Performance Driven Digital Marketing

Elite SEM is an award-winning digital marketing agency. Founded on search, focused on holistic performance-driven digital marketing, Elite expertise spans Paid Search, SEO, Shopping & Feed, Display Advertising, Paid Social, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), and Insight & Analytics.

 

Elite brings a unique business model to the market that ties account performance to account managers, and rewards our teams for continuous performance and satisfied clients with a share of company profits. Boasting unprecedented 94+% employee and client retention rates, our commitment to people and performance has cemented our position as one of the top digital marketing agencies in North America.

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2004
Show all +
New York,
headquarters
other locations
  • Elite SEM Philadelphia, PA 19019
    United States
  • Elite SEM Atlanta, GA 30301
    United States
  • Elite SEM Los Angeles, CA 90001
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Tommy Bahama, Kind, Terminix, Etsy, NFL, American Home Shield

Reviews

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SEM Management for Clothing Retailer

“They immediately doubled, if not tripled, our return on ad spend soon after the engagement started.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Elite SEM helped make the transition to direct B2C eCommerce sales. Their work includes multiple advertising strategies including paid search, product listing management, and conversion rate optimization.

The Reviewer
 
10,001 + Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Vice President of eCommerce, Clothing Retailer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Prior to Elite SEM, the return on ad spend was under one and is now actively pushing into the range of four. They took the AdWords campaign from eight to 800. Their approach is progressive, collaborative, and responsive, and this combination equates to effective results.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our business is a broad, private conglomerate with many different elements. I was hired in 2013 to run eCommerce. This was the first time that the company wanted to do direct B2C eCommerce sales. The focus is on a licensed brand here with about 70 stores in malls and outlets. I've been tasked with managing, maintaining, and growing the website through digital marketing efforts, affiliate marketing, conversion rate optimization, and new functionalities on the site. I am the Vice President of eCommerce.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Elite SEM?

We launched with a different digital agency in 2013. We switched over to Elite SEM in 2014 to focus on return on ad spend (ROAS) after the site was already set up.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started with on-page search and remarketing, and then we quickly set up product listing ads with them using their software to tweak and modify our own product. The work spans across AdWords, Bing, Yahoo, and Gemini, and uses Marin to tie it all together. We also tweak product metadata on top of what our site kicks out on a regular basis for product listing ads. The initial engagement focused on paid search and product listing management. Early last year, we engaged them to get conversion rate optimization up and running. We also run remarketing with them with AdRoll and have been doing testing regarding Google remarketing and looking at which is a better platform for us and migrating some of the spend to various sources. And, we've done some Gmail marketing and experiments with banner ads.

How did you come to work with Elite SEM?

I was searching Google for "digital agencies." Two factors made them attractive to us. The first factor was being based in New York so their founders could come on site and talk about what they could do from an immediate perspective. The second factor was their opt-out. They have a three-day opt-out so they have to do right by us day after day, which made the executives very comfortable to sign up with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started integrating systems with them in April 2014. The engagement is ongoing with no plans to stop.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

One highlight is getting comfortable with return on ad spends and getting the executives to accept and be comfortable with that concept. Prior to Elite SEM, our ROAS was under one; now, we are actively pushing into the four range. In a short time, they took our AdWords campaigns from about eight to 800. They put all of our metadata in campaigns and automated some of the spend. That impact alone doubled our ROAS and almost tripled it. Over the years, we've continued to work with them to add services like conversion rate optimization, adding the Gmail domain. If the program does well, we continue to invest. If it goes poorly, we pull back the budget. It's been very collaborative and there was an immediate impact with the huge improvement in ROAS.

Our conversion rate is way up so metrics are strong across the board. They were able to bring in Google directly. We have been very focused on mobile conversion rate optimization. Last year, Elite SEM set up a day-long meeting with a Google Transformer. They deep dove on very specific use cases and code that could affect our mobile performance, mobile conversion rate, and mobile UX. I was able to bring out a treasure trove of optimization work to test. All of that work was incredibly helpful to get everyone internally on board with mobile as our primary growth factor for our site right now. I was able to get technical people on board with very specific changes to improve conversion rates. In the first year, our overall site conversion rate was up 22%.

Elite has been a great partner. Elite SEM offered better accountability from a limited ad spend. They immediately doubled, if not tripled, our ROAS soon after the engagement started. I was very impressed with their operational capabilities with Marin ad software. As we work with them, we become more educated about our advertising options, the competitive set that's out there, and what types of customers are responding to us.

How did Elite SEM perform from a project management standpoint?

We meet with them weekly, we do quarterly reviews on site, and we do bigger planning meetings once a year. They limit overhead so that they maximize the time that we spend with the people doing the work for us. We have a monthly check-in meeting with the paid search lead, the product lead, and the conversion rate optimization lead. We can always reach out to the folks managing our account. Their team is extremely responsive on weekends and evenings. They are experts who know our brand and know what's working for us. They bring us into their office regularly for general meetings about what's going on in digital marketing. The team turnover has been limited.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have an innovative workspace, they have flex hours, they allow pets, and their compensation is driven by the performance of their clients. They are forward-thinking both in our advertising with them and how they treat their employees.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Only small things to improve come to mind. For example, cross-device conversion native to Google isn't available because of their software limitation. We have a work-around manually on the reports, but they could be more clear and regular on our attribution model.

Another issue is the monthly Google budget. Google likes to automate, including automating your budget. They want users to look at profitability instead of return on ad spend. I want Elite SEM to move to a profitability metric rather than ROAS, hopefully, sooner rather than later.

5.0
Overall Score Overall, I've been extremely happy with them. They're really proactive, they're on top of their game, and they're a pleasure to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never miss deadlines and are patient with our frontend developers when something needs to be fixed. They are clear on time of delivery and testing.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I've never had problems with not understanding an invoice.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They wrote hundreds of ads for us right off the bat with little input. We've never had one issue come back.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    – I would be very likely to refer them. I've brought them up with other peers.