How digital agency OIKIO uses automation to work ‘smarter’ for its clients

Sami Norovuori / November 2019

Data is everywhere. The online world alone generates an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes every single day1. And with ever-changing consumer behaviour, we’re on course to create even more. But the sheer amount of data makes it difficult to uncover actionable business insights.

Automation is doing its part to help make the workload lighter, but experienced teams are still needed in order to use the tool in an efficient way. So knowing how and when to use the tools is vital. That’s something Juha Viherväs, founding partner and Head of PPC at OIKIO Digital Performance Agency, understands.

“We don’t believe in making things ‘easier’, we avoid the term. But we do believe in working smarter,” says Viherväs.

The Finnish agency partners with clients to improve online campaigns with data and a strategy that focuses on innovation, transparency and machine learning. And with good reason — research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that businesses that use a data-driven approach can save up to 30% in cost efficiency and increase revenue by 20%2.

Starting with an open approach

OIKIO says it all starts with transparency. “We saw that companies were struggling to get involved with their digital marketing because they couldn’t fully grasp the mechanics.”

To bridge the gap, the agency set out to help clients understand more. “We aim to take the mystery out of performance marketing,” adds Viherväs. “It doesn’t have to be a black box.”

Openly discussing strategy and displaying data in a digestible way, without the jargon and unnecessary detail, allows marketers to be more engaged with their activities and feel open to trying new approaches. And that’s just the beginning.

Bringing machine learning into the mix

To focus on “smarter” work, OIKIO uses machine learning and automation to outsource certain tasks. It lets the algorithms do the heavy lifting so they save time on manual bidding and optimisations ⁠— something they can’t effectively oversee across all accounts day to day. This approach allows specialists to focus their time on strategy and innovation.

“OptiScore is on the smart side,” explains Viherväs. Google Ads Optimisation Score (OptiScore) helps marketers pinpoint missed opportunities in paid search ads. Scores run from 0% to 100% and the tool provides recommendations for optimising campaigns.

Optiscore’s suggestions help marketers make the most of their paid search activities. But not all recommendations may fully align with the company’s specific business goals, so users can accept or reject them as they see fit.

Pinpointing improvement with OptiScore

Forenom, a leading Nordic serviced apartment provider, came to OIKIO in June 2017 eager to grow. The company serves over 200,000 travellers every year and offers 7,800 accommodations in all major Scandinavian cities.

The agency worked with Forenom to establish how they could use Search to help them achieve their objectives. “It’s not about one-way reporting, but rather discussing new ideas and exchanging information,” says Viherväs.

With constantly changing complex accounts, they chose the OptiScore tool to monitor any opportunities that would help optimise on a day-to-day basis. The score gives a quick, estimated impact of the recommendation on overall campaign metrics.

OIKIO took their campaign management even further by building customised scripts of their own to optimise according to Forenom's inventory levels. In addition, they used Smart Bidding to reach and understand the users more likely to book an apartment.

“We believe Smart Bidding benefits from having additional supporting automations to go along with it," says Viherväs. By infusing the client's backend data with Smart Bidding, they were able to create a more predictive model and bring in more reservations.

Forenom hit new records in paid search performance, with revenue from Google Ads increasing 112% YoY and ROAS by 71%. “The insights OIKIO brings to the table are a big help when deciding what actions we want to take next,” explains Michael Huotari, Head of Web Sales at Forenom. “Being visible in search is crucial for our business, and together we continue to optimise for impressive results.”

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