Oxford Road is the fastest growing agency in the world of consumer tech, offering customer acquisition through data-driven media placement on channels like TV, Radio, and Podcast.

Whether you are looking to test and scale new offline and emerging audio and video channels or are looking to improve performance on existing or emerging channels, we are here to help. Regardless of your path, you need the ads to work. You need to spend as little as possible to test new channels, and you need them to scale. Fortunately for you, we have over 100 million dollars worth of case studies, our data set has elephantiasis, and our team is good at math. And behold: Math trumps creativity 10 times out of 10. At Oxford Road we don’t chase “big ideas” and we don’t chase the media channels just because your friends watch them. We chose clients whose product is the big idea, taking very measured steps to minimize risk an maximize gains. Fill out a contact form to schedule a free demo of our services.  If it’s not a fit, we’ll tell you quickly.  And if you are a fit, we might change your life, or completely change the course of your business.  It wouldn’t be our first time.

Service HomeWhen I go to a restaurant, I want my beverages refilled without me having to ask.

When I call for a car, I’ll provide my destination, but I don’t want to be asked by the driver for directions on how to get there.

And so it should be with our service. We should learn early on where you were trying to go, and then it is incumbent on us to design plans and move you through such plans in order to get you to your destination in the best way.

We calibrate our services around client goals rather than chasing appeasement. This sometimes makes us less interesting to middle managers who are seeking job security or compliments rather than revolution.

Our client is always wrong. Overstatement. Tech clients are usually very smart and generally value learning over being right. But if you know more than we do, you should fire us. Either do it yourself or find an agency that knows better than you.

Brains are often the Achilles heel of tech marketers. They are generally very smart. Top of their class at a prestigious university. They know they are smart. They are often millennialist so their parents agree with them and tell them so. They’ve been met with early success in one area or another. Hubris abounds.

Now it’s time to move from the safer worlds of SEO, SEM, Facebook, to the murkier worlds of offline where everything is more expensive and you are guaranteed nothing but impressions. It’s more expensive. You won’t crack it with a $10k, 2 week test. Don’t poop your pants. Deal with it. Raise money if needed, but test properly. Most scalable channels will cost $100k+ to test well. If TV, more likely $300K+. There’s no right figure and it always depends. For us, we try to structure tests so they are as cheap as possible, but not so cheap that they cannot work.

If you come to us, I beg you, come with something to learn. Do not prescribe tactics to your agency. Do your homework. Make your reference calls. But if you do choose us, or anyone else for that matter, sign the check and let it go.

But what if it doesn’t work? That does happen. Even at our agency. I’d estimate that we survive the test and move to scale 80%+ of the time. But sometimes it does miss. Here are the questions used in an autopsy:

  1. Am I properly attributing response in my analytics?
  2. Was my media executed properly?
  3. Was my creative executed properly?
  4. Do I have a product problem?

Re 4, more often than operator error, we encounter misses because a marketer overestimated the value of his product in the marketplace. We are not spin doctors. Advertising should be a game of, “mirror mirror on the wall…”. If you don’t like the mirror’s answer, then take a closer look inside thyself.

For more on how we deal with 1-3, please join us on the respective tabs.

Analytics HomeAnalytics. Analytics. I hate how much I care about analytics. You’ve got a data scientist. We’ve got a data scientist. Our data scientist can beat up your data scientist. Probably true, by the way. Because his brain can reach out from his ears and smash your data scientist’s face.
Anywho.  How did we get into this pissing match? After all, we’re just talking about commercials. But people need report cards and those report cards should tell you your percent to goal. And as much as I hate things that are fashionable, the data does matter, at least as much as everyone says it does. At Oxford Road, Analytics should give you two things: Clarity and Directions.

Clarity results from a combination of directly tying spend to undeniable direct response, in addition to applying best practices in attribution to tell you, “Which half of your ads are working”. This can be done in many ways that vary by media type and a host of other factors. We can talk at length about our attribution methodologies for TV, Radio, Influencer, etc. But I’d prefer to do so in a private meeting rather than a public forum such as this, so as not to expose too much of our secret saucery. Thank you for respecting my boundaries on this issue.

Directions means that data doesn’t just say, “Here’s what it is”. It actually tells you what to do next. Our process is to compile all case studies from all clients and make specific recommendations on allowable CPM by channel, in a dynamic environment; in order to exceed KPI’s against a target. Like Waze for media buying. This is how we do our media planning today, but oh, if you could see what the platform will look like tomorrow!

Look, we’re a subscription business. Most likely, you are too. We make our money through commissions based on media spend. We try not to nickel and dime clients on bells and whistles. I’d rather exceed your KPI’s, pass through the ancillary costs, and eek out a profit for the service. Maybe one day I’ll get talked out of that model and start nickel and diming like the rest of the scoundrels in this business.

Here’s your problem. You probably don’t work with us. So you call somebody else and tell them you want to make money when you buy ads. You need customers. If it works, you’ll spend more. The poor sap on the other side of the phone gets excited. He believes you. He wants to help. So they do like saps do, and ask you about your customer profile. Then they try to match you with an audience that reaches that profile, excited because they are optimists and it feels like such a good fit. You ask your friends, you tell the board about your new acquisition strategy, you buy the schedule. And the customers don’t come.

But that audience was perfect! We did everything right. We got the best rates. The messaging was just like what works in our display creative! I get it. But here’s the problem. An audience can look perfect on paper, and the audience surveys can tell you it’s exactly where you need to be. And then you line it up against another audience that doesn’t look like it’s as good a match, and that one kicks the crap out of the one that was a glove fit. Even though it shouldn’t. Media doesn’t work that way. Two identical networks with the same indexing and CPM against your target can both give you wildly different results.

Now you see why we don’t do media planning based on audience demographics. Sure, we look at them. We subscribe to them. But it’s only a small part of the story. What we ask is, “Who has been there before us, who measures response like us, who bought and returned?”  Do we have an in house case study?  If not, let’s do some reference calls. We don’t do audience research based planning. We do market based planning with actual case studies.

This makes our batting averages with new tests beyond compare. If we have 3 case studies that match your customer profile that worked with a similar execution and your deal doesn’t work, you probably have a product problem. We don’t get creative. We don’t get emotional. We look at the data, and then paint by numbers. Media is basically a math problem. All of it works at a price, but you need the precedent of case studies to know what that price is at which it will work, in order to test without significant risk.

Then, we scale. Because with our clients, when they say, “If it works, we’ll spend more.” They actually mean it. So we test, optimize, and scale. Test, optimize, and scale. We absorb as little risk as possible in the beginning. We never do tests within tests. Tests are incremental. First fringe, then remnant, then max frequency, then test live integrations. Step by step, rock by rock.

Once you scale, you can afford to set aside a percentage for a little R&D as you continue to explore new channels and pave new roads. But at the beginning, stand on the shoulders of the giants that already paved the way for you. Don’t test channels without case studies. This is our creed.

We’ve had clients come to us because they heard we were good with “Influencer” marketing. They’ll run a podcast test. Or a radio program. Then it works. We hit the gas. We blow out the channel. We scale into new channels. Streaming. Video On Demand. DRTV. Of all the channels, good ol’ TV is still the largest pool in terms of opportunity for growth for a performance marketer. The others might add up to 20% -at least when we’re talking about Audio or on demand video.

We don’t have a preference for one channel or another. But some channels work better for some products. Some products work in all channels. As usual, it depends. But consider this shifting media landscape as divided between Traditional and Emerging, Audio and Video. Traditional is Radio, Television. Emerging is VOD, Podcast, Streaming, YouTube, etc. Many of these allow for endorsement and are classified as Influencer Channels. We deal in all of this, but find that none beat TV as of yet. This will likely shift in the coming years as traditional consumption erodes and more audience shifts to the emerging media types. But for now, it’s still the 800 pound Orangutang, or whatever they call it.

Creative HomeIt’s like Lord of the Rings. You begin with the best of intentions. You know your job is to sell the product. But as you get closer to the process, you become intoxicated with the idea of seeing your ideas brought to life. “We need a story”. “We need the beautiful set decoration that costs us $100k”. “We need to shoot on Film”. You lose your objectivity. You forget about the core mission of the work. You turn into Smeagol.

Many otherwise good men and women have fallen victim to this siren song. We have to fight it too. We must resist.

This is not Mad Men. We have no Don Draper here. And we’re not looking for the “Big Idea”. We pick clients whose product IS the big idea. Many agencies don’t discern between clients with good and bad products. They find themselves constantly putting lipstick on pigs. To us, your product is everything.

When Michelangelo created David, he had to accept a commission on a block of Marble that had been abandoned by two other artists, decades before he began his work. They believed they could not make a statue with the “flawed” material provided. Michelangelo, the tenacious bastard, believed that David was in the block the whole time. It was his work to unearth the statue, rather than create something. He was to reveal what had been there all along.

I jest about many things. But on this I am deadly serious. Our clients have created something beautiful. We are not here to demonstrate artistry. We are here to reveal the true beauty of the products we represent. Then we showcase them and shine the brightest light we can on them, so that the world can see the truth of what has been created.

In our quest to reveal the truth of what has been created, we have some tactics that are worth noting.

One is that we make our money on media, not on creative. So we do not have an agenda to have you spend a fortune on developing and ad for millions, when you can often get just as far for tens of thousands. There is no correlation between dollars spent on ads and actual ad performance. This is not an important issue until you get into television. Then the stakes go up, the dollars go up, and egos come out of the woodwork. Things become political. Brand becomes a topic like never before. There are ways to ways to achieve measurable response while keeping the brand in tact, but it is our job to guide you away from The Ring.

Because we urge production at a low cost, we also urge a practice we call, ABT – Always Be Testing. No one knows what will pull or how. So don’t marry an execution in any channel. Start with the best you can do, and then iterate. Our team is tasked with having a list of A/B tests so we can continually run head to head comparisons of one version or another. This process is never ending, but always leads to better results. The fear is that when you spend Millions on a TV spot, you are married to it. Especially when you are new in a channel, we advise our clients to stay loose. Let us iterate and optimize, forever and ever, Amen.

And then there’s Audiolytics:  

What is Audiolytics™? We made it up. It is our own proprietary system for identifying 30 Primary elements of an ad campaign, based on the weight, performance, and our ability to influence that element. These are the levers we have to pull in a campaign. We have formulas that create a score for each of the 30 elements and guides us to know which to optimize and in what order, along with who is the primary influencer of the element. Could be you, us, or the talent reading the ad. We have seen performance for some campaigns improve by 500 percent by following this formula. And with every new client and campaign, we get more intelligence about how to maneuver each element for the next one. These best practices allow us to exceed client KPI’s in a very short amount of time. We would be glad to demonstrate the system.  We also optimize our channels in a similar fashion, so we can evaluate them based on reach, relevance, and resonance between media and audience. But we haven’t trademarked any fancy words for that process yet, so please bear with us. Fortunately, while we are trademark and patent pending, we can still use our channel optimization process to help you get thousands of customers a week, if that’s something you might be interested in.

Case Studies HomeOf course you want to see the case studies. Case studies are like porn for any marketer worth their salt. But no, I’m not going to show them to you. What do you mean, why? Because if they were your company’s case studies, you wouldn’t want me posting them all over the interwebs for your competitors to feast on. Furthermore, you would lose respect for our agency if we were that indiscreet with our clients’ sensitive data and you would always wonder if we would be equally indiscreet with your own. Worse yet, we could be like so many companies that share vague case studies that don’t actually speak to CPA or ROI, but instead talk about how happy a client was or how cool they thought their promotion to be. Gross. Well, I’m not here to waste your time, clearly. And out of respect for our clients, and your own sense of decency, no, we’re not going to show them to you. But if you are a fit for our company, we will provide you with references to some of our busy clients and they will share their own experiences, provided you deserve to learn about them.

In addition, while I’m not going to post their case studies, I will have you know that we do have them. And that is a big deal. Because we deal with hundreds of channels at a time and see weekly CPA by channel for Podcast, YouTube, Radio, and TV, we have an incredible perspective on what works where for whom. And the best part of this is that we are seeing tremendous reliability in one case study’s ability to translate to similar results for other clients with similar targets.

Example. We have about half a dozen different clients selling SAAS subscriptions to entrepreneurs. So when we see one channel perform for a client, that’s R&D for the rest and they typically all benefit equally, once we get a good case study. So there is a collective intelligence component that allows us to become like a future-predicting, case study-devouring, machine-learning monster. Another way to say it is that we have Millions of Dollars in R&D to test every channel we can find informing us before we place a buy. So, we’re not just trying to buy the right demo at a good CPM and hoping that we get lucky. This is something our clients find helpful as our margin of error on new campaigns gets smaller every week.

How are we different?

Category Other Agencies Oxford Road
Hiring Philosophy Hire from applicant pool. Hunt for the best. Don’t hire until you get butterflies.
Media Audience survey based media planning. Plan media from performance marketing case studies.
Creative Look for a clever idea to spin a product. Tell the truth about great products and get out of the way.
Optimization Wait until someone complains. Follow optimization calendar.
Production Say it costs six or even seven figures to make a TV commercial. Technology is cheap. Let’s do it for $20K!
Attitude We are the experts and we know all the answers. ABT – Always Be Testing.
Identity Pigeon hole themselves: Digital Agency, TV Agency, Influencer Agency Platform Agnostic. Run everywhere that works.
Barrier to Entry Wait until you’re big before they want to work with you. Test for cheap. Scale to the stars.
Client Selection Wait for RFPs from big brands. Would we use it? Is it disruptive? Will it scale?
Hustle Here is your annual plan. Here is the plan for next week.