Closed Loop Scoops Up Another Win for Calendly With AI In Search

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Closed Loop secures "Best Use of AI in Search Marketing" at the Search Engine Land Awards, spotlighting their AI-driven strategies, international expansion, and value-based bidding with Calendly.

Search Engine Land, a leading publication in the search marketing industry announced the winners for the 9th annual Search Engine Land Awards, with Closed Loop taking home the inaugural prize for “Best Use of AI in Search Marketing” for the agency’s work with Calendly. 

This honor comes on the heels of winning the agency’s first Google Premier Partner Award for the incredible international growth realized by utilizing new AI features within the Google Ads platform and suite of services. 

For Calendly, our advertising team focused on executing localized ad strategies to improve the international user experience and expedite launches in 16 new global markets.

Utilizing Closed Loop’s unique data technology and Google’s AI tools, we optimized to down funnel conversions quickly, which led to scalable growth.

Megan Rae, Director of Digital Advertising, leads the Calendly efforts inside of Closed Loop, highlighted the three keys to our success leveraging AI in search marketing: 

  1. AI-powered bidding strategies rapidly scaled performance, expansion into new markets, and ROAS goals. Transitioning to tROAS bidding optimized leads down funnel and led to expansion. Providing additional data to Google improved ROAS and enabled further focus on ARR. Future plans include scaling PMAX to international markets in Q3’23 to continue leveraging AI.

  2. Google’s Performance & GET Team Services were critical in forecasting performance and driving sustainable growth for international campaigns, even without historical client data. Data from Google’s AI tools boosted our confidence in campaign strategies. The GET team helped scale Non-Branded efforts with market-level keyword analysis. Their translation services localized ad components, enhancing the user experience and establishing Calendly’s authenticity. Quick campaign launches were achieved despite limited client resources.

  3. Google Market Finder assisted us in identifying international opportunities aligned with client objectives, focusing on underserved markets. With Google’s data, we made informed recommendations and expanded into untapped market areas, achieving an efficient cost per conversion. Planning and forecasting tools ensured growth with efficiency by staggered launches to drive growth without sacrificing efficiency.

The opportunity to leverage AI in driving continued growth is exciting, added Rae: “We are focused on further embracing and scaling efforts by using Google AI whenever possible, as AI acts as an efficiency tool which allows Closed Loop to gather more data, uplevel our performance and focus on high level strategy while Google’s tools, like the performance planner and localization services, help us forecast performance and continue to grow efforts across the globe.” 

Calendly CMO is All-in on AI in Value-Based Bidding

Speaking at Google Marketing Live 2023 earlier this year, Calendly CMO Jessica Gilmartin attributed international growth success to the AI in value-based bidding, noting that when we added a real conversion value into Google Ads during the first half of 2022, we far exceeded our initial ROAS goal while also increasing conversion volume.

“Working with Closed Loop enabled Calendly to execute an essential first-party data strategy to focus on our most profitable enterprise customers. After marrying our online and offline user data through site-tagging and improving internal data infrastructure, we saw the immediate value. “ said Jessica Gilmartin, CMO of Calendly. 

Gilmartin gave a concrete example of the value this effort brought to search marketing efficiency. “We saw users coming in from paid search converted at higher rates and we retained this customer set longer than those coming in organically. As a result, we made larger investments in search to funnel in more volume of high-value customers. “

Calendly was working with Closed Loop prior to Jessica Gilmartin coming on board as CMO in Q1 2023, and was immediately impressed with the joint efforts underway to execute on the company’s growth strategy. 

 “The close collaboration between Calendly’s internal marketers and Closed Loop’s experts identified the insights we needed, aligning where and how to apply them in our marketing efforts to maximize results. Finding the most valuable customers, and ultimately proving the ROI of marketing investments to our executive team — it’s completely changed the game for us.” 

Looking ahead, the Closed Loop team is already capturing the momentum and building on the initial success of the international expansion over the last year, and working closely with the Calendly marketing team to continue evolving the global strategy for Calendly. 

As a strategic partner, Closed Loop is focused on enhancing the reach for North American prospects as well as growing each international region by analyzing sophisticated data pools to maximize opportunities with AI and making optimizations further down-funnel.