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Freeman's and Lyon & Turnbull

An alliance of auction houses

Two auction houses, Philadelphia’s Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh, work in a world where authenticity is everything and beauty is everywhere.

Uniting expertise

Ties between these two businesses – the oldest auction houses in their respective countries – were formed in 2000. The alliance sought to raise registrations and bids, and to further promote the expertise both businesses bring to this exciting, specialised sector.

A strategic move

The coming-together brought clear strategic advantages too. By pooling their considerable knowledge and industry links, both businesses would be exposed to new markets – territories they could reach far more quickly together.

But illustrious names and reputation alone wouldn’t get the job done. Underpinning everything would be strategy and innovation. To this end, Hookson set about planning and creating a world-class digital strategy and website platforms for the businesses.

  • A joined-up strategy

    Breaking into new markets and strengthening links between the businesses would require a robust digital marketing strategy – joined up and harnessing the latest technology.

  • Surfing across the Atlantic

    Both businesses required brand-new web presences. In designing the websites we would have to ensure that each linked to the other – both literally and in areas like design and functionality.

  • Art at your fingertips

    Rolling out the businesses to a truly global market called for a co-branded iPad app – a tool designed predominantly for international bidders.

  • Getting the word out

    Social media would have a role to play. Auctions capture the imagination and we knew we could identify sales that would grab attention.

Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull website on desktop screenshot
Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull website on tablet screenshot Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull website on mobile screenshot

Thanks to solid strategic planning and smart use of technology, both Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull have enjoyed a rise in registrations, bids and valuation requests.

Adding value

Linking the companies’ websites has presented a united front – shared expertise that adds value for browsers and bidders. New ‘Meet the Specialists’ sections provide personality and a similar ‘Find a Specialist’ feature encourages enquiry.

International reach

Targeting international bidders, Hookson designed a beautiful iPad app that firmly enhances user experience. The app makes international bidding a snap, has expanded reach into the lucrative Chinese art market, and is complemented by a bespoke Chinese website.

Harnessing social media

Finally, we have also planned, implemented and tracked a number of successful social media campaigns. Targeted activity revolved around the Battle of Waterloo and the Open golf tournament – securing celebrity endorsement and a high number of retweets.

700kVisitors in 2016
48%Increase on Mobile Traffic
32%Increase on Chinese Traffic
Integration with Invaluable
Mobile Bidding
Advance Search

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