Can’t stop, won’t stop: The team behind optimisation and performance

Alex Coe
9 November 2022

Loic Serra, James Allison, Mike Elliot. Do these names ring any bells for you?

Most likely, they will not, so I’ll tell you.

Loic, James and Mike are the Performance Director, Chief Technical Officer and Technical Director, respectively, for the Mercedes-AMG-Petronas Formula 1 team.

Amongst many others, of course, they’re the team ultimately responsible for the performance of the thing millions of people spend their weekends watching. Formula 1 fans would indeed be quite disappointed if, after sitting down with their leftover curry from the night before, they turned on their television to see the Mercedes technical team poring over spreadsheets, graphs and technical data. As would most people, I imagine.

No, viewers don’t want to tune in to clever people being very good at their jobs, they want to see the output from those jobs. They want to see the shiny metal thing go fast. I should say at this point, I know very little about Formula 1, but I do know the shiny metal thing goes fast and fans enjoy leftover curry on a Sunday afternoon.

This team analyses technical performance data on a granular level that the rest of us can barely comprehend. They test new theories of aerodynamics to try to gain milliseconds on the track. And crucially, they troubleshoot problems with the thoroughness and expertise of, well, an F1 technician.

Yet most people are unaware of the Mercedes technical team’s existence entirely. But without that group of people doing what they do, to the standard they do it, Formula 1 fans would have to settle for watching a real sport instead.

What's this got to do with B2B marketing?

Most marketing agencies also have this group of people in their team. Clients will see their shiny new website (going fast), their high-converting social ads (spending fast), or their shiny new custom-built reporting dashboard (breaking fast), but will be less aware of the specialist teams and effort that went into it. They will know about their Lewis Hamiltons and Toto Wolfs, but their Loics? Probably not.

So what’s my point here? Well, I’m Alex, and I’m a Loic (just go with it). I’m one of the team of delivery and performance experts at Don’t be Shy, and in our team we build things to perform and figure out how to get them to perform better.

Our team is responsible for the delivery, management and performance of all campaigns that move through the agency. We turn, tweak and nudge endless cogs and dials on a daily basis to try and get the absolute most out of all our clients’ campaigns.

This, like the F1 team, requires analysis of incredibly granular data to make informed decisions in our tweaking. Shall we increase our budgets by £1 per day in South Shields, or should we change one particular word on one particular ad to shift its sentiment among one persona type?

Human-centric B2B, but make it meaningful

We’re also proud workaround champions. Within the space of B2B digital marketing, we’re limited to the tools that we have at our disposal. What sets us apart is our ability to use our human brains to make the tools available in B2B marketing work in a way they weren’t necessarily intended to, in order to get the outcome the client wants.

I also perhaps shouldn’t admit this next part, but we also fix problems before they have the potential to become problems. From cleaning out spam attacks from a client’s reporting systems to subtly optimising copy to improve low engagement rates, everything is of course communicated to the client once we’re confident we have a fix in place. And I like to think that the Mercedes team is similar: calling down to Lewis as he’s careering around Silverstone to say, “Good news, the car isn’t going to set on fire any more!” Lewis will no doubt have… questions… at this point, but hey, the car won’t set on fire any more.

And yes, we really do care about that Nth increase in performance. We’ll track, test, learn and optimise through all of our channels to shift the needle on a performance metric incrementally forward, because we believe in marginal gains. From the outside, you’d just see an email campaign being sent at regular intervals, but this analysing and cog-nudging leads to huge improvements in engagement, conversions and ultimately success for the client.

So, as an agency with plenty of podium finishes, why not get in touch to find out how Don't be Shy can improve the performance of your marketing campaigns?


Alex Coe

Head of Performance.
Number lover. Dog walker.