Case Studies

The Best of Art and Science: Why Omnilux Uses Northbeam to Make Crucial Marketing Decisions

Lior Torenberg
May 22, 2024

Omnilux is well-known today as a cult-favorite medical-grade LED light therapy for home use, but the company actually started in 2003 by selling medical devices directly to dermatologists and aestheticians for use in clinics around the world. 

When Omnilux dove into the direct-to-consumer space, their customers changed, and so did their go-to-market challenges. Bringing this FDA-cleared, dermatologist-recommended therapy device to a new audience has been a process of learning and iteration since the beginning. 

We spoke with Omnilux President Quinten Stanier and Chief Marketing Officer Layne Ergas about what the past years have looked like from a marketing perspective, and how they’ve been able to find success and unlock their target audience with Northbeam. 

Holistic insights for confident decision making

“The direct-to-consumer space was a fairly new experience for us,” Quinten said. “To measure our marketing performance, we were using Google Analytics, in-platform data — Meta, Google, Pinterest, etc. — and Google Data Studio with several different API connections. It ultimately turned into a pretty unruly Frankenstein attribution tool that would often break. It was probably down 30% of the time. We were constantly fixing it and never really trusted the data that was coming in.”

Omnilux knew that it was doing well — it knew that its business was growing — but it couldn’t tie this performance back to specific marketing levers. 

“We knew what was going in and what was coming out, but it was really about optimizing and understanding how we were scaling and if we were scaling as efficiently as possible.” 

This desire for better data led them to search for a marketing intelligence platform that could give them the information they needed to feel secure in where they were spending each dollar of their marketing budget. 

“We wanted to get a holistic view of performance and attribution and be able to see everything in one place so we could feel more confident in the data,” Layne said. “We evaluated other marketing intelligence platforms but Northbeam was the most fully integrated with the ad platforms that we were using, and it allowed us to be more flexible and customize reports. We have a fairly large international presence as well and Northbeam has enabled us to hone in on that side of our business.”

“Northbeam provides us with insights into our performance and shows us where we can improve, and the machine learning capabilities were better than the models that the competition was offering.” 

“I also love the fact that Northbeam allows us to zoom in and zoom out down to the creative level, platform level, country level, and ad level — it gives us a lot of flexibility to better understand the customer journey.” 

But access to data is one thing — how do you know what good performance looks like, and how do you get there? 

“It’s a lot harder to hack media buying than it was maybe four or five years ago due to IOS changes,” Quinten said. “Understanding what’s a good thumb-stop rate, view-through rate, etcetera allows us to not just scale but inform future creative ideation and strategy down the road.”

True cross-functional value

But Northbeam hasn’t just facilitated the marketing team’s strategy, it’s also a go-to source of truth for other key team members across the organization. 

“We have a lot of people in Northbeam pulling data,” Quinten said. “Whether it’s Layne, our CMO, or myself, the president. Our CFO looks there as well, and it allows for full functionality for the whole team.

“One of our goals has been to connect marketing and finance and have finance understand the marketing metrics that drive growth and profitability. Northbeam has been really helpful with that.” 

Omnilux’s 2024 priorities

“One of our top goals this year is measuring performance by product type and product line so we can better understand how each product contributes to the overall business and where we can find scale,” Layne said. “Product mix evaluation is a really big focus for us this year, and we’re looking to get much more granular at the platform and geography level as well.” 

“We’ve been working with Northbeam to get those views set up and they’ve been great at facilitating that project.”

“Another significant focus for us is investing in affiliate and influencer marketing. We engage with both traditional affiliates and PR-type affiliates. Northbeam has been instrumental in helping us understand how these distinct types of partnerships contribute to driving awareness and conversions.”

Girl Math or just simple ROI or both? You decide!

Omnilux has a broad range of channels across the customer journey funnel where it can reach its audience. “We’re kind of everywhere, so it’s really been about getting a better view of all the different platforms.” 

“This year we’re doing a lot of landing page testing and investing more in personalized experiences for various ad campaigns and influencer partnerships,” said Layne. “Another area of focus for us is on subscriptions and retention. We have a range of skincare products where we offer subscriptions and we’re trying to better understand customer LTV by product and offer type.” 

“Given the scale that we’ve observed over the last couple of years, the question we keep asking ourselves is: where is our next dollar best spent?” Quinten said. “And where are we hitting a point of diminishing returns? What is a ceiling and what is a glass ceiling?” 

MMM+ blends art and science 

With MMM+, Omnilux hopes to answer these questions and more. 

“The MTA tool is great for understanding what’s happened,” Quinten said. “The MMM+ tool will help us better understand what’s going to happen and give us a range of outcomes to better run the business… it allows us to be smarter marketers and make actionable decisions with data in real-time.” 

“We started advertising on TV in August and that has expanded our capability to spend on other channels because of the increased brand awareness,” Quinten said. “Just because something isn’t easily attributable with a click doesn’t mean it’s not producing positive outcomes for the business. We're leveraging MMM+ to better understand the relationship between TV spend and its ability to increase scale on other channels.” 

The metrics that matter

Beyond MMM+ and MTA, the Omnilux marketing team makes sure to keep up with certain metrics on a regular basis to understand their marketing performance against goals. 

“I look at spend and MER mainly,” Quinten said. “And if I know we are on budget and hitting our MER target, CAC and other metrics are typically strong.

“But it gets more granular as the responsibilities on various teams become more definitive. Our creative director, for example, is looking at thumb-stop rate and channel-specific data related to certain creative types.”

An unbiased outside perspective 

Northbeam’s platform provides data, and our customer service provides insights into that data that a customer may not otherwise see. 

“Our team is so constantly entrenched in the silo of Omnilux,” Quinten said. “Sometimes it's good to have an outside perspective that can look at our data in an unbiased way. They can make calls and ask questions like: why is this number this way? There are always valuable nuggets that challenge the way we think about the business and there’s great value in that.” 

“We have access to our own data, but Northbeam has access to millions of dollars of spend every month across a ton of different categories. They have a good snapshot of the entire industry to an extent. That definitely helps when we have our conversations with them.” 

“It’s just nice to have a team of people that we can check in with and ask for advice and recommendations,” Layne said. “The Northbeam team has been a huge help with getting our affiliate and influencer programs filtering in the way we want them to — that was a process that was really hard to wrap my brain around because of the various affiliate types we engage with and manage through a variety of platforms.” 

“I feel like I can always reach out to Northbeam if I need advice or if I want to look at something a certain way but don’t know how to set up a view,” Layne said. “They are truly helpful with that.” 

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