AIMCLEAR Humbled to Earn Five 2021 #USSearchAwards: Sharing Data From Entries

Search Awards Logo, blog post header

Last week during this year’s virtual US Search Awards presentation gala event, AIMCLEAR was thrilled to score five winners. Every case study we entered was short-listed and won a category plus contributed to multiple best agency awards. Above all, we are grateful to our superb clients, spectacular teammates, partners, vendors, and colleagues around the world. Once again the indubitable Nicky Wake and her crew at Don’t Panic Events proved their B2B events portfolio (UK Search Awards, EU Search Awards, etc.) rate among the premier digital marketing awards globally.

Up against formidable competition again, AIMCLEAR mastered the following categories: Best Use of Search – B2b (#SEO), Best Use of Social Media In a Search Campaign, Best Use of Data (#PPC), Best Small #PPC Agency (2nd straight), and Best Small Integrated Search Agency (6th straight). Our agency has now notched a total of twenty-two US Search Awards since 2013, the most US Search awards in the event’s history.

The diverse set of categories taken (paid, SEO, search, social, data, etc.) further validates our reputation as a channel-agnostic, integrated agency- fluent in how tactics and channels work together strategically towards a total marketing outcome.  Entering our 16th year, 5 of the original 10 AIMCLEAR‘ians are still agency leaders. The average current tenure among active employees is ~5 years.

This post shares a few choice details about AIMCLEAR included in the entries, tendering perspective about where we come from and how our storied marketing agency rolls.

AIMCLEAR company picture

Sharing Deets & Data

Moving beyond the pandemic required bulletproof execution, shrewd management, and balanced investment in extraordinary humans. 2020-21 fostered great opportunity for AIMCLEAR, our people, treasured clients, intense commitment to people, and flexibility. Our focus in this awards cycle (June 2020 – June 2021) was:

  • Nurture multi-dimensional, deeper employees
  • Pinpoint HR resource allocation, turning our ability to parse marketing data inward to optimize systems
  • Lean into community service to enhance the regions we live in
  • Further, enhance our focus on work-life balance
  • Developing substantial upgrades to our in-house OpsBot to amplify marketing stability
  • Integrate more powerful BI tool mashups for more power/reduced cost
  • Express client revenue pacing via reliable annualized predictive, replicable models
  • Focus on clients with which we can achieve mutually beneficial, healthy 2-way engagements
  • Wine tastings, lot’s of wine tastings

Wine bottles and tastlng

Sharing Select AC Deets & Data

AIMCLEAR has an intense “employee/client-first” focus, which fosters marketers who understand entrepreneurial pressure and deliver for our clients. We dig in and win revenue battles with killer chops, channel savvy, massive creative, mastery of targeting data, multi-attribution, side-by-side modeling including clients’ unique requirements, and fabulous creative rooted in classic marketing. We stick to deep values forged over time and proven by long-term success.  Some of our team accomplishments in this cycle included: We visualized and developed the next generation of our bespoke AIMCLEAR OpsBot, helping to realize a ten-year vision capable of monitoring most any parameter in any channel- GA, paid, organic, KPIs,  physical world data/events/trends, external APIs, scraped competitors, almost anything our marketers can dream. OpsBot can alert teams upon assigned percentages for each parameter, meld integrated marketing data for real-time GAP analysis, and facilitate advanced data usage. We’ve worked hard at establishing web accessibility (WCAG) thought leadership, crucial for user experience, Google’s Core Web Vitals, and paid landing experiences.

WCAG blog post picture

AIMCLEAR teammates presented at multiple pandemic-era virtual conferences and trainings from San Fransisco to London, Boston to Prague. We judged our 7th straight UK and EU Search awards, continuing global ambassadorship in the greater marketing community. Our CEO expanded her leadership in non-profits, joining the Board of Duluth Armory Arts & Music Center and becoming Chair of Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community. Other team highlights include being on the Board of the Duluth Figure Skating Club, a Toastmasters officer, volunteer career coaching and achieving a commercial drone pilot license (already used for client video footage.)

Marketing Case Studies Goodies

We focus on marketing that kicks ass. The humans of AIMCLEAR prove year over year what a truly integrated agency can deliver and results are bigger than any one person.  This year’s case studies were just gorgeous.  One entry’s integrated paid project yielded incredible results (data ~rounded):

  • Reduced media spend from ~$1,300,000 to ~$530,000
  • Increased purchases from ~80,000 orders to ~105,000
  • CPA down from~$17.00 to ~$5.00
  • Lifted revenue from ~$20,000,000 to ~$32,000,000
  • Gains were rooted in targeting mastery, exquisite creative, and data manipulation

The results from a winning SEO case study modeled annually portend ~$1,400,000 in B2B earnings. To make this happen, we grew rankings from ~15 paltry keywords to ~700 (with hardly any bullsheep keywords) to ~20% branded traffic/80.00% non-branded- up from ~97% brand/3% from non-branded traffic.

This is the best AIMCLEAR ever – a profitable, happy, effective business. AIMCLEAR retains teammates with a wonderful work/life balance, exciting marketing, and encouraging community service. Empowered, rewarded, healthy people bring their “A” game every day.

There were challenges for sure. Hiring in the agency world is wonky. Teammates move on with what they learn, sometimes in our case after a decade or more. We helped solve the agency HR riddle by growing people within, careful hiring, and embracing natural attrition. Work-life balance drifted during the pandemic. Much of our current success stems from a pinpoint focus on HR allocation for insight, balance, and hiring prowess.

HR chart shows allocation of human resources

More Pandemic Era Challenges

It’s more challenging these days being an agency without offering assurances of potential conversion, especially with so many supply chains borked. We use sandboxed revenue models to project annual results in short order and at an acceptable cost for proof-of-concept. With no physical world conferences, we needed to generate revenue by alternative methods. As such, we freely shared clients with top global agencies and they in-turn brought us new business. We had too much office space at too high a cost. So, we reduced our physical footprint while maintaining gorgeous, inspiring work environments in Duluth and St. Paul- supporting team with space, connection, and new WFH freedom to do great work. The pandemic caused fear. Our team powered through it, nailed clients’ challenges at the onset – creating confidence to move forward and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Moving Forward

Agencies thrive when they deliver solid, predictable, and repeatable client results. Our approach gives clients and team members confidence and the ability to fine-tune business plans based on predictive data.

Entering our 16th year, AIMCLEAR continues to position clients for success and set up our marketing agency for a wonderful future, replete with opportunity to grow and prosper. Every day we strive for these ideals. On a personal note, thank you to our clients and my incredible teammates. You are the wind beneath my wings.

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