In April 2022, Havas acquired the award-winning integrated digital agency Search Laboratory, who has worked closely with Havas Media Group to advance its digital marketing and data capabilities within the UK and internationally. We spoke to Chris Attewell, CEO of Search Laboratory, to hear more about how the integration is going so far.
Can you tell us a little bit about Search Laboratory and its history?
Search Laboratory was founded in 2005 as a specialist multilingual PPC agency. Our founder, Ian Harris, previously worked in the translation industry and noticed a growing demand from clients (and their media agencies) for translation of AdWords accounts. Ian realized that translators weren’t qualified to do PPC work, and simply translating an account would lead to underperforming campaigns, so launched Search Laboratory as a solution to that problem.
With a background in stats and data, Ian adopted a transparent and scientific approach to bid optimization which delivered strong results and allowed us to win English language clients in addition to those looking for multilingual support. We’ve since expanded our offering to cover a wider range of performance digital channels (Strategy, PPC, Paid Social, Programmatic, SEO, CRO, Digital PR, Creative), but data still sits at the heart of everything we do. As one of only a handful of UK-based Google Marketing Platform Sales Partners, our Analytics, Data Science and BI teams work with clients to help then outperform their competitors online by unlocking the power of their data.
We still do a lot of multilingual work too, including Translation, helping clients expand into new territories and grow their global revenue. We employ a team of International Digital Marketers, all native speakers of their respective language, which means we can easily manage campaigns across multiple countries and languages.
Why was Havas the right fit for Search Laboratory?
From the very beginning, it’s been clear that we have shared goals for achieving growth. What we discovered as we developed the conversation was that we also share values around people and culture. Our people are our most important asset, and we’ve always invested a lot of time into making this a great place to work for our employees. We’re proud to have been featured in the ‘100 best UK Companies to Work For’ list 9 times (19th place in 2022!), so knowing that Havas has shared values was really important to us.
How does this partnership benefit both parties?
For Search Laboratory, being part of Havas provides an exciting platform for continued growth. Being part of the group puts us in a position to pitch for larger client budgets than we would have as an independent agency, while having access to a wider range of services across the group allows us to broaden the scope of our client engagements.
For Havas, we’re able to bring specialist performance digital skills, data and analytics expertise, and global campaign management capabilities that build upon and enhance existing capabilities within the group.
What are you most looking forward to about being a part of Havas in the future? What are your goals over the next 18 months?
The main goal for the next 18 months is growth. We’ve already won new business through being part of Havas, and we’re excited to uncover more opportunities to grow as we continue to build relationships with other agencies.
What does the future of digital marketing overall hold?
Data has always been central to everything we do as an agency, right from day 1 when our scientific approach to PPC helped us to win clients and establish ourselves as an agency. It’s interesting to see how data is becoming a more central pillar of client strategies, and demand is growing for agencies who are experienced in leveraging clients’ data to maximize campaign performance and return on investment. As the market continues to mature, advertisers who fail to properly invest in technology and data solutions will be left behind. Havas is really well-placed to take advantage of this growing demand, using innovative data and technology solutions to help its customers stay ahead of the competition.