Apiland - the leading beehive products brand - Marketing audit / expansion strategy

Conducting a comprehensive online marketing audit on an international brand

Case Study: A brand with an apparent efficient marketing strategy and the cracks beneath the surface

Conducting a comprehensive online marketing audit on an international brand  

Case Study: A brand with an apparent efficient marketing strategy and the cracks beneath the surface

The brand has a great market share across the European markets where it is present, being in the top 3 companies in Romania, Hungary and France in their category. 


Apiland is the leading brand for apiary products in Romania and Hungary and the 2nd brand in France. Their products include honey, pollen, bee bread, royal jelly, propolis and other beehive derivative products. 

They have a strong online presence albeit constantly declining over the past 2 years due to the decision to switch from their past advertising agency to in-house and freelancer managed marketing, as well as an almost complete lack of refreshment.  


The biggest challenge we faced was the lack of access to Google Ads, which accounts for a huge part of the traffic. We were faced with many other technology hurdles, from wrong analytics implementations to various bugs and missing data.

In order to create a comprehensive audit, we wanted to track the visitors and clients from the first point of contact to the exit, which meant creating correlations between different platforms and the website’s analytics. The challenge was a lack of continuity in tracking, meaning we had to build a puzzle with many missing pieces. Most of the missing information could have been filled by the members of the marketing team normally but despite their best intentions, we had to find other ways. Additionally, Analytics had a gap in some months, while Facebook history couldn’t provide us with the details for some other months.

The competitor research represented another challenge for Hungary and France. Since our automated tools and paid ones (i.e. Alexa.com) could only offer us a very broad idea, the language barrier would be a massive issue for manual research and checking.

The products are not mainstream and are greatly influenced by the culture of eating, therefore a comprehensive unified audit is almost impossible. The audit revealed some similarities between the markets, but there were many more differences, making it impossible to make a single audit.


Although we couldn’t make an in-depth analysis of Google Ads, we had access to enough information from analytics to show some details of what works and where are the problems. Although Google Analytics can offer some valuable information about Google Ads, due to the wrong implementation of the campaigns, we had 2 sets of uncorrelated data and an unheard of before traffic source medium: “Google” (not “paid search” or “Google Ads”, nor was it referring to “Organic Search”). We traced the issue to the implementation of Google Ad campaigns that were named with the term “Google” instead of “google”, and correlated the campaigns with the total numbers.

We solved the absent Search Console by using 3rd party software, using crawlers and adjusting it against control data to reduce the error from the default 50% to 10%. The rest of the implementation issues were fixed by some simple correlations and corrections.

Since we couldn’t reliably track users across platforms, we had to analyze the campaigns, apply the relevant filters in Analytics to identify the same users and then analyze the campaign. The lack of months of data meant that we had to use filler data and account for the resulted error in our report. For example, the completely missing tracking in June was filled by creating the trend on the past 2 years for June and juxtapose it onto the months May and July. After confirming that the campaigns and investments were similar to the trends of last years, we concluded that the report would have an error rate of under 3% for the month and approximately 0.25%.

In order to overcome the language barriers, our project manager worked closely with our copywriter (fluent in French) and then with our designer (native Hungarian speaker) and social media specialist (fluent in Hungarian). We were therefore able to properly identify and analyze the competition.

We decided to proceed with a Polycentric approach, as any average or approximation would have proved very flawed for at least one country. Therefore, we created 3 audits one for each country, similar in format but very different in regards to data and issues  


We managed to identify some big cracks in the marketing strategy and in the reporting, ranging from ~40% traffic loss in France due to bad links and down to grossly mismanaged Google Ads campaigns and reporting. We identified what works and what can be improved, as well as which points should be of focus.

We also provided recommendations for the bigger issues, such as GDPR non-compliance and paid search reporting fix.

We illustrated the differences between markets and we provided an insight into marketing across cultures, what works in all markets and what elements are different in each country. We were also able to show tendencies and future trends from analyzing and comparing customer profiles, the online/offline market weight, as well as fluctuations in each channel, in each country. By accounting for national holidays and the strict period of quarantine in each country, we gained important insights into how to better market to each country and what to expect from future new markets.

We provided an audit totaling 83 pages that helped our client improve significantly over the past year in the key areas that we outlined and overall as a result.



  • in-depth analysis of the online marketing activities

  • social media evaluation, trends and competitor research

  • identifying issues and outlining their importance

  • professional advice on the largest issues facing the company

  • ROI analysis of the marketing campaigns

  • exposing some of the debilitating issues facing the marketing strategy

  • we provided training on what to ask and how to interpret reports from the marketing team

  • general marketing consultancy