New tools to improve performance
on September 17, 2020 • 5 minute read
Our next guest may require some introduction, even if you’ve definitely seen their work.
Harmon Brothers, an ad agency responsible for over 1.4 billion views of client ads, is the brains behind several irreverent (and wildly successful) digital marketing campaigns, including Purple Mattress, Poo-Pouri, Squatty Potty, and Lume.
When you’re responsible for getting your clients a “crap-ton of eyeballs,” you can reasonably expect to be faced with an equal volume of data.
Harmon came to Databox for just this reason: to help them organize and contextualize data on a large scale, in a way that could benefit a fast-growing, busy agency.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Harmon Brothers’ Marketing Technology Manager, Andrew Campbell, to discuss the benefits of moving from a heavily manual process to a seamless, integrated approach with Databox’s dashboards and calculations.
When Andrew joined the company, tasked with the mandate to “figure out the data” for a constantly growing list of both internal and external campaigns, it became quickly apparent that what they’d been doing up to this point wouldn’t take them where they needed to go in the future.
At first, the company was relying on reporting from Google Data Studio, which had the power of integration, but none of the simplicity.
“I became a GDS whiz. I created these stupidly complex reports. It was constantly breaking,” said Campbell. “I would have to go in almost every day and fix some data connection or some equation that I made in order to make it work.”
After some epic early battles with broken, inconsistent (and, as Campbell admits, a few tears), he made the case to upgrade the company to a platform that could offer them the integrations and automation they needed.
With approval in hand, Andrew turned to his brother, a data engineer, for advice on the right solution. All the research pointed to Databox.
Right out of the gate, it was clear that Databox was the right call.
“Oh wow, this is actually really good,” recalls Campbell. “It actually really works. The built-in API connectors, wonderful. The semi-modular design, moving the squares around and the beautiful metrics, wonderful!”
Tasks that used to amount to hours of work and frustration were now done within minutes.
Manual reporting doesn’t just require the analyst to have a deep understanding of the program. Even when things go smoothly, it means committing to a considerable time investment. As companies grow, this manual labor burden simply cannot scale.
Even in cases where the data is easily accessible and calculations are light, the time investment remains.
This was the case with Harmon.
As Campbell explains, “I don’t need something crazy complex… I just need to get data from our social ad campaigns and display it in something that is going to make sense to us and make sense to our clients.”
This is where the ease of integrations can really save time and headaches. For Harmon, this ease of use translated to between one and five hours per client, per month. Some of this is achieved by templatizing the work.
Harmon reports that by templatizing dashboards based on several common configurations, setting up a new client takes less than an hour—and sometimes as few as five to eight minutes.
For a single person managing the internal and external data needs of a thriving company, this time savings presents the potential to keep everyone up to date and leave more time for other important functions.
“Databox makes it so much easier. It’s so accessible that it’s not much of a problem for one person to manage,” said Campbell.
One of the projects on the horizon for Campbell with this extra time is using Databox to create better goal-tracking.
“We’re working on implementing more goals into our Databoards. So we can display not just metrics for our clients, but metrics compared to goals.”
As Campbell explains “People come to us because they want to grow, and we want to prove the return on investment.”
Internally, the team uses metrics to track the growth of Harmon Brothers University, a course-based offering that provides training for marketers looking to create engaging, attention-grabbing video ads of their own.
Here, Databox helps the team understand their funnel metrics in order to achieve their goals for this arm of the business.
“We use Google Analytics, Stripe, Shopify, and Facebook to create a seamless image of any social ads we put out… How many people click on them, enter the webpage, and move through that funnel. That’s the most important thing that we track using Databox,” said Campbell.
That represents a lot of moving parts, all brought together quickly and easily through integrations and visualization.
This access to solid, readily available data has had several significant benefits beyond ease and time savings.
It’s helped the team form a clearer understanding of their value and progress, and made it possible to demonstrate both to clients.
Internally, the team is committed to tracking key metrics. Chief among these is Return on ad spend. If these numbers are strong, it’s one of the leading indicators that their campaign is working as expected. If not, this quick access to trends means that teams can move into action to correct.
“Our ability to spot trends has become immediate,” said Campbell of the upgrade to Databox. “One of my directors has spotted trends and rewritten and refilmed advertisements in a matter of days, because of what we were seeing in the dashboards. And rewrote a new release with the new launch strategy and completely turned around return on investment.”
Responding with agility to these fluctuations on ad performance—what Campbell terms “ad fatigue” — has had a major positive impact on ROI. Harmon Brothers report that Internally, Return on ad spend numbers have improved from 1 or 1.5 to as much as 2.6.
This responsive approach, and the ability to demonstrate value, has also improved client relationships. In a field where demonstrating your success is vital to maintaining current clients and increasing reach, having powerful data insights ready to hand is everything.
Clients enjoy being able to check in on the numbers at will, see what is working and what goals are being met, etc.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” said Campbell. “It has given us higher-quality reporting and improved credibility with our client base.”
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