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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.
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 reporting software 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:
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
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.
Here are the solutions Hero Factory found with Databox:
“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.”
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.”
“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 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:
“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…”
“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.”
“We’re on a level with clients’ best results or much above it—real-time analytics is a big part of that,” Dario said.
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