Leah Daly and Mark Coveney are the founders of Cherry Media Group — a digital marketing agency that helps brands of all size to grow online. Despite driving strong website traffic for one of their top clients, Leah and Mark were told to improve their revenue numbers or risk losing the business. By partnering with AdRoll, they streamlined their media buying strategy and expanded their reach online; leading to an improved ROI of 3x.
We sat down with Leah and Mark to hear their #DareToGrow story and find out how they built a stronger relationship with their top client.
AdRoll: What is Cherry Media Group?
Leah: Cherry Media Group got its start in 2005 as a media planning and buying agency. We plan and buy the right media mix for maximum impact and higher return for our customers.
AdRoll: Why did you two start the digital agency?
Leah: It all began with my passion for helping small businesses grow. I was working in advertising and was frustrated with how agency resources and expertise were only accessible to brands with outsized resources. I wanted to change that.
Mark: I came on board when I met Leah. Previously, I worked in e-commerce and e-mail marketing for quite some time but had no prior advertising experience. So, it was good to infuse both of our skill sets.
AdRoll: Was there a turning point for you two?
Leah: We met with a very important client, a large multinational hotel, and were asked, “How are you going to improve our bookings with the amount of media spend that we’re giving you?”
They wanted us to increase their bookings by 200%, so at the time we ran performance campaigns specifically geared toward this goal. And we were booking with a whole lot of publishers, weren’t we?
Mark: Yeah, we were going to a lot of big publishers like Fairfax, Yahoo, and Ninemsn to run contextual marketing campaigns. These campaigns were performing, but there was still a lot of pressure to show the value we were adding. This was the main area of focus that we had at the time.
AdRoll: What were the challenges when you were dealing with this?
Leah: It boiled down to making the process of running our client’s campaigns more efficient. We had trouble scaling our efforts for a few different reasons. The first is that we always had a long list of line items to complete in order to maintain and optimize our client’s highest-performing campaigns.
At the same time, we were constantly looking for new publishers to partner with. Because of this, we ran into roadblocks trying to achieve scale. We knew we had to make changes to our business.
Mark: Keeping pace with the market was also a key area of focus for us. It’s tough enough for small businesses to know what the right tactics are. But for us, it’s making sure that we’re communicating and educating clients about the advantages of getting on board with this ever-evolving technology.
AdRoll: How did you two turn things around?
Leah: It was all about finding a solution that would help us to consolidate this—to help us to be more efficient and act more quickly. That’s what led us to AdRoll.
Mark: We were able to set goals (like setting a monthly CPA goal that delivered room bookings at a certain price), run a multichannel strategy, fluidly move our spend between channels, easily report to clients, house creative, and launch web, social, and email campaigns all from one place.
AdRoll: How did AdRoll change the way your agency operates?
Leah: AdRoll has enabled us to be a lot quicker and agile in the way that we onboard clients. It gives them faster solutions from the second they sign on. As a result, we’re able to focus more on the strategic side of their businesses rather than the day-to-day of planning and buying.
Today, I would say that 70% of our billings are now in the digital space. We want to continue to scale the growth of, not just our agency, but our clients.
Mark: From my perspective, I’m able to manage multiple accounts at the same time. Cherry Media Group is a small team, so AdRoll has essentially become an extension of us.