San Francisco Marketing Agency

What if marketing was more efficient, effective, and scalable?

TOP is a Bay Area integrated marketing agency

Chat with a San Francisco marketing strategist
Who we are

We’re the first Bay Area marketing agency to apply growth marketing principles — including the process of systematic experimentation and measurement — to all core agency disciplines.

TOP = Test + Optimize + Perform

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A full-service San Francisco marketing agency

From the Peninsula to the Presidio, we help Bay Area companies market at scale

With our roots in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, many of the most innovative companies and founders walk through our doors and give us front row seats to what is coming next.  Not only do we have our finger on the pulse of the latest marketing trends, but we’re consistently first movers on emerging digital marketing and social media platforms, too.

From the beginning of the client relationship, we collaborate closely with your internal brand team to align on key messages — or else our brand strategists help you uncover the “white space” that separates your from your competitors.  Instead of relying on just broadcasting our message to those who may or may not pay attention, we prioritize the end audience, their needs, and their specific use cases to break through the noise.  

Need in-depth marketing research to understand your competitive strengths and weaknesses in the marketplace?  We’re experts in using mass media analysis, social media listening, surveys, and focus groups to find the best angles to attack the competition. 

Need world-class digital marketing that can also integrate seamlessly with non-digital tactics?  At TOP, our team of landing page optimizers, pay-per-click experts, and keyword researchers work side-by-side with broadcast media buyers, out-of-home planners, and our full creative team for a truly integrated 360-degree marketing experience.

Need to drive more conversions?  We create psychological triggers, make content ideas sticky, and activate key emotions leveraging the power of calendar-based marketing — causing consumers, customers, and key influencers to take action now.

We’ve also learned from the best performing startups from Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and all across the Bay Area.  We use principles from agile software development to work in a series of systematic “sprints” that are aligned to key drive periods.  This approach helps us achieve high productivity while we can also course correct quickly and with confidence..

The result is a San Francisco marketing agency with the soul of a fast-growing tech startup and the global reach of a best-in-class enterprise.  Let’s meet for a coffee at Blue Bottle and then, perhaps, create some amazing marketing campaigns together.

Capabilities

We are full-service

Our work spans 35+ disciplines organized into 7 functional groups — including advertising, branding, commerce, communications, creative, digital, and growth. Instead of operating in independent silos, our Bay Area team structures its work with an eye to cross-functional integration with a common set of processes and metrics.

We are data-driven

We believe in the power of data to reveal the answers if you look hard enough and ask the right questions.  We A/B test everything — from PR pitches to brand messaging guidelines to digital landing pages.  And we love sharing this data with our San Francisco and Silicon Valley clients.  Better data means better insights.  If you don’t measure, you can’t optimize.

We are growth-focused

We’re the first Bay Area marketing agency to apply growth marketing principles — including the process of systematic experimentation and measurement — to all core agency disciplines.  The key is not only to climb fast in the Silicon Valley battlefield, but also to make sure that our ladder is up against the right wall.  This growth-focused approach is literally in our name:  We’re TOP — and that means we Test, Optimize, and Perform at scale.

We have global reach

We’ve worked on integrated marketing campaigns in more than 25 countries on six continents.  We have boots on the crowd in most leading markets across the world.  We’re one of the few Bay Area marketing agencies that can laser target in San Francisco and then broadcast our optimized message to London, Hong Kong, Sydney, and São Paulo.

We work as one team

When you work with TOP across disciplines or countries, you aren’t just getting an introductory email to an adjacent team that doesn’t really understand your business (or what the other team outside of the Bay Area is doing).  From San Francisco to Sydney, we work as one cohesive team — including our project management approach to our global execution to our quarterly P&L statements.

A marketing agency born in San Francisco

We love San Francisco + Bay Area brands

Every day we ask ourselves a simple question:  If a marketing agency never existed before, how would we invent it using the tools and technology of today?

Regardless of which marketing agency discipline we are working in, we believe in the power of great storytelling with rigorous testing.  On a daily basis, our San Francisco marketing teams are conducting multivariate testing of key stories and messaging (A/B testing across multiple dimensions), analyzing the conversion rates, and then scaling up the “winning” story ideas and key messages to reach key KPIs and achieve higher ROI.  Our clients love the insights they get into their optimal product story from the results of our multivariate testing and data-driven approach.

We’re also a Bay Area marketing agency that is channel and platform agnostic.  On any given day you’ll find us shooting a crisp viral video for a scrappy wearables start-up, rebranding a global CPG brand, hashing out SEO strategy for a local brick-and-mortar B2B business, managing a hot new SaaS company’s LinkedIn presence, or organizing a world-changing CSR campaign.

Just because we work in San Francisco and Palo Alto, doesn’t mean we spend all day behind a screen. Our experiential marketing and events planning team has hosted everything from viral man-on-the-street style stunts in Golden Gate Park to million dollar conferences in Moscone Center — always keeping the customer or consumer experience top of mind.

FAQ

What is your marketing agency’s approach to day-to-day client management for Bay Area brands?

We have built our account management systems, procedures, and teams around four fundamental principles:  be proactive, responsive, flexible, and transparent.

As a whole, these four principles create rapid feedback loops with our San Francisco and Bay Area clients.  That’s why we’re famous for being a rapid-strike agency:  When a famous Bay Area cat brand came to us asking for help to create a global activation on only two weeks notice (because another agency was unable to execute that fast), we proactively reached out to an existing sponsor with a partnership plan, wrote a series of video scripts and responded quickly to brand feedback, mobilized our internal film crew in a flexible production schedule with overnight video editing, and transparently reported on our progress each step of the way.

How does your marketing agency collaborate with other San Francisco agencies?

We work collaboratively with other agencies in three primary ways:  as lead agency, as an agency council member, and by doing fill-in work.  Our team-oriented approach builds trust with our colleagues.  We’ve earned a reputation as a flexible partner that can assume new and changing agency roles as circumstances change.  You'll find us working hard all day alongside our Bay Area agency partners and then hitting up happy hour at El Techo or Mission Rock Resort after work, too.

How do you staff your Bay Area marketing teams?

We manage human and technology resources to ensure the right resources and skill sets are staffed against each initiative.  Our resource allocation and management process is a four-step system:  holistic brainstorming, task breakdown, resource alignment, and resource allocation.

Throughout our campaigns, our Bay Area teams work shoulder-to-shoulder (often in the same room to ensure cohesiveness) to produce an end-to-end result that crosses disciplinary boundaries.  Because we’re a unique hybrid of local agency with global scale, we combine vertical integration with the ability to make rapid course corrections that simply aren’t possible for more traditional agencies.

How do you respond to emerging news stories and cultural trends in San Francisco and beyond?

The spontaneous nature of today’s mass media and social media landscape plays a significant role in our day-to-day approach.  Our in-house data analytics, creative, and social media teams constantly monitor real-time Google search data, Twitter hashtags, YouTube plays, and news headlines to identify trending conversations and map cross-channel insights. Working within the wireframe of our established marketing plan, we make course corrections based on what is trending as it happens, while still connecting the conversation back to our core brand messaging goals.

Part of being on-trend is also getting inspiration from everywhere.  Whether our team is catching a game together at AT&T Park, grabbing a world-famous burrito from the Mission District, attending “Caturday” at Dolores Park, or taking a run along the water at the Embarcadero, you'll find TOP team members enjoying themselves while constantly observing and synthesizing.  We’ll post Slack messages to each other with something new we’ve just discovered that we can use in our work.  And we're doing it all with San Francisco's favorite — Karl the Fog — at our side.

How do you onboard new San Francisco or Silicon Valley marketing clients?

Most of our client work starts with a 21-day onboarding plan that is custom-tailored to the each client.   We start with an onboarding process that is unique to each discipline — one that we’ve systematized over time.  But we also understand that each Bay Area client has its own needs, and we are sensitive to that.  During the onboarding process, we take stock of our client’s communication preferences and select the best tools from among our wide array of technologies to fit the client’s demands.  We’ll establish meeting schedules, a reporting cadence, and key role assignments.  Our goal is to be proactive and take the necessary action steps without you having to ask.

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