We're a core marketing agency that works across disciplines using growth marketing tactics across all of our capabilities, serving greater San Diego and beyond.
TOP = Test + Optimize + Perform
From the Gaslamp to Point Loma, we specialize in scaling San Diego's best brands
San Diego has, as of late, become a hub for some of the world’s most innovative companies. Their brilliant founders reach out to us here at TOP to give us a sneak peek of what’s to come because we have a habit of being ahead of the trends and the emerging digital marketing and mass media technologies across platforms.
Whether we collaborate with your internal teams or create a space in the market for you that separates you from the competition, we pride ourselves on being a strategic partner from day one. We don’t just rest on our laurels and broadcast our message to the audience you already have — we think about ways to broaden your reach and uncover an entire new subset of your audience, breaking through the noise by keeping their needs in mind.
Do you need to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that come with your brand and your space in the marketplace? Our experts in media analysis, social media strategy, and surveying work cross-channel to craft the best narrative that specifically attacks your competition.
Do you need to integrate your digital strategy with non-digital efforts? The team at TOP leverages specialization in SEO, PPC, and keyword research to create an integrated online marketing experience that directly translates to the strategy our media planners and buyers, out-of-home strategists, and creative teams follow use when developing off-screen marketing experiences.
Do you need to show conversions on and off paper? By creating content that resonates with your key audiences, influencers, and consumers by leveraging emotional triggers and timely moments using the power of calendar-based marketing, we can influence customers to take immediate action. You’ll be able to show results quicker than ever.
The best startups aren’t just in San Diego proper — we’ve learned a ton from companies in Escondido, Encinitas, and Carlsbad, too. From these learnings, we’ve discovered the principles of an agile workflow, which break down key drive periods into “sprints”, allow us to not only work more productively, but course correct in the moment and proceed on innovative marketing efforts with confidence.
We learn as much from our clients as they learn from us, and its from these relationships that we have developed the tenacity of a startup with the enterprise-level experience that agencies ten years our senior have achieved. Let’s grab a cup of coffee at Better Buzz or Bing Haus — a few of our favorite haunts — and discuss how we can create the next viral marketing campaign together.
We are truly integrated
We don't silo our work by discipline, vertical, or capability. Our 7 working groups fulfill nearly 40 different marketing disciplines, from creative to mass communications, growth to digital marketing, and branding to advertising, and each of these disciplines operate with the capacity of cross-functional integration that is driven by data.
We are driven by data
We believe in the saying "no stone left unturned" -- if there is an answer to uncover, we will find it. With this motto in mind, we A/B test everything, from PR headlines to brand messaging guidelines to creative video cut-downs, in order to ensure we're putting our best message forward. Our San Diego clients love the insight, and we love finding answers to questions we didn't even know we had.
We are focused on growth
We're the only marketing agency in San Diego that applies a system of experimentation and optimization to all of our core agency capabilities. Even our team of steadfast creatives leverage data insights to make thought-provoking, engaging content. We don't do this just to climb the ranks in the lineup of great San Diego companies; we do this because it's the principles our companies was founded on. We're TOP, and that means we Test, Optimize, and Perform to scale.
We reach a global audience
From Seoul to Sydney, London to Los Angeles, Paris to Prague, we've worked on global campaigns in more than 25 countries and across six continents (and yes -- we'd gladly pick up a client in Antarctica). With a presence in nearly every leading market in the world, we pride ourselves on global influence with the ability to laser focus in on the San Diego market and what makes your local audience tick.
We work as one team
We use the best technology available to stay connected as a team. This is why we can have boots on the ground across the world so at any given moment, we can service any international client. When you partner with TOP, an introductory email doesn't suffice. We invite you into the fold to meet the team assigned to you that has a thorough understanding of your business and the opportunities that lie ahead.
We love brands based in San Diego
We don’t operate under the same capacity that other marketing agencies do. In fact, we work every day to challenge the status quo of your traditional agency and introduce new tools and technology in an effort to reinvent the proverbial “wheel” day in and day out.
Our capabilities don’t stop when we have a finished product. We believe in spreading our messaging to a range of audiences, creating opportunities through rigorous, meaningful testing. Our San Diego marketing teams conduct multivariate tests across every discipline, analyze the data from our findings, and scale up the “winning” ideas in order to achieve maximum ROI. We’ve found our clients love this data-driven approach because it helps both teams achieve and surpass KPIs. When you win, we win, and we don’t rest until that is the case.
Where other marketing agencies in San Diego focus on a particular platform or channel, we prefer to remain agnostic. On any given day, our teams are revamping the social strategy for the newest local brick-and-mortar, collaborating with a startup SaaS company to create sticky viral videos, or rebranding the logo and website for a medtech startup based in Silicon Valley.
When you live in a city like San Diego, it’s impossible to remain behind a screen with the opportunity that lies outside of our office walls. Our events marketing and experiential marketing teams are more than capable of pulling off viral stunts or million dollar conferences in the San Diego Conference Center. From filming delightful man-on-the-street style videos in Balboa Park to collecting B-roll footage for local clients across Torrey Pines and the Mission Bay Waterfront, we take every opportunity to step away from the computer and create customer-first experiences offline.
What does the day-to-day look like for a San Diego brand working with your marketing agency?
Our account management team is built in a foundation of transparency, flexibility, responsiveness, and proactiveness.
From this foundation, we've created raid feedback loops with our San Diego clients that allow us to activate on a moment's notice. For example: A famous Bay Are cat brand was working with another agency that could not execute as quickly. With two weeks' notice, we fostered a partnership with an existing sponsor, mobilized our internal film crew to write scripts, produce content, and edit swiftly, all while maintaining transparency with the client each step of the way to show progress.
Does your marketing agency collaborate with other San Diego agencies?
We thrive on collaboration with other entities, whether we're leading the charge, serving as an agency council member, or filling in for work that other agencies don't have the ability to perform. This team-oriented approach has built trust with colleagues in our space, and we've earned the reputation of being a flexible partner that adapts to changing roles and circumstances. We take these collaborative efforts with our San Diego partners out of the office as well to our favorite happy hours at local haunts like Louisiana Purchase, Duck Dive, and Rusted Root.
How do you staff your San Diego marketing teams?
Through brainstorming our specific need cases, breaking those cases down into tasks, aligning on resources, and allocating those resources as needed, we can ensure -- using human intuition and the latest technology -- that we are staffing based around necessary skill sets and initiatives.
We prefer to keep our office spaces open concept to foster collaboration across every discipline, ensuring that our San Diego clients' campaigns are seeing the result of integrated efforts from all of our capabilities. While we have the capacity to scale globally and work with enterprise-level clients, we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of what is happening right here at home in a way that isn't feasible for more traditional agencies.
How do you leverage happenings, trends, and emerging news stories in San Diego and beyond?
By nature, media outlets are spontaneous. The ability to capitalize on moments across mass and social media plays a huge role in our day-to-day strategies for San Diego clients. We scour news sources, Twitter hashtags, YouTube trending videos, and Google search data to identify key moments and map cross-channel insights that could be useful to the brands we work with. Within the frame of our established marketing plan, we use these moments to connect the conversation back to the core messaging goals that our clients are wanting to achieve.
Being on-trend doesn't end at the Twitter trending topics feed. The team at TOP truly finds inspiration across the city we call home. Whether our staff is taking a run along the water at the Embarcadero, catching a few rays at La Jolla on the weekend, or grabbing a San Diego-birthed "California" burrito and washing it down with a Ballast Point, the vibrancy and air of disruption around SD offers a wealth of inspiration we can apply to the work we create for our clients. With every new restaurant opening, festival happening, or favorable surfing conditions, our Slack messages allow us to discover the latest local trends and use them to our advantage.
How do you onboard new San Diego marketing clients?
When you partner with TOP, you don't receive the traditional "Welcome!" email that is customary of other traditional agencies. We custom-tailor a 21-day onboarding plan that is unique to your company, your specific use case, and the disciplines necessary to achieving your goals. In addition, we work directly with you to determine your communication preferences and a cadence in which to check in, send reporting, or bounce ideas off of one another. We want to fit into your schedule -- not the other way around -- to create the most fruitful partnership while being proactive in taking action steps without you having to ask for them.