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Take Some Risk: A business model that pays off

  Article , Tech and telecom , Success stories

Discover how this agency uses Bing Ads to grow client businesses

An agency leading by example

 

Take Some Risk agency helps clients innovate with a healthy dose of risk

In the world of entrepreneurialism, risk-taking is a key component to getting a startup off the ground. For Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy at Take Some Risk, Inc., it’s not only the action he’s taken — it’s the name of his company. Founded in 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, his advertising agency is inspiring clients to take some calculated risks themselves. As a result, with the help of Bing Ads, they’re reaching a larger, qualified audience and growing their businesses.

Leap of faith

A self-described nomad, Brown has worked in agencies all over the world, including the U.K. and Australia. “A lot of what I've liked about my career,” notes Brown, “is the variety that comes from working with different industries, verticals and cultures.” But over time, something shifted, and he realized he had two options: stay in a comfortable job or quit and set out on his own. “I felt like life is short, I had to go for it. I say, ‘If something scares you, do it.’ I named my company Take Some Risk because, honestly, it's a lot harder to go out on your own,” Brown shares. “You’re not assured a steady paycheck, you've got to convince clients to hire you, plus you have all the back-end business. I took a risk, and I’m so glad I did.”

I named my company Take Some Risk because, honestly, it's a lot harder to go out on your own. You’re not assured a steady paycheck, you've got to convince clients to hire you, plus you have all the back-end business. I took a risk, and I’m so glad I did.

— Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy, Take Some Risk, Inc.

Risky business

Headshot of Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy at Take Some Risk, Inc.

Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy, Take Some Risk, Inc.

“I love what I do, but I’ll be honest: There are days I want to bang my head against the wall. Starting a company isn’t 100% flowers, lollipops and glitter,” Brown says. “It’s a lot of hard work. Last year I said yes to everything, which led to being really burned out. Some days my job is stressful and frustrating.” But Brown says some days are amazing.

“What I love about my job is the nerdy part — playing with technology,” he says. “I love helping clients figure out how to make more money or solve problems. My clients know that working with me will get them what they want, but they've got to be willing to jump off a cliff with me sometimes.”

Most of his clients face similar challenges. The biggest? Acquiring new customers and increasing their revenue and conversion rate. Brown is always working on how to increase engagement for his clients. “Sometimes the challenge I see,” shares Brown, “is that clients think, ‘If I build it, they will come.’ They haven't really thought about how they're going to position the product in the market. They hire us to help figure that out. Then I translate that into a search strategy with Bing Ads.”

Sometimes the challenge I see is that clients think, ‘If I build it, they will come.’ They haven't really thought about how they're going to position the product in the market. They hire us to help figure that out. Then I translate that into a search strategy with Bing Ads.

— Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy, Take Some Risk, Inc.

Calculated risks

Most of Brown’s clients are searching for qualified leads and increased conversions to grow their business. To help them achieve their goals, Brown offers marketing strategies and effective solutions. “One of the consistent game changers is introducing them to Bing Ads,” Brown shares. “It's easy to inspire my clients to try Bing Ads. I tell them they can spend all their money on one channel, but their customers don't spend all their online time in one place. Looking back at the last 10 years of using Bing Ads for clients across North America and when I lived in London, U.K., most clients see a 10%-20% increase in customers and revenue when we onboard them to Bing Ads or scale up what they’re already doing on the platform. This has been true for clients in a variety of industries from e-commerce to SaaS and even B2B and technology brands.” When his clients realize there’s a large, untapped audience on the Bing Network, they get excited. “Being able to reach people you can’t find with other platforms, including an older audience on Bing, is a big deal,” Brown says. “To me, adding Bing Ads to the mix is like pouring gasoline on the fire — it helps a business grow. I look forward to sharing that with my clients.”

Flowers, lollipops and glitter

Brown uses Bing Ads to help clients get more customers at a lower cost . “I love Bing Ads,” he shares. “The first thing I ask a new client, whether they’re in the U.S., U.K. or Canada, is if they’re using Bing Ads. If not, we give it a shot. For me, Bing Ads is a no-brainer. There's less competition, the cost per acquisition (CPA) is less expensive, and we can work toward converting more customers at a lower cost.”

One of the things Brown appreciates is its ease of use. “I love that I can easily import campaigns from Google AdWords without creating any extra work for me, and there's consistency across ad platforms,” Brown says. It saves time, allowing him to think strategically about what else he can do on Bing Ads that he can’t do on other platforms. “The other day I set up an ad with Image Extensions for a client, which was amazing. The ease of adding images of the product to their ad, testing it and having it immediately improve the click-through rate and conversion rate is really exciting.”

For one U.S. B2B client, Brown restructured their accounts on Google AdWords and Bing Ads. “What shocked me,” Brown says, “is that I was pretty sure the Bing Ads campaign would do well, but it’s completely outperforming the campaign on Google AdWords.” The campaign reaches more people on the Bing Network, and they're converting at the same CPA as searchers on Google. “People go to Google as a default, but the Bing Network audience is shocking me,” Brown says. “Another e-commerce client in New York fired its agency and hired us. I immediately lowered the cost to acquire a customer by 7% because we spent time testing ad copy and images on Bing Ads, which was new for them.” Now Brown wants to double down on Bing Ads for his clients. “There’s something going on with the Bing Network audience that I've not seen anywhere else,” Brown says. “The Bing Network audience searches, clicks on the ad and converts at a higher rate.”

Even though this travel-loving entrepreneur is spending more time in Vancouver and on the West Coast to build his business, he’s looking forward to adding some travel adventures back into the mix. “If we keep growing the way I want to,” Brown says, “I hope by next year we’ll have a third person working with us and enough money in the bank. This would allow me to go after speaking engagements and conferences in interesting places like Hong Kong; I would love to speak at a conference there next year.”

Taking some risk is a life philosophy that’s clearly paying off for Brown, both in his business and personal life. “Taking some risk is just another way of saying believe in yourself or your idea. Be willing to go out on a limb and go for what you want.”

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View or save the infographic recap to see how Take Some Risk, Inc. used Bing Ads to help clients increase their conversion rate and drive revenue.

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