Hot Topic Scales Their Paid Search Program with Granular Data Science

Hot Topic Scales Their Paid Search Program with Granular Data Science

Brian Lamb

A case study with Brian Lamb
Senior Digital Marketing Analyst @ Hot Topic

Working with QuanticMind, Hot Topic was able to:

Lift ROAS by 12%

Save Time on Core PPC Activities

Enhance Granularity of Bidding

Increase Number of Daily Bid Adjustments

Brian Lamb is the Senior Digital Marketing Analyst for Hot Topic, tasked with ensuring the company is executing the best digital advertising investments. Over time, he has utilized various solutions in an effort to increase performance including legacy bid management technologies and, in the period directly prior to onboarding QuanticMind, manual optimization tools. With their program beginning to grow exponentially, though, Brian realized that he needed something with more sophistication to help him meet and exceed his goals. He began exploring alternative options and, after receiving recommendations from his colleagues at one of Hot Topic’s sister companies, he ultimately opted for QuanticMind’s automated data science-powered platform.


Hot Topic was facing two major challenges when they approached QuanticMind: scalability and efficiency. “It was reaching a point of critical mass” recalls Brian. The exercise of managing upwards of 4,000 PLA campaigns, each with hundreds of product partitions and keywords, was exhausting his time and he was unable to effectively service his portfolio of Search and Shopping accounts. “We were breaking things out at scale, creating a great deal of additional work, and we had no time to spend working on the growth strategies we wanted to” he explains. “I knew we needed something that would help us with bid management; something that would do all the heavy lifting while maintaining our idealized standards.”


Brian’s primary advertising goal was multi-faceted: to take advantage of automated technology to gain greater scale, reduce time investment, and ultimately achieve more profitable performance from their online shopping campaigns. “Any time we launch an initiative, we have targets in mind” he says. “Ultimately, we want to safeguard that we’re making the best possible use of our budget to generate the most amount of sales – that is, Return on Ad Spend.”


Integration began in August of 2018 and less than five weeks later Hot Topic was taking full advantage of QuanticMind’s data science techniques, pushing bids at far greater scale and at deeper levels of granularity than previously possible. Where once Brian would have had to make blanket bid adjustments using a set of ratios and formulas, QuanticMind’s advanced statistical algorithms are now making over 100,000 daily bid changes in his program, helping to uncover hidden opportunities and maximize conversions.

Today, Brian works closely with the agency arm of QuanticMind (QuanticMind Digital) and their team of SEM specialists on a weekly basis to run thorough audits on his accounts, flush out solutions to attack any pain points, and discuss ways his goals can be realized with QuanticMind as a technology.

We are excited to have the professional aspect as part of the suite of services. It’s great to leverage the expertise of another mind and another pair of eyes.
Having an outside perspective is always extremely valuable and if we ever run into technical difficulties, the QuanticMind team is always able to sort the issue in a timely manner. They are consistent in providing customer satisfaction.


For the first time, Hot Topic has an efficient paid search platform that automatically and programmatically adjusts bids to meet their goals across thousands of keywords. QuanticMind’s precise, intelligent algorithms are able to drive more traffic towards more profitable product groups and keywords, empowering Brian with actionable insights and better business outcomes.

In just a short space of time, QuanticMind has improved our operational efficiency while freeing up time to allow us to focus on furthering the business

Since their transition onto the platform, Brian and his team have seen a 12% increase in ROAS, and this is only part of the story, as he explains: “The time savings have been huge for us. Partnering with a technology that manages bids has ultimately allowed me to spend more time strategizing, thinking through to bigger projects, and focusing attention on the marketing tactics that will help the company grow. The overall gains we’re seeing from the bid automation standpoint are a massive win.”

Hot Topic

Founded in 1989, Hot Topic is a Los Angeles-based retail chain offering music and pop culture inspired apparel, licensed band merchandise, and themed everyday accessories. The company has evolved into a leader and one of the most influential players in the growing world of alternative fashion and it is today a staple of United States mall corridors with over 650 stores countrywide.

Visit Hot Topic Website