In September, we announced the winners and finalists of the Microsoft Advertising Partner Celebration. Now, we want to put these Celebrated Partners in the spotlight. We interviewed the seven winners to get an inside look on these companies, their history, objectives, partnership with Microsoft Advertising and more.
Microsoft Advertising Celebrated Partner, US — Statwax
Brian Walker, President - Statwax
Microsoft Advertising: Tell us about your company — its history, and current objectives.
Statwax was founded in 2015 after splitting off from our sister agency into a standalone digital-only firm. We have always been focused on digital advertising, but over the years have expanded our core services to include Data & Analytics, SEO, and CRO. Today we have employees in two offices — our headquarters just outside Indianapolis, Indiana and an office in Dallas, Texas. Since the beginning, Statwax has focused primarily on higher education clients, bringing new digital strategies and innovative analysis to the constant challenge of student acquisition for some of the nation’s largest education institutions. In recent years we have also expanded our focus into customer acquisition, helping B2B and SaaS companies acquire more customers for a better marketing cost, and using our data expertise to provide a roadmap for digital success.
What is your company’s vision/mission/specialization?
Our mission is to be the most trusted partner for our clients and for all businesses in our space. Trust, transparency, and true relationship-building are often missing in the advertising world. We want our clients to feel like Statwax has been a part of their business and families since the beginning. And we do that with an honest, passionate approach to our work. Statwax does not try to occupy every lane and dominate every marketing concept. We know our specialties, and our goal is to be the foremost experts in those specialties and in the higher education and B2B spaces.
Valuing everyone’s authentic selves, building transparency and trust both inside and outside of our offices, and pushing each other to never stop learning are all values ingrained in every member of Statwax. And in turn we share those values with our clients, and push each other to constantly be growing.
What product features offered by Microsoft Advertising do you rely on the most to achieve your vision?
Microsoft Advertising’s UET tagging and offline conversions are major areas of focus for the Statwax ads teams. Much of the success that digital drives for our clients occurs offline — a prospective student ends up enrolling months later, or a new business lead signs a contract renewal the following year. Offline conversions give us the ability to integrate offline actions, usually tracked in a CRM system, with online behaviors such as search campaigns. Being able to attribute individual keywords or audiences to eventual offline wins is huge for our clients, and provides a level of performance measurement and attribution that many clients have never been able to see before.
How does your company embody inclusivity and giving?
Our goal has been to create an environment that is welcoming and encouraging of varied perspectives, experiences, and types of people. We have done this through setting up our internal culture team, Statwax Squad. The Squad drives efforts on professional development, volunteering, company events, and office environment and inclusion. This group holds us all accountable — from the executive level on down — to adhering to our core values and principles across those four culture pillars. We believe that enabling everyone to have a voice across the organization, through means like the Squad, helps us to have a culture that evolves as our team does. We have focused on a participative environment that is co-created with our team members. Through transparent discussions with our team, paid volunteer time off, learning stipends, and intentional hiring and promotional practices we believe we are living out our core values and demonstrating them to our team and clients daily.
How have you adapted to recent changes in consumer trends brought about by COVID-19?
COVID-19 has greatly upended our primary client vertical of higher education. Schools are shifting focus to online learning, seeing enrollment trends change daily, and facing financial strain both as institutions and from their students. Throughout the pandemic, Statwax has strived to be an understanding partner of all impacted schools, helping keep them informed of changing enrollment trends and insights.
We have created a hub of news and recommendations specifically for higher ed marketing during COVID-19. Our goal, as always, has focused on being more than just a marketing agency for our clients. We are a partner in every sense, and that goes beyond just providing digital advertising insights at certain times. Throughout COVID-19, we have adapted by changing the very nature of how we do business with existing and new clients. We’ve implemented new project management and communication tools and processes to help adapt to work-from-home schedules and technology constraints. We’ve adjusted how we produce thought leadership, to help non-client schools answer pressing questions about their own marketing and learn new insights based on what we’re seeing in the industry. And we have done more to keep our finger on the pulse of how behaviors are changing, so that we can keep our clients ahead of the curve. This includes more meetings with thought leaders in the space, participation in national panels and studies, and increased work directly with various teams at client schools to better understand what patterns they are seeing.
How has the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program and it’s benefits helped your business?
More so now than ever before, being part of the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program has been extremely helpful. The industry, like everyone, is dealing with so much unknown and constantly changing trends right now. Having a partnership program of like-minded folks and thought leaders has helped ensure that we have new information, ideas, and advice at our fingertips. Many of the community events/webinars/discussions have helped share our own knowledge while also gleaning so much helpful advice to continue growing and improving even during such a difficult time. Beyond that, being able to build better relationships with the team at Microsoft has been a benefit. We’ve started exploring and using many more advanced ad features thanks to the guidance and help that have come from this program, and our clients have been direct recipients of this as well.
Congratulations to Statwax and a huge thank you to all those that submitted nominations. Don’t miss our spotlights on Celebrated Partners from the UK, Canada, France, Australia, Nethernlands and Germany! The next round of nominations for Microsoft Advertising Celebrated Partners will be accepted April 5-15, 2021.
If you haven’t enrolled in the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program yet, make sure that you apply at microsoftadvertisingpartners.com 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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