How Lone Fir Creative Uses Databox to Forecast, Set, & Achieve Agency & Client Goals

Author's avatar Case Study UPDATED Sep 2, 2020 PUBLISHED Aug 28, 2020 6 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    When helping your clients form good growth strategies, having the numbers to keep up with their progress is important.

    Lone Fir Creative, a digital and inbound marketing agency, needed the kind of reporting structure that could keep up with clients on the move. They were ready to find a useful, time-saving solution. 

    Before Databox, the team had been using a combination of PowerPoint and decentralized statistics to create five, fifteen, or even 20 reports for clients on a weekly or monthly basis.

    In addition, they were beginning to expand their roster of tools and applications based on what clients were using. These expansions greatly increased the amount of data-hunting required to get answers. They needed something that helped their data move as fast as their internal and client goals.

    Databox was able to deliver.

    We were recently able to sit down with a few of the team members from Lone Fir Creative and learn more about how Databox is helping them achieve more for their clients and themselves.

    Data That Tells a Story

    The biggest priority in the move to Databox was the ability to integrate data for each client from a wide range of reporting tools and apps. The team’s previous, decentralized approach was taking up valuable time and creating a data lag that sometimes rendered the information sent to clients obsolete soon after delivery.

    With Databox, however, the many data sources in play could be effectively aggregated into reports and templates that helped the team tell the story. 

    “The ability to have everything in one spot, having it live so people can look at the dashboards at any point and see where the numbers are, and share a link to dashboards is awesome,” said CEO Tyler Pigott.

    Gone are the days of sending a PDF report that took hours to develop. This can save the team up to an hour per week, per client. That’s a lot of time to invest in other activities that move the needle.

    And because clean, articulate data design is baked into the Databoard format, it gives users the ability to present polished, ready-made reports that leave more time for client care. It creates a unified look for their communications.

    “It’s definitely created a lot more consistency in the way we present info to clients…. and [we] take that time back we’d usually use setting up the dashboard, to make it a little more personalized toward the client,” said Lone Fir’s Jessica Crosby. 

    This access to data allowed the team to control the story behind the data and present strong, contextualized recommendations to clients, rather than play catch up.

    “There’s a lot of times [a client will] look at a Facebook ads dashboard or analytics, see negatives, and have a moment of panic. For us to be able to pull in other info that lets us tell a more comprehensive story… helps us and the client also understand better what’s happening, and be able to add value.” 

    The platform has also helped clients dig deeper into specific topics of interest with information that wasn’t easily available elsewhere.

    In one case, the team created a dashboard for a client that wanted to remain on top of what they paid for keyword and certain search terms.

    Says Lone Fir’s Ashlee Rolkowski, “The info they were looking for wasn’t something that Google Analytics reported on very easily. So this was an instance where Databox allowed us to create a report that wasn’t available already in a platform.” 

    Lone Fir Creative’s Top Integrations

    Internal Decision-Making Process

    Helping clients understand the current situation and visualize the path ahead is one half of the equation for Databox users.

    The Lone Fir team has also used Databoards internally to drive decision-making, employing the benefits of analytics to chart a solid course toward future growth.

    Ashlee Rolkowski, one of Lone Fir’s Marketing Consultants, uses Databox to understand the performance and aging of content, spot trends, and plan future content based on the results.

    “Looking at what blogs and articles are losing ranking, and using that to track overall goals so we can see how we’re doing and how we’re progressing on the goals we’ve set.”

    Databox has also helped the team understand where their growth is coming from.

    “On the ops side,” explains fellow Marketing Consultant Jessica Crosby, “we’ve been able to pull in aggregate data from HubSpot and Quickbooks in order to evaluate revenue— and where that revenue is coming from between existing and new clients, average contract value— and get a much more high-level look at how we’ve progresses as a business in the last year.”

    Being able to contextualize earnings in this way has “allowed us to evaluate our goals for the future, what is it that we want to accomplish in one year, [or] in two years based on the current time-to-close or contract value. It’s given us a little more visibility into the operational side of our revenue.”

    Rolkowski agrees, adding “Databox makes it really easy to get a pulse check on what’s going on without having to dig into a bunch of platforms,” a habit she points out increases the chance of missing something.

    Keeping an Eye on The Prize

    Knowing what you’ve done in the last quarter or year can give you a window into what’s possible over the coming months. For this reason, the team has started using Databox to keep an eye on their upcoming goals and understand what it will take to get them there.

    “It’s very easy to get distracted from your goals by shiny things along the way,” said Rolkowski. “Having the goals set and being able to see them whenever you check in on your metrics—and also see your progress toward the goals— makes it easier to stay focused on them.” 

    It also helps the team confirm that the goals they’ve created for themselves and the business are the best path forward.

    “Is this actually going to help us progress? Is this going to move the needle on the Databox dashboard?”

    Driving this introspective approach to goal-setting is the ability to see data from across the organization, connected across sales, leads, analytics, and revenue.

    “It helps us re-evaluate internally,” said Crosby. “What should we be striving for? Do we have our sights aligned the way they should be aligned, based on what we’ve already accomplished.”

    Overall, the team has enjoyed the valuable insights they’ve gained from better data visibility.

    As Pigott puts it, “I think we’ve met a lot more goals and far exceeded those goals by writing them down, agreeing to them, and chasing after them; Databox has been a great place to reference them.”

    Offering Analytics Services

    Now that Lone Fir’s team has seen how always-on performance, goal tracking and ROI analysis can help them drive decisions, they’re now offering analytics consulting services.

    Pigott shared, “For companies that have the bandwidth to execute their own marketing strategies, we’ve developed a coaching and training service. Since Databox can track data from so many sources, we can quickly do analysis to find their sales and marketing issues and opportunities. Using that data and our experience, we can then develop solid sales and marketing tactics and activities for helping companies achieve their goals. Once that’s done, we use Databox to help keep them on track, tweak their plans as necessary, and spot opportunities as they start moving forward.”

    They’re even offering a free audit for companies to help them understand how their website messaging could be impacting their business.

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