The Plum Tree Group: Optimizing Every Last Dollar of Your Advertising Spend

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Daniel Townsend, Founding Partner & Managing Director
This July, Alphabet, Google’s parent-company, marked its first quarterly year-over-year revenue decline in the company’s history. As a significant moment, it pointed to just how much COVID-19 had slowed economic growth, propelling advertisers to pull back spending during the quarter.

In these uncertain times, businesses are seeing lesser web traffic and even fewer visits to their brick and mortar stores. Add to that, consumers are being conservative with their ad spending.

Clearly, a company has minimal margin for error with its advertising expenditure and must treat conversion as its highest priority. In this regard, The Plum Tree Group, a global digital agency that excels in the conversion of “initial visitor experiences into higher level engagement,” is proving to be a productive ally to merchants and advertisers.

“Today, regardless of how much traffic they get on their website, a business should treat every visitor as a VIP. They cannot waste any of those visits or opportunities,” says Daniel Townsend, the Founding Partner and Managing Director of the Chicago-based agency that has a global presence with eight offices around the world.

So, how does The Plum Tree Group help a business make the most out of their ad spending?

The agency has four practice areas that it calls, the Centers of Excellence. While its Customer Acquisition Retention practice helps businesses acquire and retain their best customers, the Channel Optimization practice enables merchants to optimize their existing advertising channels (such as email marketing, websites, and more). The third practice, titled Marketplace Strategy, is specifically catered to clients that wish to excel on ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

And lastly, through its Strategy and Analytics practice, The Plum Tree Group understands the goals of a client and combines all its other practices to put together a 90-day plan. In doing so, it follows agile methodologies, refreshing a client’s set of strategies at every 90-day juncture.
“We have invested in our own analytics platform, and in the process, a methodology on how we uncover data, identify insights, and use them to identify innovation and change for clients. We measure all that in a very scientific way,” explains Townsend.

To elucidate the benefits of the Customer Acquisition Retention practice, Townsend cites a use case involving Charlotte Russe, a globally-renowned fashion retailer that owns several online properties. By combining SEO, SEM, and social advertising, The Plum Tree Group helped Charlotte Russe achieve a 600 percent return on its ad spend, growing its online revenue by 100 percent. “They returned $6 in revenue for every dollar spent on ads,” adds Townsend.

As for conversion optimization, The Plum Tree Group came through in flying colors while working with a national supplier of ink cartridges, which registered an industry average conversion rate of 2.5 percent before Townsend and his team stepped in. The Plum Tree Group performed a series of experiments to test various designs and user experiences. Today, the cartridge supplier is converting visitors at 6.5 percent, enjoying a 300 percent increase.

The case studies are a testament to The Plum Tree Group treating each client uniquely, in a way that merchants succeed in creating differentiating experiences for every visitor—be it existing or new. Townsend notes that “taking care of existing customers” goes a long way in a business converting a customer into an avid fan who refers new visitors. This strategy, he says, is just as critical to a business as converting initial visitor experiences into higher-level engagement.

It is evident that a promising future awaits The Plum Tree Group, which is slowly but surely morphing into “an experience company” rather than a traditional agency focused on customer relationship management. “What we’re shifting into, is an ecommerce experience company, or digital experience company, that explores various ways to partner with customers in a venture capacity,” says Townsend, citing the example of a company that has a solid base of operations but has been hit hard by COVID-19. “How do we invest in their business? How do we look at performance-based models that take in today’s economic state? These are the nontraditional methods that we’re focused on,” concludes Townsend.

The Plum Tree Group

Chicago, IL

Daniel Townsend, Founding Partner & Managing Director

The Plum Tree Group is a global digital agency that excels in the conversion of initial visitor experiences into higher level engagement, helping advertisers make the most out of their spending. The company helps brands design, build and bring to market products, services and experiences in the digital channel. The agency has four practice areas that it calls, the Centers of Excellence—Customer Acquisition Retention, Channel Optimization, Marketplace Strategy, and Strategy and Analytics. The Plum Tree Group treats each client uniquely, in a way that merchants succeed in creating differentiating experiences for every visitor—be it existing or new

The Plum Tree Group