A continuous focus on the numbers


SJD is a leading provider of accountancy and business services to people who work for themselves as freelancers, contractors and consultants, who trade as limited companies.

Sales and lead generation relies heavily on paid media, bottom of the funnel activity which is continuously optimised for when prospects are ready to buy. This campaign aimed to test new top of funnel channels and creative, to build brand awareness and drive sales.

As part of the campaign, SJD were offering new customers 6 months of free accounting, with nothing to pay for the first 6 months.

  • Engage with people who work for themselves or are thinking of setting up on their own, and who might need help with their finances and accounting
  • Build positive awareness of the SJD brand
  • Generate qualified marketing leads at an acceptable cost
  • Test and then optimise a range of performance media to build on PPC performance, to identify the most effective channels for wider roll out.

The audience was extremely difficult to target, because essentially anyone in any profession can work for themselves in some capacity from gardeners to medical consultants. Essentially the campaign aimed to identify with 2 core audiences:

  1. The Manual and semi-skilled - Those who worked for themselves and earnt £25 and hour or less, this group could include anyone from tradespeople, gardeners, fitness instructors, courier drivers and hair dressers.

  2. Professional - Those earning more than £25 per hour, for example IT contractors, freelance creatives and business consultants.


The motivations and driving force for why people work for themselves can be very different, for some it’s simply because they have a passion for what they do, for others it provides them with the flexibility and freedom to balance work and family life and some are simply very good at what they do.

Nobody sets up on their own because they enjoy dealing with HMRC, filling out self assessment forms or managing their accounts. In fact, research showed that most people would simply prefer an expert to manage their business finances, rather than let it get on top of them, so they could get on and focus on what they do best.


Our multi-channel approach saw us develop a big creative idea, which was rolled out as and tested across a display, paid social, native, Youtube and Sky Adsmart.

The creative showed our different audiences getting on with their day-to-day jobs, whilst at the same time showing how the numbers and their finances could get on top of them if they were left for too long. Using the head line ‘Don’t let the numbers get on top of you’ the creative repeated the use of the SJD brand name throughout to build awareness and recall.

Utilising a mix of digital performance media working alongside PPC, we were able to test, optimise and implement the activity day by day, week by week for the duration of the 8 week campaign.


The numbers campaign is now entering its 3rd phase and has been running for just over 6 months. During that time we have successfully tested and then optimised a number of new performance media channels including display, paid social and programmatic. This activity has helped build brand awareness whilst also driving response in the form of new marketing qualified leads for the SJD sales team. By continually improving media performance and optimising the creative we have been able to gradually bring down the cost per lead.

Although it has been challenging to measure a direct return on investment for Sky Adsmart, we have been able to prove a positive uplift in lead generation across all other channels in the regions where the TV ad was showing. Using the web attribution TV squared pixel on the clients website allowed us to be more confident in identifying audience segments more receptive to our campaign message for the next stage of the campaign.

Overall the campaign has delivered over 35% more leads than the target at a lower blended cost per lead

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