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Author Archive for Kevin Smith


Ad Math: How To Calculate the ROI of Direct Mail

Determining The ROI of Direct Mail Campaigns

Each week, we break down a common marketing metric on our YouTube channel in order to help you measure, and get more out of your marketing. This week we’re looking at the return on investment (ROI) of direct mail campaigns.

The Danger of Status Quo

While we, at IQ, focus on digital marketing, many of our clients look to us for print work, including direct mail.

Usually, direct mail has been a part of the brand’s marketing mix for years and – even though there’s a push to become more digital – there are concerns that removing or altering the existing approach to direct mail will trigger a decline in business.

To address those fears, and truly gauge whether direct mail is working for you, it’s important to know how to calculate its ROI – which we walk through in the following video:

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Marketing with Facebook Messenger Bots

A few months ago, I upgraded to the iPhone7 and needed a new case. I had seen several ads for Peel cases on Facebook, so I checked them out and decided to purchase one. During the checkout process, they confirmed my Facebook account and asked if I’d opt-in for communications through Facebook Messenger. So I did.


Facebook Messenger as a Marketing Tool

You may recall all of the drama that occurred about a year ago when Facebook rolled out their new Messenger and ‘forced’ users to download a separate app. The reason that it had to be separate was due to the additional functionality built into the platform. Namely, something that would enable businesses to develop custom bots within Facebook Messenger to provide enhanced sales and service capabilities. Continue Reading


Fake News, Russian Hackers, and…Your Media Plan

This isn’t a political post…let’s get that out of the way right at the start.

But as politics still dominate the news and will for some time, chances are that you have heard a few stories about the prevalence – and alleged sway – of fake news sites in this recent election season. The number of fake news sites that have surfaced is well into the hundreds and, for many, their intention wasn’t to elect a particular person into office. According to Beqa Latsabidzean, the owner of one of these news sites, based out of Georgia (the Georgia with the capital of Tbilisi, not Atlanta, our fair city), “this is all about income, nothing more,”

In same New York Times article he goes on to say, “The income comes mostly from Google, which pays a few cents each time a reader sees or clicks on advertisements embedded in one of his websites. Mr. Latsabidze’s best month, which coincided with the bogus hit story about Mexico closing the border, brought in around $6,000, though monthly revenue is usually much lower.”

To be clear, the income is due to their availability as a site to advertise on within the Google ad network. If you run a lot of programmatic buys using that network, it’s a safe bet that your ad may have appeared next to a fake news story. Continue Reading


Micro-Influencers: What They Are & How to Use Them

Brands have always leveraged celebrity influencers. In fact, celebrities appear in roughly one-fifth of ads today. This is a common marketing method because it serves as a way of transferring the popularity, style, personality, and likeability of a particular celebrity to your brand or product.

Despite their frequent use, it’s debatable how much celebrity endorsements actually work to drive sales or stock prices.


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Digital Transformation – Why Collaboration Matters Now More Than Ever

Digital transformation is a phrase that has been thrown around a lot lately. It describes the shift of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities provided by digital technologies.

The desire for digital transformation among organizations is greater than ever due to the increased speed of technological advancements, and our increased access to them. However, while digitally transforming your company sounds appealing, the process tends to lead to disjointed efforts that may cause more problems than they solve.

According to Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, this means that business units and functions that tend to operate in their individual silos will now have to collaborate to achieve purposeful, enterprise-wide, digital transformation. This year, The Altimeter Group released a report titled the “Six Stages of Digital Transformation.” One of the more interesting findings explored the significant gap that exists between those further along the “six stages” than average organizations also investing in digital. The reason was attributed to businesses continuing to rely on their silos rather than collaborating as a holistic team.

Digital Transformation | Multidispiclinary Involvement Continue Reading


Cross-Selling & Up-Selling: What You Need To Know

To some, the differences between cross-selling and up-selling may seem hazy, as both strategies do share some similarities. However, the following example should make those differences a little clearer.

up-selling vs. cross-selling Continue Reading


20 Of The Best Digital Marketing Blogs

Digital Marketing is constantly evolving and it can sometimes feel overwhelming to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends. To help, we’ve pulled together a list of 20 of the best digital marketing blogs that you should be reading in order know what’s what in the world of digital marketing and advertising.

20 best digital marketing blogs you should be reading | IQ Agency Continue Reading


How To Write A Website RFP (Request for Proposal)

A website RFP, or Request for Proposal, is a document that outlines the requirements for the website redesign project, existing challenges, and business objectives. The RFP serves as a wish list for the project and invites agencies to submit a plan detailing how they would address your specific project challenges.

As a digital advertising agency, we receive Requests for Proposal on a weekly basis, for a variety of projects. Some RFPs are simple, but website RFPs tend to be more complex, and it’s understandable why. Your company’s website serves as the hub of your marketing: educating prospects, inspiring purchases, and providing a consistent source of content that helps them throughout the time they are a customer.

It’s not just the site’s importance in your marketing that makes website RFPs so complex, but how many stakeholders, opinions, and requests are often involved. For this reason, it is essential to provide a clear picture of your needs in order for the agency to accurately deliver a proposal. Without this information, the odds of disappointment in the end result of the project increase exponentially.

Website RFP Committee Meeting

What many website RFP committee meetings tend to feel like.

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Get The Most out of Twitter’s Latest Feature

Twitter’s main strength has always been its ability to aggregate real-time reactions to cultural events. That strength tends to pose trouble for many brands that struggle to figure out how to use Twitter appropriately in their marketing. Additional confusion is added since, for many, the platform tends to be more about customer service than providing value to someone during their shopping journey.

Combine the skepticism of marketers with the fact that Twitter users are rushing to other platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and it is not a surprise that Twitter was in a hurry to launch something new. Continue Reading


Marketing ROI: How to Know if Your Marketing is Successful

Many reoccurring themes emerge in meetings with new clients and prospects, but one of the most frequent is that of marketing ROI or, more specifically, “how will we know if our marketing is successful?” In the age of data, where everything a consumer does is measured and tracked, it’s often easy to overlook what we’re supposed to be doing with the data we work so hard to collect.

Marketing ROI

Specifically when it comes to social media marketing ROI, even though social channels have continued to grow as a part of our overall marketing mix during the past ten years, many marketers still do not have a firm grasp on what their social strategy is or what metrics should guide it.

In the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, one of the top five questions, gathered from their survey of over 5,000 marketers was, “How do I measure the return on my social media marketing?” Given how often marketing ROI comes up in conversation, it isn’t surprising that 86% of those surveyed had this question in the front of their mind.

Many brands tend to focus on “vanity metrics” vs. numbers that will actually move their business forward. Vanity metrics are numbers that don’t paint a clear picture of what is actually happening, and in some cases may even be manipulated in order to make something appear more successful than it is. These are numbers like page views, impressions, and downloads. It’s not that these metrics don’t matter, it’s just that they tend not to matter as much.

The good news is that the answer to “is it working?” is a lot easier to find than you might think. In fact, the effectiveness of all your marketing channels, and your marketing ROI, should be measured by the single most important metric every business shares: revenue.

With so many different channels and marketing metrics available, it’s easy to forget that everything within your marketing arsenal has to support driving revenue for your business. Once you can isolate, test, and track which elements of your marketing help drive revenue, it’s just a matter of supporting those metrics with effort and budget. Here are a few areas to focus on as you look for correlations.

  • Website Traffic: is there a noticeable correlation between a rise in your website traffic and an increase in sales/revenue/new subscriptions/etc.? If so, does a relationship also exist between your site traffic and certain elements of your marketing? If more visitors mean more sales, then your marketing should pull its weight in that area.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Simply put, this is the cost of adding one new customer. A general way to obtain this number is to add up all of your marketing costs, which include research, software, tools, and salaries that come out of your budget and divide by new customers within the same period. I recommend calculating this cost for a few months in order to generate an average CAC. Now, if you have a goal of how many new customers you need for the year and your Acquisition Cost multiplied by your goal number exceeds your available marketing budget – it’s time to look at ways to improve what you’re doing on a channel-by-channel basis.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): What is the average duration that someone is a customer and how much revenue is that customer worth during that period. CLV is a key metric when determining the effectiveness of channels that acquire new customers vs. channels that retain customers. Additionally, it is important to compare your Customer Acquisition Cost to your Customer Lifetime Value to ensure they’re proportionate. You obviously do not want to spend more acquiring customers than you get in return from them.
  • Social Media Reach: This is the number of people who see your content (not to be confused with impressions, which is the number of times your content is displayed). Social Media Reach is similar to how newspapers and magazines measure circulation numbers or how TV networks use Nielsen ratings. This metric helps gauge the power of the channel for your brand, and it helps you assess what content is valuable vs. irrelevant to your audience.

Focusing on revenue, and which aspects of your marketing are proving to drive your business, might not be as exciting as discussing millions of impressions or social chatter. However, once you understand what measurements are critical, your marketing becomes stronger and more successful than ever.