15 Years of Profit-Driven Marketing

In 2003, Google was still a scrappy startup, digital marketing largely meant Search or un-tracked banner ads, and Working Planet co-founders Soren Ryherd and Vida Jakabhazy had an idea that paid digital advertising could be optimized to financial KPIs.

We were a little early.

While Working Planet began rapidly building and optimizing digital campaigns it wasn’t until the economic downturn of 2007-2008 that CMOs really began being tasked with the financial performance of their digital campaigns. And as hindsight clearly shows, digital quickly became the safe haven for investment in marketing because it had three things that companies loved: trackability, the ability to easily change budget allocations, and a platform for rapid testing.

But we pushed it further from Day One. We stated that, done right, financial KPIs were not only an outcome of marketing, but a key INPUT into the optimization to profitability. If you knew the value of an audience as measured in real profitability, then you could pay only what an audience is worth. Of all the amazing transformations in digital over the last decade and a half, the thing that amazes us the most is that people still talk about “The ROI of digital” as if it were fixed, when the ROI from digital is 100% based on the choices you make in the execution and optimization of digital campaigns.

Throughout the last 15 years, we’ve been quietly pushing the curve, developing new practices to apply financially-based optimization to all digital marketing. What started in Search has evolved as the industry has evolved, and we now manage substantial ad spend in Search, Social, Display, Retargeting, Programmatic, Video, and more. We’re excited about the ongoing rapid migration of radio and television to the Programmatic exchanges and are managing campaigns in those areas as well.

We are exceedingly proud of our history. We have been part of so many success stories. From small companies that have become large significant players in their industry, to clients that have been acquired after we achieved successful results for their founders (and investors), to our serial entrepreneurs who have brought us along for the ride in their subsequent ventures, we have been privileged to work with a wide variety of amazing people and organizations. And we cannot overlook the increasing number of professional marketers and business executives we have now worked with at multiple companies. We’re very happy to be their secret weapon.

We are also very proud of our team, the Working Planet family of current and former Planeteers who have worked to create something special in the industry: a marketing agency whose teams see the tangible results of their work every day as measured in the real financial success of their clients. The Working Planet teams bring passion, enthusiasm, and curiosity every single day and working with a talented and curious group of smart individuals is as satisfying an experience as one can have as marketers and business owners.

So what is next for Working Planet? Expect to see more from us. We want to share more about what we firmly believe is the right way to do marketing. We continue to grow and have big plans on that front, both in growing the size of our firm and growing the scope and success of our clients. And we continue to keep a close eye on the industry, using our embedded approaches to innovation and measurement to find new opportunities as all of digital marketing continues to evolve. Holographic advertising you say? Bring it.

Soren Ryherd & Vida Jakabhazy July 2018