test campaign. Nextdoor decided to start out in St. Louis, MO due to the region being reflective of the United States—and Nextdoor’s customer base, as a whole.
“We realized that if our campaign worked there, we could scale our strategy across the country, very quickly,” says Laufer. “It’s also an efficient market, so we were confident that we could balance reach, frequency, and efficiency—all important key performance indicators (KPIs) in an out of home strategy.”
The ability to develop a scalable campaign was important to Nextdoor, off the bat, even with the company’s first out of home placement. With a rigorous eye for performance marketing, Laufer and his team allowed limited room for error. In other words, they wanted to “get it right” the first time around and identified AdQuick as the right partners for making this goal a reality.
“We placed billboards in regions that we thought aligned with patterns in other markets,” says Laufer. “Drive time was our major consideration, with the expectation that we could reach people on a consistent basis in their neighborhoods.”
By focusing on a single market, Nextdoor was able to isolate the impacts of out of home in comparison to other channels.
“That’s why it’s important for us to go deep into a single market, to get a strong read of performance,” he says. “This enables us to build continued lookalike campaigns both online and offline. We can compare multiple campaigns across multiple cities and hold different variables constant. Doing an aggressive out of home campaign in a single market is one of the variables we’re analyzing to see the lift relative to other markets that we’re testing.”
Laufer elaborates that AdQuick equipped his team with the following benefits:
- A reduction in business risks related to the unknowns of outdoor advertising that include, but are not limited to, pricing, placement, campaign visibility, and performance
- An easy to navigate interface that helped Laufer make an informed decision about his campaign
- Street views of all placements to provide an understanding of a campaign’s context
- A framework to run market research studies prior to running billboards
- A pathway to test variations of core campaigns
- The ability to run a brand lift study to capture campaign performance, off the bat, following deployment and run time
“We see all of our investments on a long-term horizon,” says Laufer. “You can do a lot of things that are beneficial in the short-term, but that’s foolish when it comes to long-term strategic goals. We all feel very strongly in the integrity behind our community and product.”
“We want every human to be a Nextdoor member. Everyone, from every socioeconomic background is a neighbor. We believe that the social fabric is stronger and better when we’re all in a shared community.”
To learn from more AdQuick customers, check out this 3 minute video, here.
This blog post was a collaboration between the AdQuick team. Chris Gadek, John McClung, and Jack Gaylor contributed to this piece. Payton Biddington created the visuals.If you'd like to learn how out of home can work with your unique marketing campaign and business, send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 986-6179. We'll reach out with case studies and recommendations tailored to you.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. Please be sure to consult with your internal team of stakeholders to assess your specific needs before adapting any practices from this blog, as your own.