Case Study

Hero Factory Reduces Time Spent Creating Reports by 60% for Every Client Using Databox

The Hero Factory team needed a reporting solution that would enable them to spend less time on manual reporting and have more transparency with their clients.

Avatar Kiera Abbamonte on March 19, 2021 • 7 minute read

A lack of transparency in agency reporting sometimes hides a well-known but rarely discussed side of some bigger agencies—shady practices designed to obscure performance and lock clients into agency systems.

That’s something Hero Factory is looking to change. A results-based digital marketing agency with a focus on ecommerce, Hero Factory takes over their clients’ entire digital marketing operation. They agree with clients on a minimum acceptable ROAS—and if they don’t hit that number, they don’t make money. They need accurate, real-time data at their fingertips to be able to offer a guarantee like that.

We talked with Managing Director Dario Begonja to learn more about how Hero Factory uses real-time, actionable data in Databox to facilitate impressive performance and radical transparency with clients.

The Challenge

Dario knows all too well that there are some shady things going on in the digital marketing agency sphere. From photoshopping results to locking clients into the agency’s data system, clients need a reason to trust the agencies they work with.

Hero Factory is actively working to combat that with their results-based pricing and transparency.

The team knew they needed a reporting setup that would enable them to offer clients the kind of transparency that builds trust—and that enabled them to do so without taking time away from the results-producing work they report on.

Here are the challenges Hero Factory faced:

  • Spend less time on manual reporting: Early on, Dario was frustrated with how long the team had to spend pulling together data, building out reports, and repeating the process every month. It was time they should’ve been spending producing results for clients, not reporting on them.

“As a team lead, I had to make strategic decisions for clients, but I didn’t have great insight into the campaigns that were out there. We weren’t even aware of tools that give you this kind of freedom and speed,” Dario noted. “I was very frustrated with my people having to build and calculate every single piece of data every time.”

  • Enable more transparency with clients: To offer a guarantee like Hero Factory’s the team needs to have complete control over clients’ digital marketing efforts. That’s a big ask, and Dario believes that 100% transparency is the least they can do to put clients’ minds at ease.

“In order to be able to take control over the digital marketing of clients, we think it’s fair that they have complete insight into what we do—minute by minute, hour by hour, in Databox,” Dario said.

  • Outcompete bigger agency players: A small team, Hero Factory needed a way to differentiate their agency from much bigger players in the space. They saw bringing analytics to the fore of ecommerce marketing as just the ticket.

“We’re being compared to the big players in the market, which is challenging because we have a team of 6-7 people and the agencies we’re in competition with have 60+ people,” Dario told us. “Analytics in ecommerce is a piece of the market that no one else has stepped into, so we positioned ourselves as the leading analytics agency for ecommerce.”

The Solution

We’re not interested in data—we’re interested in insights.

Before Databox, reporting was still a huge part of Hero Factory’s value proposition. That meant the team still produced top-notch reports well before they implemented a reporting solution—and it took them hours each month to do it.

Eventually, Dario decided they needed a solution and tasked the team with finding one. That search led them to Databox.

They connected Google Sheets, Facebook Pages, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Active Campaign, Instagram Business, Google My Business, MailChimp, and WooCommerce for both their internal and client-facing reports.

Since implementing Databox, the Hero Factory team has turned Databoards and reporting setups into their competitive advantage—setting them apart from other, larger agencies in the ecommerce market.

Hero Factory’s Top Integrations

Here are the solutions Hero Factory found with Databox:

  • Spend less time on manual reporting: Dario and team set about building the reports they needed in Databox—they did it once and now those reports are always there for them, ever-ready and armed with real-time data.

“We can build reports really quickly and once we build them, they’re just there. We don’t have to calculate every single time,” Dario explained. “This freed time for us at the end of the month. We’re doing reports at the end of the month in the smartest way possible. We already know the situation throughout the month, and we just put a cherry on top and focus on the next steps from the report.”

  • Enable more transparency with clients: The team knows that transparency is as much about showing what doesn’t work as it is about showing what works—so that’s where they start. Throughout the process of taking over clients’ digital marketing, clients continue to have total transparency into Hero Factory’s efforts via Databox dashboards.

As Dario explained it: “Our plan is to use Databox as a point of entry, as a showcase initially of what doesn’t work and as a sign of transparency. We want clients to be completely transparent and give us complete autonomy over the digital marketing they give us. What we offer back to them is that they can see everything we’re doing. They can feel in control of what happens.”

  • Outcompete bigger agency players: By building custom reporting setups for each client and refocusing them on the metrics that actually matter (like revenue and ROAS), Hero Factory is able to set itself apart from the larger legacy agencies they compete against.

“We were working on a way for Databox to be useful to us and to clients. We try to stop the habit of clients asking for and checking ‘likes’ and metrics like that—and focus on the ones that really make a difference,” Dario said. “The biggest focus is on the revenue, return… out of that you have all the other data sources that explain those first numbers. We do the same for a purchase revenue board, audience board, etc. We did everything custom.”

The Results

The most notable result of implementing Databox is that Dario and the team are able to deliver on their core promise: transparency and results. They’re able to produce bigger results than competing agencies, and they’re 100% transparent about how those results happen.

Hero Factory is also in the process of launching a new service built off their Databox setup. The new offering will give clients an out-of-the-box service complete with templated databoards for around a dozen different data sources. The idea is to leverage Hero Factory’s competitive advantage (analytics) as a foot in the door of new potential clients.

Here are the results Hero Factory saw using Databox:

  • Spend less time on manual reporting: With a constant pulse on the results they produce in real-time and an arsenal of templates and custom-built dashboards, the team is able to spend way less time on reporting—without sacrificing transparency or the high quality of their reports.

“I think Databox is a natural place for anyone who manages staff to visit each day,” Dario told us. “We work with a lot of software and Databox has been unparalleled. It’s something that’s really made a difference for us in the process of onboarding, making changes…”

  • Enable more transparency with clients: By spending less time pulling data together and building reports, the team is able to spend more time turning that data into actionable insights. They can look at the data quickly and then move on to generating concrete next steps to improve or continue performance.

“We’re not an analytics agency in the sense of bringing you raw data,” Dario explained, “but in the sense of giving you concrete steps in each report with a checklist.”

  • Outcompete bigger agency players: All of the above allows Hero Factory to produce results that put bigger agencies in the space to shame—all while offering clients full transparency. Namely, after taking over one client’s digital marketing operation, they improved Black Friday revenue by 10x from the year before.

“We’re on a level with clients’ best results or much above it—real-time analytics is a big part of that,” Dario said.

About the author
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Kiera Abbamonte Kiera's a content writer who works with B2B SaaS companies. Catch up with her on Twitter @Kieraabbamonte or KieraAbbamonte.com

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