How Alex Decreased Market Entry Spend By $34mm With An Audit and One Week of Consulting - Opascope

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    When a former colleague of Alex got hired by a unicorn scooter company to help the US-based company break into Europe, they quickly discovered they’d inherited a mess.

    Their marketing spend was higher than their anticipated European revenue.

    Enter Alex. 

    At the time, it was just Alex doing freelance work. This was before Opascope became a full-fledged agency. 

    But Alex was known as an advertising problem solver — a skill set that’s at the heart of Opascope today. So the manager brought in Alex to run a deep audit of all of the advertising operations across the globe. It took weeks and the result was a hundred-page document detailing his findings and recommendations.

    After the audit, the company flew Alex out to work on-site in Amsterdam and sort through the issues he’d identified. 

    Between the deep audit and his first week on-site, Alex was able to decrease marketing costs by 79%.

    What follows is the story behind the $8.6MM monthly savings and related insights on agency pitfalls to watch out for — especially when breaking into new markets.

    1. If Your Spend Is In the Millions — Every Detail = $$$

    This was 2018 and the company was in a blitzscaling mindset, which was the thing to do at the time. They were throwing money at everything and marketing very aggressively. We’re talking $30 to $40 million global spend per month.

    But they were going too fast to do anything well. 

    Take their market entry plan.

    The company was spending around $6 to $8 million a month on ads across Europe. If they continued with the campaign the agency had planned, they would’ve spent between $24 and $32+ million over the course of 4 months. A cost that was higher than the company’s anticipated European revenue over that time.

    Since the scooter company’s primary market at the time was the US, they had a US-based marketing agency running their EMEA account, as well. But the European campaigns were less of a priority and only comprised 10-15% of their overall budget.

    As a result, the campaign issues simply got overlooked.


    • If your agency partner isn’t interested in or asking to talk to different people throughout your organization, it’s time to reconsider your partnership.

    2. Does Your Agency Know How to Handle Uncommon Advertising Situations?

    When you’re breaking into a new market or running global promotions, sometimes your campaigns aren’t very straightforward.

    For instance, you might need to educate an audience on a new category or a product they don’t understand.

    Or sometimes the promotions aren’t about the product at all — which was the case with the scooter company.

    See, simply advertising the scooter service wasn’t a big deal. The company was a brand name and had a built-in consumer marketing funnel. People would lobby their city to bring the company in. Once approved, seemingly overnight, thousands of scooters would appear on the streets. The scooters themselves were built-in advertising.

    People would scan the QR code they found, get the app, and start using them.
    This was the real reason that the unicorn company was able to grow so fast.

    Most of the marketing spend was finding the necessary gig workers needed to keep the operation going.

    Nowadays, scooters have interchangeable batteries, so one truck can service an entire city. But back then, the technology didn’t exist. You had to take the scooters to a centralized location, plug them in, and charge them. This required tons of independent contractors around the city who could do this work.

    So to enter a new city, the company had to go from zero gig employees to 100s within two or three weeks.

    The campaign was to find these contractors, but they were running into issues.
    People were finding the forms to apply and submitting their information, but nobody was actually getting hired. Due to several complications, which we’ll get to, the conversion rate on these ads were abysmal, leading to more necessary spend and diminishing return.

    It’s possible if the campaigns had been more common product/service promotions, that spend would have been less and things would have gone smoother.

    But not every agency is equipped to handle unusual situations.

    For instance, a normal best practice for ads is to run them during the day and then shut them off at night when performance is usually lower.

    But when you’re targeting people who are free to pick up and charge scooters overnight, this best practice doesn’t apply.

    When Alex pointed out this issue, they changed the time the promotions were running, and ad performance increased immediately.


    • To get the best possible results, you need an agency willing to question best practices and think outside the box.

    3. Does Your Agency REALLY Get Global Advertising?

    Now, this doesn’t have to be an issue if your US-based agency understands the intricacies of localized marketing. 

    The scooter company’s original agency didn’t.

    By now, most agencies know that when you’re running promotions in different countries, you need localized messaging and ads. But they don’t always consider how local cultures and customs can make a difference in campaign performance and how you need to run them.

    Through the audit and consulting, Alex discovered that the ads weren’t set up in a thoughtful way to attract the right audiences per location.

    For instance, in France — one of the biggest markets that the company was targeting, in order to get hired, an individual needed a SIRET identification number, similar to the US’s EIN. 

    So the conversion rate on finding new workers was much lower when people didn’t already have a SIRET number. So one of the first changes that Alex made was creating a lookalike audience to target people who already had this license, or went through the process to get once, a change which improved the quality of people seeing and responding to the ads.


    • When running global promotions, your agency needs to be working with your team on the ground or have the local expertise to maximize performance.

    Are You Working With Ad Managers or Problem Solvers?

    It’s experiences like these that led Alex and Max to found Opascope. They believe in offering marketing services custom-tailored to their clients to maximize revenue.

    Where most agencies try to fit their clients into their existing package or process, Opascope adjusts its services to best fit its clients’ needs. Each and every time.

    Where most agencies try to fit their clients into their existing package or process, Opascope adjusts its services to best fit its clients’ needs. Each and every time.

    Want to see what Opascope could do for you? Schedule a free audit.

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