News Article ————

The search of less complexity in performance marketing leads to international recognition for PaperDigits

Author image Published by [email protected]
Published Date 24.04.2024

A Netherlands’ based agency with a vision

PaperDigits is a Dutch performance marketing agency. Founded in 2019 by the two lifelong friends Wouter Naber and Vincent van Vliet, PaperDigits has surely made a dent in the world of performance marketing. A couple of years later, 20 motivated and high level marketers strive toward a common vision: to free the world of performance marketing from complexity. In an increasingly complex digital marketing world there’s more need for transparent results and measurable impact than ever before.

This vision resulted in the development of a unique way of working, referred to as the ‘reverse funnel approach’. This method focuses on creating measurable and concrete results, firstly validating the proposition of the clients business, then exploring different angles to scale quickly, but sustainably.

The method tested in practice

PaperDigits has perfected their ‘reverse funnel approach’ over the years and validated its use with dozens of different partners. It has had both national, as well as international success. For example, they’ve helped grow Quatt from zero to their current position of market leader in the world of hybrid heat pumps. Thereby helping to accelerate the European energy transition. Their reverse funnel approach has also helped Tameson with their international expansion as supplier of industrial magnetic valves. The collaboration started with creating last click sales and has now evolved to Tameson running a real-time POAS (profit on ad spend) strategy for over 100.000 products in over six countries. Thereby distinguishing between B2B and B2C orders as well as connecting digital shopping carts to offline collect and payment moments in all of their physical stores. Another fruitful collaboration that has been running for years is with ICS (International Card Services) credit cards.

ICS credit cards is Netherlands’ largest provider of credit cards. PaperDigits and ICS have successfully collaborated for years and are now leveraging full-funnel marketing. Recently, ICS successfully surpassed its card application target by 40% and reduced costs through our innovative data-driven persona targeting and measurement of upper funnel marketing campaigns. PaperDigits has submitted this case and got nominated for the European Search Award.

About the nominated case

In late 2023, PaperDigits was commissioned by International Card Services (ICS) to enhance their digital marketing strategy with a focus on increasing consumer and card applications. The campaign, with a budget of €121.000, was designed to explore the potential of upper funnel marketing through DemandGen and YouTube over an eight-week period. The goal was to achieve 1.000 new card applications at a CPA of €121. This CPA target was notably higher than the €30 achieved through saturated non-branded search campaigns, prompting a shift to upper funnel tactics to expand and reach effectiveness.

To measure the effectiveness of these upper funnel campaigns, PaperDigits employed a combination of advanced data analytics and causal impact analysis. This approach allowed them to compare actual campaign outcomes against a model of what would have happened without the campaign. By examining the influence of our targeted ads on consumer behavior, particularly how they contributed to branded and non-braded searches, we could accurately assess and attribute increase in card applications to specific campaign activities.

The strategic focus on upper funnel marketing was motivated by the need to understand its impact on both branded and non-branded searches. The rationale: non-branded searches had reached their peak effectiveness, engaging potential customers at the upper funnel could stimulate interest and awareness, thereby increasing branded searches that typically have a higher conversion rate. By effectively targeting and engaging the audience earlier in their decision-making process through customized content for distinct personas, the campaign aimed to drive these prospects towards searching for ICS’s offerings specifically. Which in turn led to more card applications.

PaperDigits’ innovative and precise targeting led the campaign to outperform its objectives, securing 1.401 applications and reducing the CPA to €86. The increase in direct sessions (which rose by 13,020 instances) was particularly notable and resulted in 1.562 additional card applications. This demonstrated the successful leverage of upper funnel activities to boost both awareness and conversions. This approach not only met but significantly exceeded the initial targets set by ICS, showcasing PaperDigits’ expertise in deploying upper funnel marketing to effectively enhance business outcomes.

Close Collaboration leads to long term partnerships

PaperDigits prefers closely working together with the marketing teams of their partners. The main reason for this is that the expert market knowledge that mainly resides with the teams on client side can that way be easily integrated with the performance marketing expertise of PaperDigits. In the case of ICS the years of working together has led to the development of mutual trust. Which according to Naber is the most fundamental element for success when working together with an agency. The reverse funnel approach of PaperDigits takes the development of this mutual trust very seriously, considering that transparent communication and sustainable growth directly lead to this.

Co-founders Vincent van Vliet (left) and Wouter Naber (right) have been best friends since they were 5 years old.

PaperDigits is far from done

Being nominated for a European Search Awards surely feels special. Nationally their work has gained serious recognition over the past months. Shortly after winning the prestigious golden “FD Gazellen Award’ and thereby being recognized as the fastest growing agency in the Netherlands, they won a Dutch Search Award. PaperDigits’ Operations Lead Joël van der Zande explains “this really proved we were competing in the big leagues. This led to a surge of confidence and paved the way for the international stage”. He adds that “they are looking forward to test their knowledge against other countries’ leading agencies, and are truly curious to see what they can learn from them”.

“We are very eager to learn what the future will bring. We’ve recently grown our team again and started new collaborations with large international partners. Most recently we started two new strategic partnerships with Dopper and Toolstationvan Vliet explains. He continues: “these are exactly the type of clients that we successfully work together with: ambitious, competitive and internally driven by mission and vision. This results in a close collaboration with their internal marketing team, enhancing synergies between agency and client side”.

This perfectly matches Nabers earlier quote about the importance of mutual trust. In an increasingly complex digital environment PaperDigits spots a growing demand for transparent communication. Their reverse funnel approach perfectly fulfills this need, enabling them to take on new (inter)national marketing challenges.

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