Ian Huntley, Account Coordinator

Ian Huntley

Associate Account Manager
I hail from Iowa, famous for butter cows and fields of dreams. Before coming to KW2, I represented the MillerCoors Company by creating events and promoting the brand at the local and regional levels. I also have marketing experience within the medical devices and healthcare industries. My favorite aspects of this business include promotions, branding and messaging to consumers. I am a huge music junkie, beer aficionado and terrible (but determined) dancer.
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The Eight Benefits of Leveraging an Experiential Marketing Execution in Your Strategy

It’s no surprise that we, as marketers, are always looking for new ways to disrupt the market and landscape to better reach our audiences. Many of my closest peers and professional connections know that I have a special interest in experiential marketing (in a basic sense, immersing your audience in your brand). Heck; I’ve written about it in our blog once before, here.

My previous post was one focused on educating and sharing a new perspective of learning about a newer strategy that’s on the rise in the world of marketing. Outside of the “experience,” however, what really are the benefits and selling points of this strategy and why even consider it? This time around, I explore some of the most notable benefits and why you should give it more thought in the future.

Experiential Marketing Benefits:

  1. Truly convey messaging and tone: Instead of saying it, showcase and deliver it. In this case, don’t just say it, but spray it.
  2. Show brand in a new light: If people end up expecting the same thing from your brand, new and bold tactics can surprise your audience… for the better.
  3. Make your brand human and relatable: Show that your company isn’t only in it for the money. You’re invested in your audience and can connect with them on a personal and informal way.
  4. Taking creativity to the next level: Guaranteed that you will stand out from competitors with new and exciting tactics.
  5. Tap into growing technologies & news: Location-based apps and advertising is constantly evolving. Leverage that for a more personal touch and show that your brand is on the forefront of emerging technologies and in tune with industry developments.
  6. Expand portfolio of marketing tactics and mediums: break out of the same old direct mailers and e-mail marketing to increase the breadth of your company’s marketing portfolio
  7. Establish and build brand loyalty: I’ve seen lifelong brand loyalists switch brands because of experiential marketing tactics. Show the unparalleled benefit and people will follow.
  8. Brand recall/unaided awareness: “remember that time that company did that really cool thing that one time?” Yeah, people will talk about your brand without overt advertisements or prompts.

When it comes to event marketing, some of the results are staggering. In regards to sampling, grassroots activations and large-scale mobile tours, consumer participants react positively to a brand in such a way that they want to stay involved with the brand. Just take a look at some of these numbers:

  • 98% of consumers exposed to a product or service at a brand event will positively mention it later, with two-thirds specifically mentioning the brand.
  • 93% of participants allow brands to stay in touch with them via promotions, email and other advertising.
  • Almost 50% of participants end up purchasing sponsored products.

Whether you’re looking to gain a firm grasp of market share, refresh your brand, or even better connect with your audience, this avenue of marketing can open up new doors that will excite your marketing team and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

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Website Traffic to Data Conversion: Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 3)

Well folks, it’s here: The final post that will round out our three part series on Google Analytics tools you need to use now. Make sure you check out parts one and two to help give context to this post.

A major component to our digital and Analytics strategies is Conversions. In our Planning process, we look at all the content clients want to include in a new website and create desired user paths with micro and macro Conversions. These “micros and macros” closely relate to Goals, but focus on actions across multiple pages, rather than individual website pages.

In the last post, we used photography equipment as an example for defining Goals. Let’s use the same scenario to explore Conversions: Selling camera equipment on your site is your macro conversion, the ultimate action on your website that you want your audience to complete more than any other. What helps lead to that sale? Micro conversions for selling your premium lens can include watching a features video, reading customer reviews, or anything else that could lend itself to the purchase.

This path to conversions is tracked with the Goal settings created in Google Analytics, along with other tools at your disposal like the Goal Flow report and Multi-Channel Funnels report. Though Google Analytics is an amazing thing, it does have limits. It helps gather this data, but it still does not put all the numbers together and provide insights to your data. That’s where the experience of reporting comes in.

Data may mean only so much to people. Being able to translate and convey it to others in an understandable format is a must. We have a number of clients to whom we deliver Analytics reports, and they love it. We take the time to assess these Goals and Conversions and put thought to it. We pull out insights and information to help lead digital, and even traditional, marketing strategies.

If you’re the marketing person in your organization leading the review of your site’s Analytics, consider some of the tips we use at KW2:

  1. Set a schedule – Many times, an Analytics reporting schedule will coincide with your marketing campaigns, fiscal years, and quarterly reports, but make sure you get Analytics assessments on the books for your team and/or manager, and stick to a regular schedule to review.
  2. Create an easy-to-digest report – Whether it’s in a Word document or presentation deck, keeping things consistent every reporting period makes it much easier to compare data over time from one report to another.
  3. Stay updated on Analytics – We’ve been called Google Analytics Gurus by our clients after they see what we do, but we work hard at it. Although we have several folks who are certified, Analytics are always changing as technologies develop, new tracking methods are being discovered, and more. Make sure you take the time every now and again to learn the latest features and tactics out there, as they’ll change and evolve as Google continually enhances what Analytics can do.

As you can tell from this and the previous posts, there’s a lot to Google Analytics. It’s a deeply engaging and immersive world of information, so knowing what to look for, and tying the data sets to one another is quite valuable to your marketing efforts. And yes, like many great marketing tools, it can be time-intensive.

You’re a busy person, and we want to be sure you’re gathering this data efficiently and quickly so you can focus on the other things at hand. If you’ve got a hunger for Analytics and are interested in more, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email.

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Goals: The Google Analytics Tool You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 2 of 3)

In part 1 of our three-part Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Now series, we discussed Views and Filters. We looked at how using these tools mean a world of difference for the data you collect on your site’s performance. In part 2, we’ll look at another tactic that can give definition to, and truly transform, your website’s data. That tactic is called Goal Implementation. Even if you aren’t in the business of selling things, Analytics Goals allows you to set a monetary value to actions that may not be e-commerce in nature.

 

What is a Google Analytics Goal?

Goals are definable actions on your website that can help you see specific successes for your website. There are four common types of Goals that can be defined. They include:

  1. Destination Goals: Tracks when a user visits an important page
  2. Duration Goals: Tracks when a user meets a length-on-page criteria you set
  3. Event Goals: Tracks when users perform an action on your site (eg. download a PDF or play a video)
  4. Pages per Visit Goals: Tracks a designated number of pages viewed

Potentially, every page of your website could have a goal. Assigned to each Goal is a Goal Value. Defined by you, a Value is a monetary amount you assign to an action that can be important to achieving your website’s goal(s).

 

Let’s look at an example: your business manufactures camera and video equipment. Your premium long-range lens sells for $3,000. You’re confident that at least 25% of your customers make a purchase after reading the PDF brochure of information. You can translate that 25% of $3,000 to $750 and assign a $750 Goal Value to the PDF download link on your website.

Another user action, like reading reviews, could assist with product purchases as well. However, they might not be as effective at selling, compared to your brochure. You might assign a $60 Goal Value to the action of reading a review. If you feature a review from an industry expert, it might be appropriate to assign a higher Goal Value, like $120, to that review. The values in this example are arbitrary, but it helps you see how weighting user actions on-site helps you evaluate which lead to the most sales.

This is just one tool in Analytics that can help you understand how many people buy your products based on website actions. Comparing your total monthly product sales to your assigned Values is an indicator of how much your audience values your brochure or reviews when considering or making a purchase. Reviewing these each month can tell you how valuable a particular action is on your website, and how important it is to your business objectives over time.

 

Are people leaving your site from a particular page or after a unique action? Then it’s time to look at re-vamping your content to something that will keep your visitors on your site and interacting with it. Google Analytics offers supplemental tools such as Goal Flow and Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Each report will show your users’ paths and steps taken on your site, even over multiple visits. These help you see the best return on your website’s content over time, especially if you have an SEO strategy in place.

Integrating and tracking Goals will require a little programming and setup within Analytics, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Take a look at your website content and see what Values you would assign to the marketing areas on your site. Let us know what you find and if you have any questions. Our digital experts can help with that strategy.

 

Stay tuned for part 3 of our Analytics tools series, where we’ll share a little insight into the strategy we use at KW2 to tie information together, and pull out the most important and relevant data and insights for a website.

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The Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 1 of 3)

Get ready for a bold statement folks: Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you look at past results, present performance and future strategies for websites. Knowing its capabilities, and leveraging the data to achieve your goals are invaluable. This is the first of a three-part blog series to explain some basics of Google Analytics that aren’t always considered when it comes to integrating it into websites.

To really get a good sense of your website’s success, it’s more than just looking at an increase in visits or a decrease in bounce rate, month over month. There is so much to unearth, but knowing where and how to begin Analytics integration is key. All the data in the world is useless, if not set up properly and strategically. There are many lesser-known aspects of Analytics that should be considered and implemented as you create a website or online campaign. In this post, I’ll give you two important ones that are simpler than you may think.

Take advantage of Views
In Analytics, you create one Account. Under that account, you have Properties, which are the different sites (or apps) you want to track. For each site, you can create multiple Views. Depending on your goals and objectives for your website, applying different Views can quickly give you the specific information you need, based on the settings, dimensions and Filters you assign. For example, if your sales team is divided among the United States, Canada and Mexico, it may be beneficial to create an individual View for each country. As a result, each salesperson doesn’t have to sift through the cumulative data of every country to find their unique statistics. Another example: creating a mobile and desktop View to see only the data from either of those devices. Regardless, even if you decide you do not need multiple Views, it is important to create a test View. This will allow you to make new changes in your criteria for gathering information without being detrimental to your site’s results. Once you’re pleased with its setup, apply those settings to your main data View.

Filter out the unnecessary data
To take advantage of Views, we’ll need to set up filters. Analytics’ filters are crucial to collecting the best information from your site’s performance, and nothing is more frustrating than skewed and inaccurate data. You can filter nearly anything you can think of. Definitely filter out your internal employees’ visits via an IP address filter. If one of your Views is only concerned with sales and revenue, filter out the job board sites. If you only care about visitors coming from desktop computers, remove the mobile and tablet visits. If you think it’s a filter that will stick around indefinitely, save it as a View.

An important note: Always keep an unfiltered/original View for raw information, and as a backup for your data. After that, add as many unique and customized Views as you want. Make sense? (Call me if it doesn’t – I dream in Analytics)

Some of these tools are very easy to implement, however, others may take serious time and effort, requiring some research, testing (that’s where a test View comes in handy) and even programming. Remember that altering the data Google gathers for you will be applied from that moment and onward. Analytics doesn’t store information, “just in case,” if you tell it to exclude the data from the beginning. Therefore, be sure you’re monitoring your filters and data in the beginning, and be prepared to make adjustments on the fly if you aren’t satisfied with the information you are or are not gathering. Filters and Views implementations make your website’s data indisputable and reputable. Keep an eye out for the next post in this series where I will discuss Goals and the strategies that will be useful for your Analytics information.

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Acing Email Marketing Data with Constant Contact Reports

We recently helped a client get up to speed with their reports and analytics system. Email marketing analytics have never been easier with Constant Contact and its dashboard of information. Why should you consider email marketing? Whether you’re sending new product information, a specific business unit’s newsletter, or company news, it’s important to know where your emails are being sent to, who is seeing them and what the response is. After all, how can you manage what you don’t measure? Analytics are a must for email marketing campaigns. Constant Contact Reports is a quick and convenient tool that should definitely be considered in your strategies. Here is what it can tell you:

Emails Report The Constant Contact Emails Report is a compiled list of the emails you have sent out in the past. The following information is provided in Constant Contact analytics. They’re worth knowing and tracking the next time you conduct email marketing:

  • Bounce – The number of emails not received by your contacts, which could be caused by a number of factors including full mailboxes, vacation auto-replies and spam filters, among others.
  • Spam Reports – The number of recipients who marked the email as spam.
  • Opt-outs – The number of recipients who unsubscribed from your email list.
  • Opens – The number of emails your recipients have received and opened.
  • Clicks – The number of recipients who clicked on a link within your email.
  • Forwards – The number of times the email was forwarded.

Comparative Metrics View your efforts to date on a larger landscape with Comparative Metrics, which presents the overall metrics as well as the metrics of the last three months. This can be particularly useful for viewing the success of your emails if you’ve recently changed your marketing tactics.

Email Statistics Graph Here is where things come together and you can really get a feel for your email campaign success. Remembering the previous definitions, this graph will display bar and line graphs to give you information at-a-glance. Convenient metrics presented in the graph are the Industry Open and Click Rates. These will show your email’s success compared to the industry’s average success with email marketing. While your organization should establish benchmarks unique to your goals and resources, these industry averages are a good place to start. constant contact

 

This is just one piece of the puzzle; the bare bones of the insights and information you can uncover with Reports. Now that you understand the basic overview of Constant Contact and its analytics reports, it will be easier to analyze past and current results and better plan for the future. Being aware of these metrics will allow you to better strategize your content to drive Forwards and ultimately, Clicks to your website. On the opposite side, through Opt-outs and Spam Reports, you can tailor your future emails to steer clear of particular topics or content that are not appealing to your audience.

From the start, making sure you integrate with other tools, such as Google Analytics, can further boost the potential of your email marketing campaign and Constant Contact Analytics. Enabling Google Analytics tracking into your email ensures that Google will pay attention to the traffic coming into your website, directly from your emails and what they’re doing, once they’re on your site. For other applications that integrate with Constant Contact, take a look at their Apps and Integrations page on their website here.

At KW2, we utilize MailChimp and Constant Contact, with Google Analytics integration. We pay close attention to the collection of data and analytics, but sometimes our clients prefer another platform that offers the best tools for their marketing goals. So we’d like to know: Does your company use Constant Contact or another platform? How do you interpret those analytics and data for better email marketing and site traffic?

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Experiential Marketing: Letting Your Customer Taste, Touch and Feel Your Brand

In my previous life, I managed a team of experiential marketers for Miller Lite to promote and sell featured products to consumers. In its basic form, these efforts involved playing games, giving out free marketing collateral and even free samples. In these few minutes of sampling, playing brand-themed iPad games and discussion, we were able to draw the consumer away from their current habits, immerse them in the brand and topic of discussion, and reinforce the benefits of our product. I’ll never forget one consumer I approached and he said, “I never really tried Miller Lite, until you and the Miller team gave me a free beer a few weeks back and talked with me about taste comparison to competitors. I’ve been drinking Miller since.”

 

What is experiential marketing? It is one of the fastest-growing and “hottest categories in the ad industry,” (Chicago Business Journal) which focuses on providing the ultimate consumer experience through events and activities that connect consumers with brands. The key to experiential marketing is immersing your target in all that your brand has to offer. This is where passive vs. active marketing really comes into play.

 

Here are a few famous examples:

-Gillette promoted their razors by setting up a barber event set in select cities. Male consumers were invited to get a free shave  with the Gillette products.

-Ikea furnished hotels with tables, sofas, beds, chairs and even utensils for guests to enjoy during their stay.

-Keeping with their campaign to spread happiness, Coca-Cola implemented a vending machine, dubbed the Hug Machine, at  the National University of Singapore that gave students a free can when students would physically hug the machine.


In each situation, these brands tapped into the features and benefits of their products and let consumers experience it. For a brief moment, the brand completely encapsulated the public’s mind and left a lasting impression with each participant, in a way that didn’t feel like advertising or relationship marketing, but actually was.

 

I once saw a presentation from a designer whose theory is to create the perfect design via multisensory experiences. Isn’t that fantastic? If you can create something that allows consumers to tap into sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, it creates emotions and memories. Isn’t that what we, as marketers, strive for? We want our brand to be the first thought when prompted by a particular topic, word or idea. How can you, in B2C, B2B or social marketing, create experiences that get you closer to your customer?

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The Importance of Giving Back: Humanitarian Strategies for Companies

Social responsibility is a facet of business that organizations are increasingly attempting to integrate into their culture. Companies struggle to find the importance in giving back because it typically takes time, labor and resources away from day-to-day business. Instead, it redirects those assets toward an endeavor that may not directly influence the bottom line. But, a well-strategized humanitarian act can benefit an organization in more ways than one.

KW2’s social responsibility campaign includes Happy Music, the monthly community concert series, and Goodstock, a 24-hour marathon of creating advertising and marketing for non-profits. Also, the agency supports local artists by displaying an art gallery of work in the lobby to greet guests as they stop by. KW2 isn’t one of those agencies who is solely dollar-driven, but rather people-driven, which helps differentiate and resound the KW2 brand.

Why should companies be people-driven? It helps the public gain a sense of understanding of the company and see what the company stands for. It also shows the building and work for a greater good in the community. Lastly, from an internal perspective, the workplace can expect to gain a boost of morale and teamwork.

A feeling of obligation shouldn’t be the reason to give back, but rather the rooted sense of altruism and community. Surely, a company can only give back so much without compromising interests or earnings. On the other hand, with the right balance of business and good, a company can grow its brand by developing its genuine worth to the world. It is great when individuals give back, but when a company gives their time, talents and efforts in goodwill, it speaks volumes.

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