Exponential growth in returns on marketing

Blue Green is a marketing technology innovator, solving "digital bureaucracy" problems based on research and methodologies developed at MIT. We deliver exponential growth in returns on marketing investments, providing millions of dollars in annual revenue and profit growth for our global portfolio of clients.

 
$25,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Cambridge, MA
headquarters
  • 101 Main St.
    Cambridge, MA 02142
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

PayPal, NBCUniversal, athenahealth, California Closets, American Cancer Society, ebay, Squadle, Boston Children's Hospital, Wrike

Reviews

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Strategy & Business Development for FinTech Platform

“We need them to clone themselves so we can have more of them.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Blue Green generates initiative focused content and marketing strategies, including assets and creative campaigns. They also manage data collection and optimization, as well as provide platform integration.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Jamie Bonnifield
Director of Consumer Cross Border Trade, PayPal
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

All metrics are moving in positive directions due to Blue Green’s panoramic approach. Their project management is superlative, and they bestow complete availability. Their adaptability with projects and willingness to evolve their team are also distinguished attributes.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of cross border trade at the Latin American region for Paypal, a FinTech company based out of San Jose, California. We are the leader in online payments.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Blue Green?

We were looking to address a couple challenges, including creating a content strategy that would marry our consumer and merchant communications throughout the life cycle. We were also aiming to create an outgoing asset to support a different initiative through our BDE SMB consumer and OE work team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve definitely expanded the original scope. We started working with them mostly as a creative company, but since then, they’ve essentially touched everything we do across our customer base. Blue Green creates marketing assets for us and helps optimize our website, which is our largest acquisition channel. They also work to create new data flows to help us collect and utilize it in a more efficient manner. They work on seasonal and creative campaigns for us on all assets, and they also work on our calendar. We work with them in our paid media efforts, where they optimize the flow in our displayed channels.

Additionally, we work with Blue Green to create unique SMB experiences which segments our customer base in ways we haven’t before. We really work with them in a lot of different things throughout the marketing and communication field.

The primary goal when we started working with Blue Green was to create a much more efficient marketing agency relationship. We’re really expanded with them, and they’ve become more like partners who look at how we communicate to our merchants and customers. Our main goal throughout the life cycle is to communicate in more appropriate and customized ways. This drives what we call NNA’s, or net new active, which is essentially growing our customer base. We do this through increasing our acquisition, which makes the funnel more efficient, proactive, and reactive trend reduction. They work with us in all of these test points.

Most of the content Blue Green has worked with us on in the past has been initiative focused. Whether it’s 5-6 different channels they’ve created content for, or just a single channel, it’s usually been fairly initiative focused. They’ve worked on assets for member-get-member creative concepts, holiday themes, activation campaigns, and trend reduction campaigns.

This year, we’re branching out and trying to come up with a more overall content strategy, and in particular, more focus on Paypal.com. We’re really trying to relook at the messaging tone and content we’ve used before to create something more dynamic. After starting with Paypal.com as the main channel, we’ll branch off into other channels as well. A lot of it is strategy and content, but there are definitely some back end sides of it where we’re actually gathering input and saving them to databases, then copying them to have more usable content. It’s not on the SEO front, but more involved with data collection and creating unique experiences for people signed in on Paypal.com.

Blue Green really has a good understanding of our technology, and they’ve been able to build flows that may have never been done before on Paypal.com. We are working with them on these flows, which necessitates additional technology work. We’ve got one currently where we’re looking to work with eBay on a Paypal.com sign up flow, and they’re building the backend for what that looks like. They’re definitely more than just a creative and strategy agency. They’re well rounded, and that’s one of the reasons we continue to work with them year after year.

What is the team dynamic?

Within Latin America, Blue Green has worked with several different teams. They’re really worked with all four times that sit within the Latin American marketing. They work quite often with Mexico, and what we call the central Latin American Caribbean region. They also often work with our marketing team to develop strategies on specific lifecycle initiatives. They’ve done some work with the Brazil office as well on some very specific campaigns. They’ve definitely provided value throughout Latin America.

It’s not a huge shop, but this is good in a way because everyone can become an expert in Paypal. What’s really great is that Blue Green funnels mostly everything through one person, so it’s a consolidated and concise reporting relationship. We always know who to go to if we have any problems or questions. We’ve worked with many different people on their side, including Ryan [Lead Marketing Technologist, Blue Green] who leads the more technology based team, and we work with the creative department quite a bit as well. There are three individuals that we’ve worked with there, as well as program management.

How did you come to work with Blue Green?

Blue Green was originally doing work with the U.S. marketing team, and that’s how we came to know them. They engaged first with the marketing strategy team within Latin America, and we were doing some one-off initiatives with them. At the time, we were unhappy with our current agency and were looking at new options. One of the things that really attracted us to Blue Green was that they had worked with PayPal for years, and they really knew what we were trying to do and what voice we liked to present to our customers. They understood the technologies so they could do platform integration other agencies weren’t able to.

They were also very flexible and could work with us on urgent projects that needed a quick turnaround. They had a good mixture of expertise that we were looking for wrapped up in one agency, which was great. They’ve also been really flexible in terms of expanding their team to fit our needs. For example, we create Spanish assets, so they actually went out and hired someone fluent in Spanish to create those. We started working with them in a fairly narrow scope, but over the years, it’s evolved into a partnership.

How much have you invested with them?

Our budget with them is around $250,000. Our relationship has grown, and we work with them a lot more, so the scope and budget have both increased.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2015, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve increased our engagement with them year after year, and the different teams within Latin America have increasingly worked with them as well, which proves how positive our relationship is. This year specifically, my team’s NNA numbers are as high as they’ve ever been since we’ve been tracking them. Our turn rate is down, and activation rates are up, which is directly attributed to the work done with Blue Green. They’re the only ones we’re working with on this PayPal.com sign up funnel, so all of these metrics are moving in the right direction and are attributed to the work they’ve done with us.

How did Blue Green perform from a project management standpoint?

It’s a dream come true that everything is filtered through one person, compared to many agencies I’ve worked with before. There’s always a lot of clarity on what’s in the pipeline and what the timelines are. Everyone makes themselves completely available in case I have any questions or concerns, and they’re flexible with moving timelines if new projects arise unexpectedly. Compared to other agencies, the relationship with Blue Green is the best I’ve had.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The ease of working with them is definitely outstanding. They’re a one-stop shop where it’s not just a creative or technology agency, but both. It’s incredibly helpful that they can bring both of those sides on a project together to consolidate experiences as opposed to working with multiple agencies. Otherwise, there would be constant handoffs, confusion, and issues to work through, so working with one agency allows us to avoid all those problems.

They’re also very adaptable, and they jump right in and learn all about our new projects, products, features, and partnerships in order to truly understand how they all fit into the overall picture. They’re willing to expand and build their team to fit our needs, which is something a lot of agencies wouldn’t do.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We need them to clone themselves so we can have more of them. There’s always a funnel in needing everything at once and needing to prioritize and set things up in that way, but overall, it’s been a seamless relationship. If I have any large issues, they help address it immediately and we have proactive, open communication channels.

5.0
Overall Score They’ve become a partner for us, and we routinely have strategy sessions to talk about challenges and opportunities where they always bring in a new perspective. This, combined with technology and creativity, is really powerful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We have many steps we take within a project plan. They’re always willing to adapt to those if something unexpected comes up, or if we have to change priorities last minute. They’re very user friendly in that respect.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve worked with several companies in the U.S. and Latin America where the pay structures can be vastly different, and they didn’t have consistent quality. They might look a little expensive, but the quality of work compensates for that.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide consistent output which fits our brand and drives customer comprehension. Usually, we only have 1-2 rounds of feedback.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    When you combine all the pros and cons, they are far superior to the agencies I’ve worked with in the past 15 years in the industry.

SEO and Digital Marketing for Project Management Service

“What set Blue Green apart was their A/B testing philosophy.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

Blue Green provided strategic guidance for maximizing the ROI of digital marketing campaigns. They devised A/B tests for user onboarding and online advertising, with an emphasis on conversion rates.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
San Jose, California
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Project Management Service
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Blue Green discovered opportunities for significant increases in revenue. The team excelled at project management and executed their work with ROI growth as the sole goal. However, Blue Green’s recommendations could not be fully implemented given culture challenges within the marketing organization.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We offer a cloud-based B2B project management software. My role is within product marketing. We help bring new features and product packages to market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Blue Green?

We spend a ton of money on digital marketing and AdWords. Our goal was to increase the return on investment and improve our cost per click or cost per conversion. We had to make sure that the people coming through the funnel were highly motivated clickers and converters. There were several different areas within our acquisition funnel, and we started at the top because that was our biggest opportunity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For the most part, Blue Green’s core expertise is around optimizing the web experience for new users. We asked them to test various landing page experiences and look at how we’re building our campaigns in AdWords and Google. We asked Blue Green to look at the opportunity to improve our conversion rates for digital marketing — all of the landing pages and user conversions coming through the top of the funnel.

Their strategy was to do A/B testing around unique experiences to figure out what actually drives a higher conversion. They had backend software and host services that let them grab a certain section of our traffic. If we bought AdWords, we could send a certain percentage of the traffic from our existing pages to Blue Green’s environment. Blue Green would then run multiple tests, depending on how much traffic we were getting on a particular keyword or a particular part of the funnel. They would collect all of the data and compare the tests.

Blue Green wanted to remove the initial call to action to sign up from the very first screen, which reflected their philosophy. It’s like going to a party and walking up to somebody that you like and going, “What’s your phone number?” They’re like, “Why would I tell you my phone number?” You have to have a conversation with them first. You have to understand more about them before you move to the next level. You need to wait until you can add more value to that relationship. The first page has to add value, explain things, and help give users a choice. That’s the same approach that Blue Green usually takes with landing pages and user onboarding.

That technique works, but most people who do digital marketing think, “I can get a click and a conversion if I put the signup button and make it super easy for users.” But what happens is those people don’t end up converting downstream, and you hurt your overall campaign. Blue Green’s technique was a great one, but our company didn’t believe in that philosophy, so we didn’t let them do things their way.

How did you come to work with Blue Green?

I didn’t spend much time looking at other companies because of the experience that I already had with Blue Green. I met their team when I was with another company, working for a consumer marketing group focused on enhancing the onboarding experience. At my previous company, Blue Green helped us increase our user activation rates by 7 percentage points. Blue Green’s A/B testing strategy and their skill sets were really helpful. They could plug in their systems and team to put tests in the market right away. Once we identified champions, we rolled those champions into the core product —  our engineering team made that part of the experience. That strategy was successful there, so I was trying to replicate that same experience with my current company.

How much have you invested with Blue Green?

We paid around $50,000 for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from April 2016 until the end of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Blue Green identified millions of dollars-worth of opportunity for us on digital ad spending and moving our conversion rate from 1.5%–2% to 2.5%–3%. That may seem small, but it was huge from a revenue growth perspective. Unfortunately, we were not able to implement Blue Green's unique process for generating revenue growth. It’s not Blue Green’s fault — they didn’t get the access that they needed in order to be successful. Our internal bureaucracy and teams blocked them from doing what they do best. It was hard to convince people to do something that did not feel intuitive. It was hard to convince people who were used to doing things a certain way to change. It would take a paradigm shift to accept Blue Green’s philosophy and their way of doing things.

How did Blue Green perform from a project management standpoint?

Blue Green’s team was organized and always had an agenda during meetings. They followed up on action items and laid out a plan on a quarterly and monthly basis. We had frequent meetings in person to communicate our goals. They have well-executed project management skills.

What did you find most impressive about Blue Green?

What set Blue Green apart was their A/B testing philosophy. Their techniques for optimizing user onboarding and user flows works. I also think that their business model was approachable and flexible. Instead of charging for hours or charging for a service that you may or may not get a benefit from, they proposed a performance-based engagement.  

We were impressed by their overall ability, and they’re a great team to work with. They were friendly, fun, and always available. The team was always willing to jump in and help over and above what they were commissioned to do.

Are there any areas Blue Green could improve?

They need to be firm and say, “In order for us to do this successfully, we need this, this, and this. If we don’t get it, then we can’t help you.” They were trying to appease us because they were excited about the opportunity, and they liked working with me. As a result, they were willing to forego some of the things that they needed from us. In the end, it was our culture that was the blocker.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    If our firm could have been open to Blue Green's approach, it was going to be an ROI-based contract. They were willing to be paid a percentage of whatever gains we got through their work, which was a really fair opportunity. I think that’s how they work i
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer