A Scientific Paid Media Agency

Brainlabs is a scientific performance marketing agency. We run wildly successful programmatic display, paid social, and paid search campaigns, using a unique blend of mathematics, technology, and analytics. Using this approach we've outperformed every other agency we've ever encountered.

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London, United Kingdom
other locations
  • New York
    United States


Key clients: 

Deliveroo, National Geographic, Domino's, UNICEF, Blackberry, and JustGiving. 


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PPC Campaign for Consumer Advocacy Nonprofit

“Their performance is fantastic, and they’ve guided us throughout the entire journey.”

Willing to refer: 
The Project
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Brainlabs helps a consumer advocate plan, purchase, and test various PPC campaigns. They built a custom bid management algorithm, refined keyword strategy, and automated manual processes.

The Reviewer
501-1000 Employees
London, United Kingdom
Senior Marketing Manager, Consumer Advocacy Nonprofit
Not verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Costs-per-click have dropped by $30, while conversion rates and traffic have remained steady. Brainlabs continually impresses with their deep technical competency, helpful customer service, and business-savvy approach. They adjust quickly to budget changes and shifting requirements.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.


Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior marketing manager of an independent company providing unbiased reviews. We are considered the consumer’s champion, and the campaigning area of our business is a charitable social organization. We look at compensation from flight and rail delays, as well as a lot of other issues consumers are experiencing.

We also review hundreds of products in tech and white goods, including things like cars, baby/child products, and food, among others. This is where we see most of our traffic, and we charge a subscription because the content we hold on our site is premium. I’m responsible for managing that core subscription business.


What challenge were you trying to address with Brainlabs?

We wanted to raise CPTs [Cost Per Trial], which is what our KPIs [Key Performance Indicator] are based on. Our CPTs were rising, which meant out cost per trial list was also rising. Basically, this is the process of someone taking a one-time trial, then moving into a subscription model of paying £10.75 [$14] a month. Ultimately, this meant our ROI wasn’t as good as what we’d seen over the last decade.


What was the scope of their involvement?

They are a PPC agency, and they help us with planning and buying PPC activity. In terms of the big management solution, it’s more complex than anything we’ve used before. We have a portfolio bidding along with the bid modifiers, which Brainlabs applies themselves. There is also a genetic algorithm.

We were one of Brainlabs' first clients, and their bid management technology was built around our business. We have a vast portfolio of over a million keywords, so when they took our account on, it was all very messy. We had many keywords that weren’t performing well, so they went through the entire account and cleaned everything up. They were also testing the bid management solution on a smaller area, all while charting better CPTs than the previous company. We then expanded to other verticals as well.

We have a division about mortgage and legal advice, including wills, probates, and trusts, etc., that they’ve also helped with.

Brainlabs was always confident in their own technology. They’re all mathematicians, and very clever people. They came to us and said they could build the technology to make our CPCs [Cost Per Click] perform better, and that they could remove some of the manual effort we were putting into it by implementing automation. It worked well for us after we tested it,  and there are constantly ongoing optimizations and new releases of their technology.

What is the team dynamic?

Our account manager was timid when I first met her, but she’s since evolved with our account. She was instrumental to all the work we do, and she really got to know our business. They’re able to give any advice we need, and they’ve grown with us.

How did you come to work with Brainlabs?

Someone who used to work at our company knew Dan Gilbert [CEO, Brainlabs], and he introduced Brainlabs to us. I didn’t work on the pitch, but I believe they were the only company we considered.

Brainlabs came in and tested their own bid management solution against the company’s product we were using previously, and proved theirs was better. This was the beginning of our partnership.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2014, and the relationship is ongoing.


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

They’ve continually provided efficient solutions for us. We had been close to £50 [$67] CPT before hiring Brainlabs, and we’re now down to £20-£30 [$26-$40] depending on how much we’re spending in a given month. Conversion rate is a given within that range.

Since our spending changes on a monthly basis, it’s all about being able to react quickly and adjust the budget in another area. Brainlabs always reacts quickly and hits new targets that we create for them. We’re now looking at ROI targets and focusing on customer retention as well.

We’ve also been looking at two of our other KPIs, one of which is ROI modeling based on cancellation, and the other being reverse payoff rates by vertical. Brainlabs has been helping us forecast these metrics, and we’ve been shifting the budget depending on the various verticals and payoff rates associated with them.

How did Brainlabs perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re really responsive, and we speak on a daily basis via email or phone. We have weekly status calls, as well as quarterly in-person meetings which last 2-3 hours and includes a lot of detail.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very enthusiastic and confident about the technology they build. Their performance is fantastic, and they’ve guided us throughout the entire journey. We’re now in a good place, and our PPC is efficient for us. We’re now looking at spending more on PPC, so it’s all going well.

Are there any areas they could improve?

In the beginning, our account manager’s communication wasn’t what it should have been. She was timid, but she’s greatly improved since then.

Overall Score They’ve been fantastic, especially in the last 12 months.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    They haven’t missed a deadline in a long time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We use another technology alongside the bidder tool for Google Analytics. We’re double paying at the moment because we’re using these two technologies. My rating is not a five because trying to uncover why Brainlabs bidder worked so well was tricky.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The deliverables in terms of performance and response times are fantastic. We didn’t go a day without hearing from someone. There was someone there to help us even when our account manager was on holiday.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer