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Celebrated Partner Spotlight: 1UP Digital Marketing

Text Microsoft Advertising Partner Celebration, Recognizing our Partner Tier written over a blue background.

Have you ever wondered what makes a Microsoft Advertising Celebrated Partner special? How they utilize Microsoft Advertising to drive business and reach new customers, or what their company culture and vision looks like? We caught up with 1UP Digital marketing, our Canadian Celebrated Partner for April 2022, to get an inside look at the amazing work that earned them this exclusive title in the first place!

Celebrating our partners is an exclusive benefit of the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program where we highlight the hard work our partners have accomplished throughout the year.

You could be a Celebrated Partner too—apply to enroll in the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program for a chance to become a Celebrated Partner when our next round of nominations opens in September of 2022.

1 UP Digital Marketing logo

A group of people posing for a photo.

We had the opportunity to interview the founder of 1UP Digital Marketing and our April 2022 Canadian Microsoft Advertising Celebrated Partner—Philip Caines.

Q: Tell us a little about 1UP Digital Marketing—history, current size, audience, and business objectives.

A: “1UP Digital Marketing is a people-focused company that aligns itself with companies and team members that care about making a positive impact on this world. We strive to be leaders for our clients, who act as fractional digital marketing managers, rather than just a disconnected agency. This gives us ownership and the desire to demonstrate results. We are growing and currently recruiting to grow our team of 11.

We work with medium-sized businesses across North America that are looking for data-driven and strategic approaches to marketing and that view their account spend as an investment and not an expense line. Our ideal engagements are with Senior Executives of medium businesses in the E-commerce, Technology, Tourism, or Medical industries. Our objective is to be carbon-negative, have a zealous, and diverse team from around the world who are making a positive impact, and serve small and medium businesses with top-level digital marketing services.”

Q: What is 1UP Digital Marketing’s vision, mission, or specialization?

A: “Our purpose is to be a people-first organization that makes a positive impact and helps people achieve great goals.”

Q: What product features offered by Microsoft Advertising do you rely on the most to achieve your vision?

A: “Our vision of helping people achieve great goals also means helping our clients achieve their goals. For the majority of our clients running ads in Microsoft Advertising, that means leveraging Microsoft Search and Microsoft Audience Network ads to gain meaningful conversions at a manageable cost. Being able to set conversion actions and use target CPA or maximize conversion bid strategies is really valuable because it helps minimize wasted spend for our clients. Elsewhere, the team at 1UP love using Microsoft Clarity for greater behavioral insights, and we’ve encouraged many of our clients to move away from more expensive, site-slowing solutions in favor of Clarity’s excellent heat mapping and recording tool. So that helps us leave a positive impact!”

Q: How has Microsoft Advertising been able to help you reach new customers and grow your business?

A: “For our clients, it’s being able to run ads across the Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo networks, particularly with the US market. That allows them to reach audiences in different places. Coupled with this, the ability to target by job function, industry, or by specified company lists has been incredibly valuable not just for 1UP’s own marketing efforts but for clients, particularly for our B2B ones. It not only helps them reach new customers, but the right ones—and that can help align with other marketing efforts across LinkedIn.”

Q: What impact on your business have you been able to drive with Microsoft Advertising?

A: “The impact for us has been twofold: On the one hand, using Microsoft Advertising has helped keep our team at the forefront of digital advertising efforts, as Microsoft Advertising is frequently rolling out new functions and features, and it stops us from becoming too siloed and reliant on one advertising platform. Secondly, as we’ve seen success in Microsoft Advertising ads for our clients, that has given the confidence for other clients to add Microsoft Advertising ads to their marketing strategy. These two components combined have strengthened our ability to pitch for diversified advertising opportunities with potential clients.”

Q: How does 1UP Digital Marketing embody inclusivity and giving?

A: “Inclusivity is a component of our core value of making a positive impact. We strive to challenge our assumptions and always be learning of ways that we can improve, knowing that inclusivity is not a checklist item, but more of an evolving philosophy that needs to be a central tenet of our businesses. While we are a boutique agency, some concrete things that we do include reviewing inclusivity values with every team member when they join the team, checking to see if there are any unique holidays that are important for team members, learning about any special dietary considerations for company events, and regularly asking for feedback about the employee experience in our organization.

Giving is another aspect of our core value of making a positive impact. Some examples of giving come from our team’s positive impact projects, where we challenge our team and provide accountability for achieving goals in our lives. When we set the goals, we also choose a charity that we feel has a profound impact on the world, and this charity is set as the main benefactor for our challenge. The bonus is that if everyone in our team completes 100% of their goal, we double the donation to the charity. This acts as a real incentive to stay on track.

We also give our time, and even though we have a distributed team, we have coordinated community garbage pick-ups to help clean the areas where we live, blanket drives in the winter, and many other activities. We also plant 10 trees with One Tree Planted for every new client that we partner with to give a legacy of positive impact with our shared success.”

Q: How have you adapted to recent changes in consumer trends brought about by COVID-19?

A: “We have seen significant changes in consumer behavior over the last 3 years. As tourism is a major sector for us, we empathized with our tourism clients during the dramatic downturn in business by significantly discounting our services for this industry with the hope that we could continue to help them build resources that would help them bounce back when things opened up again. This plan has worked, with clients reporting that they are seeing numbers that are greater than their pre-pandemic numbers, which is awesome!”

Q: Has your digital marketing strategy changed since the pandemic?

A: “Our digital marketing strategy pivoted during the pandemic in an unusual way. We stopped. We stopped trying to spread ourselves as wide and far as possible and focused on the relationships we have with our existing clients. We helped them either survive or thrive depending on their industry. We stopped over-stretching our team and implemented a number of initiatives to help grow our internal team's well-being including adding no-meeting and flex Fridays as well as access to the Calm meditation app. Growing our client’s and internal team’s success helped us not only with retention but also created advocates who helped us grow our client roster and team in an organic fashion.”

The 1UP Digital Marketing team posing for a photo in front of trees.

Thank you to Philip Caines and the 1UP Digital Marketing team for showing us how their drive for results, in combination with Microsoft Advertising, helps customers succeed in a rapidly changing digital marketplace! Don’t miss out on any of our other spotlighted partners in the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand as well as upcoming events for partners on every tier.

If you haven’t enrolled in the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program yet, make sure that you apply at so you’re eligible for the next round.

If you’re an enrolled partner, stay connected with us and up to speed on all things partner-related by joining the Microsoft Advertising Partner Community on LinkedIn.

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