How We Helped M-Files Achieve a 290% ROI With Google Ads in 6 International Markets

Meet M-Files, the Finland-based document management system on a mission to extend its reach across the UK (EN), France (FR), Norway (NO), Sweden (SW), and Finland (FI). 

Facing a roadblock in the form of a decentralized agency structure, where each market operated independently, M-Files found itself constrained in scaling seamlessly across multiple regions.

Seeking a one-stop solution, M-Files turned to AS Marketing in search of a growth partner capable of simplifying their expansion in multiple languages. 

The goal? To foster expansion into new markets without the repetitive task of reintroducing their narrative and unique selling propositions to each local agency. 

This case study unfolds the collaborative journey between M-Files and AS Marketing, shedding light on the strategic measures executed to facilitate growth and navigate the complexities associated with a decentralized agency model. 

Let’s explore how this partnership paved the way for M-Files to overcome barriers and thrive in a multi-market landscape.

How We Helped M-Files Achieve a 290% ROI With Google Ads in 6 International Markets

A complete roadmap for M-Files Google Ads Strategy in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland and France

A centralized campaign structure for overall ad optimization in combination with localized ad groups managed by native speaking marketing strategists for each region

A conversion tracking audit and optimization of GA4 and GTM to gain better insights into conversion paths, source mediums, and event tracking

A deep understanding of the local market search behavior and competitors to determine KPI benchmarks for the industry and total market potential

Here are the top results for M-Files:

290% ROI with Google Ads in 6 Markets

United Kingdom & Ireland
Increased conversions and decreased cost per conversion
within 2 months of working together

Increased conversions by 31% and decreased cost per conversion by 13%

Increased conversions by 81% and decreased cost per conversion by 300%

Increased conversions by 78% and decreased cost per conversion by 260%

Increased conversions from 1 to 25 per month and decreased
cost per conversion by 500%

“Working with AS Marketing has truly been transformative, and I can confidently say that the positive changes we’ve witnessed are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team.

I’m sincerely pleased with the progress we’ve made together, and look forward to an even more effective and fruitful partnership in the year ahead!”

Global Expansion, Local Impact

To drive conversions at a regional level, it's crucial for brands to navigate the intricacies of language diversity and cultural nuances inherent in different regions.

With our expert guidance, seamlessly expand into new markets and unlock global growth opportunities.

Our team of native speakers are dedicated to managing your multi-language PPC campaigns with precision and effectiveness

Successful Multi-Language PPC Management Starts with a Strategic Set-up

Efficient processes stand as the cornerstone of successful multi-language PPC management. 

Guiding this initiative was Leigh Buttrey, Head of Client Accounts, who orchestrated the project in collaboration with five dedicated native speaker strategists, each assigned to a specific market.

Step 1: Find Local Market Competitors

Next, we started identifying local market competitors. In this phase, we dove into a thorough analysis of local advertising competitors, evaluating their performance within each target market.

Two distinct categories of competitors were scrutinized—direct competitors and paid search competitors.

Paid search competitors are determined by keyword matches, implying that they may not be directly competing for attention on identical products or services. Instead, their competition lies in overlapping keyword bids.

While the direct competition might not be apparent, it was crucial to prioritize the analysis of these competitors to gain valuable insights into their PPC landscape.

For example, we observed that Slack is not a direct competitor for M-Files, however in Sweden our potential search terms would overlap with this brand due to their services of “content collaboration”.

For M-Files, we also analyzed their direct competitors to see how they were performing in the paid landscape. See the example below:

In Norway we came across a direct competitor, however, we noticed that their ads were only in EN on their US website, so we saw an opportunity here to run NO ads to their NO website.

During this analysis, it became evident that not all competitors have localized sites. This confirmed that M-Files would stand out with a localized site and relevant localized ads.

Step 2: Do Local Keyword Research

Following the initial groundwork, our focus shifted to comprehensive keyword research. This involved a dual approach, encompassing both English keyword research and localized language keyword exploration. The objective was to discover the feasibility and effectiveness of PPC ads in one or more languages.

While it might seem like a redundant process, the investment of time and effort in this dual-language keyword research proved invaluable in the long run.

Not only did it yield benefits, but it also unveiled local nuances, underscoring the significance of our diligent approach.

To illustrate this process, here’s a screen capture of  the specific keyword research conducted for document management in Norway:

To provide another example, after conducting the same type of keyword research for the French market, we uncovered that “GED” is a common French abbreviation of the word “gestion électronique de documents.”

This is a brilliant example as to why you can’t simply translate English keywords, as some of the highest search volume and conversion-focused keywords may end up being excluded from your strategy.

Step 3: Localize Ad Copy

After finalizing the keywords and identifying our target audience, our focus shifted to crafting tailored ad copy. This process involved the localization of ad content based on a comprehensive set of criteria:

  1. Brand Messaging Guidelines
  2. Adherence to Google Ad Character Limits
  3. Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)
  4. Addressing Pain Points
  5. Cultural Nuances, encompassing both language and targeted keywords.

This meticulous approach ensured that the ad copies not only resonated with the specific audience, but also aligned seamlessly with brand messaging and cultural nuances.

Here’s an example of the Swedish ad copy for one of the campaigns.

And, we didn’t stop there. We also helped M-Files localize their LinkedIn campaigns.

We collaborated with the Local Growth Managers on the M-Files team to ensure that the message they wanted to get across was highlighted, in conjunction with the global messaging strategy.

When localizing the ad copy for the Linkedin campaigns, the biggest challenge was to localize it into multiple languages, while sticking to the design theme provided by the creative team in the US.

For instance, the first set of ads played on the analogy of a data closet. In the US, it’s common to find unorganized closets with a lot of space, which can make it hard to find things. M-Files wanted to convey the same feeling for unorganized document management.

However, when localizing it into Swedish, the word closet didn’t really translate correctly. Neither did the cultural perception of the analogy.

First of all, Swedes love organized closets, and more than that, they love IKEA. So when the design assets depicted unorganized walking closets, the ads fell flat.

Together we were able to change the processes so the local growth managers were involved in the creative process, and the localization of certain assets was already considered before the designs were finalized.

Step 4: Localize Landing Pages Per Language and Market Nuances

Once we understood the biggest opportunities for keywords and within the individual markets, we localized the landing pages to match upcoming campaigns.

For example, with the French market, we understood from our team’s French strategist that the word DMS or EDMS (Document Management System) was not used in France. They actually use a common abbreviation of Gestion Electronique de Documents or “GED”, so unlike other target markets we had to create entirely new landing pages to accommodate for this nuance.

Step 5: Implement New Campaigns Based on Purchase Intent

After the research was conducted and the ad copy was approved, we began implementing the new campaigns.

Segmentation criteria included demographics and keyword match types, allowing us to refine and optimize campaigns based on the nuanced variables at play.

Segmenting campaigns based on target market, language, and purchase intent allowed us to:

  • Manage daily spending with ease
  • Adhere to the given budget
  • Change ad messaging, landing pages, and campaign optimisations more effectively
  • Identify which campaigns generate more conversions

Step 6: Retarget New Users to Convert Later

When the campaigns were implemented, we continued our work with testing of new ad text variations, segmenting existing ones, and creating new fresh campaigns to build out the account.

The segmentation of variables, such as demographics segments and keyword match types, played a pivotal role in optimizing daily spending management.

To add, a collaborative effort was made in refining and enhancing remarketing campaigns to maximize their effectiveness in engaging and converting new users over time.

Step 7: Track Individual Market Performance

To gauge the efficacy of our strategies, we crafted individual market reports to meticulously track performance.

It quickly became evident that certain campaigns outperformed others. In the example images below, a comparative analysis between France and Sweden illustrates the notable variations in performance.

For the FR market, it’s essential to note that our collaboration with M-Files commenced in July 2023.

Prior to this, there were inaccuracies in conversion tracking, rectified in July. Consequently, the line graph below reflects a temporary decline in conversions during this period.



This underscores the significance of segmenting campaigns by markets. When running a global-wide campaign, the performance in one market may exhibit a downward trend, even if the overall performance is on an upward trajectory.

The segregation of campaigns and corresponding reports by markets is crucial, offering a streamlined approach to effectively manage and optimize campaigns.

This strategic separation ensures a crystal clear understanding of individual market dynamics, facilitating targeted adjustments for optimal performance.

Step 8: Ongoing Optimization

The optimization phase involves refining campaigns for:

  • Necessary bid adjustments across campaigns and markets
  • Conducting a continual analysis of keywords intent and performance
  • Strategically implementing negative keywords
  • Conducting a comprehensive quality score analysis on all keywords
  • Regular testing of new ad text variations and audience targeting
  • Weekly ad checks and optimizations that contribute to the adaptive and proactive management of the entirety of the multilingual PPC campaigns

Overall, since working with M-Files, we have managed to decrease cost per conversion by 30%, decrease CPC by  €1.05 and increase conversions by 144%, while keeping a healthy CTR of 5.89%. This in turn has meant that the client has spent a similar amount while simultaneously generating higher quality leads.

Strategic Multilingual PPC Made Easy with Expert Analysis and Streamlined Processes

Through a meticulous examination of each target market your PPC strategy can easily be enhanced.

With a thorough analysis, streamlined processes, and by leveraging the expertise of native speakers, you can expect swift and impactful results. 

Get ready for a seamless journey toward global expansion!
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