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Beth Quigley (Wolfgang Digital): ‘The reduced control marketers have because of AI is not necessarily a negative change’

15 March 2023

None other than Beth Quigley, Head of Growth at Wolfgang Digital, will be speaking at Friends of Search Fest 2023 on March 23 in Amsterdam. We got the chance to talk with her beforehand about the agency she works at, the increasing use of AI, and the developing of their first-party data offering.

We are very much looking forward to having you speak on Friends of Search. Is there anything on Friends of Search that YOU are specifically looking forward to?

Thanks for having us, we’re really looking forward to coming over to Amsterdam and taking part in such a stellar line up! Fred Vallaeys has been a hero of ours at Wolfgang for some time now so we’ll definitely be checking out his talk on ChatGPT and Bard. Our PPC team has already been experimenting with these AI tools so it will be interesting to see what additional ideas Fred has. Looks like there’s a nice variety of SEO talks scheduled too so we’ll definitely be heading along to some of those.

For those who are not familiar with Wolfgang Digital: what makes Wolfgang Digital stand out as a digital media agency? What are you guys doing differently?

Although we started out as a PPC agency and are well regarded in the search world, we became full service as the industry evolved, and I think we stand out more today for our integrated work across search, social and email which has been the driver of most of our award wins in recent years. We invest a lot of time in training, upskilling, knowledge-sharing and collaboration across the agency and this shows in the results we deliver for our clients.

As a performance agency we are laser-focused on driving results – We become strategic partners with our clients so that we are effectively another arm of their marketing team, making sure we really understand their business and goals at the outset to help them achieve their growth ambitions. I don’t know of many agencies out there that get as close to their clients as we do!

The title of your presentation is ROAS is Killing Your Growth!!!. Could you give us a sneak preview of what your presentation will be about?

Our talk takes a good hard look at the ROAS metric that our industry is obsessed with, and challenges how having too much of a focus on short-term ROAS and efficiency can stifle business growth. We introduce some long-term growth measures we’ve been using at Wolfgang that we feel more brands should be factoring into their KPI setting and reporting, and finish with some case studies to demonstrate the impact this has had for some of our own clients.

This year we will host Friends of Search for the 10th time. Looking back to 10 years of Search Marketing, what do you consider the biggest changes in the Search industry?

The obvious one on everyone’s mind at the moment is how AI is going to change the search landscape, and if Bing will eat into Google’s market dominance following the launch of Chat GPT – that battle seems to only really be getting going.

We have been experiencing the increased use of AI in Google Ads over the last number of years however, and the reduced control marketers now have there. I don’t think this is necessarily a negative change though. When I started in Wolfgang as an AdWords trainee back in 2014, the majority of my time was spent doing keyword and bid optimisations, and scrutinising search term reports. Now, our Google Ads execs are spending most of their time building client relationships and doing much more interesting things like business strategy and consulting, creative testing, and advanced business data integrations.

The increased use of AI is without a doubt the biggest change we’ve seen, and this is only going to increase more, but I think our jobs are going to get more exciting because of it!

Wolfgang Digital is a frontrunner agency in the world of digital marketing. What are one or two of the hottest topics for you to develop on?

One of the biggest areas we are developing at the moment is our first party data offering. With the death of cookies on the horizon (how much longer do we have to keep saying this…?), we know our clients (and Google) are going to rely on owned data and owned audiences so much more to drive results. We launched our email service a few years ago in response to the changes in the industry and we’ve seen phenomenal demand and success with it so far. We know there is so much more we can be doing in this area outside of just executing great email campaigns however, and so this is an area we are currently expanding.

Aside from this, the one area of marketing the machines can’t take away from us (for now…) is creative, so we are looking at a new creative offering that focuses on short-form video. So watch this space!

Beth will be speaking at Friends of Search Fest on March 23 in the Kromhouthal in Amsterdam. Come check out her talk and get your tickets at:

Author: Danny van Schooten