In September, we announced the winners of our first annual Skai Infinity Awards. The Infinities were our way of recognizing client excellence and notable achievements in the pursuit of Infinite OptimizationTM. Today, I am delighted to welcome a representative from one award winning entry to the Skai blog. Andy Negus is the Senior Paid Search Executive at Starcom Mediavest Group on the Travelodge account, and he joins us on “In the Loop” to talk more about his team’s recent win for Infinite Performance Optimization in this two-part Q&A!
Let’s start with a bit more about you, Andy. Can you share more about your role on the Starcom Mediavest team?
I first joined Starcom Mediavest a little over 18 months ago through the company’s annual Graduate Scheme. After working on a range of travel clients, I was given the opportunity to be involved in the Travelodge pitch process, which we subsequently won.
I am now the acting Senior Executive on the account. On a day to day basis, I am accountable for account optimisation and client liaison. I also work very closely with our technology partners such as Skai to introduce exciting new products and opportunities to the account, our client, and the agency.
The Skai Infinities recognized efforts in infinite optimisation. What does infinite optimisation mean to you and your team?
Infinite Optimization is the ethos of continually driving optimal performance through proactivity, strong relationships, and great account management. In a constantly evolving landscape, it is managing both the present as well as the future, whilst always developing new strategies to take your account to the next level.
What was it about your success story with Travelodge that you and your team thought would really resonate with the Infinite Optimisation theme?
Travelodge is a fantastic account to work on, and the Infinite Optimisation theme really gels with both how we manage the account and also how we are allowed to plan for the future. Not only is the account an extremely large direct response account that requires constant management and optimisation, our clients are also very open to us introducing new ideas and strategies to enhance their digital offering. The possibilities for the account are infinite and after a great first year, we have plenty in the pipeline to continue to improve and become more profitable and successful.
I loved that you titled your entry “Doing The Basics, Brilliantly.” Can you explain a bit more about this concept and how you were able to leverage Skai to elevate the Travelodge search program?
When inheriting the account, our primary goal was to ‘do the basics brilliantly’. In Paid Search it is very easy to run before you can walk, so whilst one of the reasons for choosing to partner Skai was their exciting new products and opportunities, we knew these would not be effective without a functional and reliable account structure.
This was a mammoth task and by no means should the ‘basics’ be regarded as easy; however thanks to Skai and our local rep team, we were able to utilise a custom server to manage the account, and through much cooperation, turn the account in to an award winning one. This has left us in a great position to kick on into the future and introduce more and more BETAs and complex PPC tools.
Can you highlight some of the success you’ve seen with the Skai platform for Travelodge?
Both our local Skai team and the Skai platform have allowed us to be so successful this year. Skai was the obvious choice for an account of this size as we have been able to do the basics and manage our large account on such a granular level.
To do this, we have utilised Skai’s intuitive interface and Advanced Search features, without with we would not have been able to succeed. These features have allowed us to act quickly and efficiently in bulk, as well as on a granular level. Custom widgets have allowed us to monitor performance in many ways as well as giving us and the client a much more aesthetically pleasing view of the data that many others do not provide.
As well as the Skai platform, our local Skai team have always been there to support us and through close cooperation, we have been able to develop the account to become more and more profitable for our client.
I think the best way to highlight our success is through a testimonial we received from our lead client:
“The Starcom MediaVest search team have ensured that Travelodge stands out from the competition in the crowded search market space. The structural changes to the account as well as an even stronger focus on optimisation, innovation and driving efficiency, has significantly improved our YoY results. These changes are going a long way in helping to achieve Travelodge’s commercial goals in a very difficult market”
-Brad Poole, Digital Marketing Manager, Travelodge
With such positive feedback from our client as well as recognition from Skai through the Infinities, it is clear that Skai has allowed us to have a very successful year.
Join us for Part Two in this Q&A to hear how the Starcom MediaVest team reacted to their win, what the future holds, and Andy’s tips for today’s search marketers.