Posted by: In: Company News 29 May 2017 Comments: 0

Qoints x CFDC

 

As of May 29th, the size of our Cobourg office has tripled! Joining the Qoints team are Grace Demill and Brock Ney, Northumberland County natives. Grace will fill the role of Marketing Analyst, while Brock will work as our Customer Success Coordinator.

 

Grace Demill is a lively member of the Northumberland community, entering her second year studying within Queen’s University’s Commerce program. As a business student, she gravitates towards the field of marketing, and is eager to immerse herself within social roles. Aside from her studies, she enjoys filling her free time with horseback riding, wrestling, soccer, acting, and sharing the odd dad joke.

 

Brock is a President’s List Commerce student entering his fourth year of studies at UOIT. He is very involved at UOIT, which includes being a Junior Marketing Coordinator executive for the Accounting Association, and playing multiple intramural sports including soccer, volleyball, and basketball. When he is not in school or working, Brock enjoys biking and playing outside with his dog!

 

Cory Rosenfield, cofounder & CEO, is very excited about the new developments. “We’re starting to see the vision of a bringing high-quality jobs to the Northumberland. This is a part of Qoints’ strong, ongoing commitment to drive innovation within the region.”

 

Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of Northumberland CFDC, is pleased with the recent growth of the Qoints team. “It is so exciting to see Qoints grow their business and continue to create next generation jobs for youth in Northumberland. We are very proud of our 2015 N100 winner and the leadership of founders Cory Rosenfield and Harris Maxwell.”

 

We are excited to see what the future holds, and can’t wait for our new team members to get down to work!

 

 

Posted by: In: Market Insight 02 Mar 2017 Comments: 0

handshake_digital

 

2017 is well on it’s way and as marketers, we recognize (as in any other year) that we’ll be introduced to new technologies and new channels to learn and ply our skills on. One constant, however, will be the existence of both brands and agencies, a relationship which has been fortified by the resurgence of the pay-for-performance business model.

Pay-for-performance models are a time-honoured tradition in the ad agency world. Clients establish what they would like to have done, pay the overhead costs, and then pay more if the agency delivers on its promises. But measuring success has become more challenging over the years. Quantifying the impact of traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print is hard, because measurement tends to be slow, inaccurate, and lacking in actionable insights.

This has led to an industry where agencies have very little accountability to their brand clients; regardless of the impact on sales, market share, or any other key metrics a brand might be focusing on, the agency gets paid. The tides appear to be turning, however. In 2016 alone, $30 billion of marketing spend was put under review, citing a lack of transparency as the major driver. Brands and agencies operate in silos, without any frame of reference – brands put a lot of trust in their agencies, and agencies are dependent on their media partners. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO at WPP, accused the large media and adtech players of “mark[ing] their own homework,” while Rishad Tobaccowala, strategy and growth officer at Publicis, asked “what in the world is going on when a buyer is told by the seller what the terms of the agreement are?” In addition, many brand clients are aggressively cutting budgets while expecting similar levels of service, which is forcing some agencies to narrow their margins in order to stay competitive. A common occurrence is junior staff working on multiple large accounts at agencies to save money, which can lead to a loss of quality for end clients.

 

So, How Can Pay-For-Performance Models Help The Industry?

 

Agencies cannot continue to cut costs and margins without adversely affecting the quality of their work. As digital marketing spends outpace traditional budgets, brands and agencies are more open than ever to rethinking their strategies. Thus, pay-for-performance models are re-emerging as a solution. While these types of arrangements are still somewhat unique to each individual engagement, the common thread tends to be that the agency can charge for its overhead costs up front, and the brands’ final bill is determined by a campaign’s performance against mutually agreed-upon KPIs. This allows brands to be more confident about their ROI, and it gives agencies the ability to be rewarded for above-average performance.

[READ MORE: SHOPPER MARKETING – HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT CHANNEL MIX FOR YOUR PROMOTION]

Transparency is becoming essential  in the digital marketing space, and those who embrace it will certainly see a lift in opportunities. Some agencies have already moved over to a full pay-for-performance model, at least for some of their accounts. Omnicom Group and Merkle, who now control the accounts for McDonald’s and Warner Bros (respectively), have begun shifting to this model, citing accountability. In order for this model to work, however, brands and agencies need to collaborate by sharing data, aligning on their business goals, and agreeing on KPIs.

 

Mcdonals_warnerbros_logos

Both McDonald’s and Warner Bros have adopted pay-for-performance agency models

 

As pay-for-performance relationships continue to grow in popularity, with more big brands demanding transparent marketing practices, agencies must evolve in order to respond effectively. They must become more open and transparent, in order to remain competitive and build stronger relationships with brands. The concept of “upside” with respect to the results of a client engagement will allow agencies to benefit financially when they perform exceptionally well for their clients, and the fact that their overhead is covered lowers risk (although it stands to reason that an agency that consistently doesn’t outperform the agreed-upon metrics will lose clients).

Those who invest in centralizing, standardizing, and benchmarking their data before the rush will be able to capitalize on the complacency of their competitors in the agency space. To stand out in the digital world, agencies must be agile with their work, and they must arm themselves with the analytical tools to do so objectively. In order to set realistic metrics with clients (which will govern their compensation), agencies must be able to access industry benchmarks. The ancillary benefit for an agency is that they can use the benchmarks to inform their strategy recommendations and decisions. Contributing to industry benchmarks benefits everyone in the industry, and works in the long-term to drive transparency, trust, and honest marketing practices.

[READ MORE: WHAT DATA SHOULD I TRACK?]

If agencies adopt this mindset and become more transparent with their clients, a major evolution in the industry is inevitable. Clients will know upfront what their money will be spent on and exactly what they are getting, while agencies will build better trust with their customers and have a more objective idea of what tactics and strategies will work best for their particular objectives. More and more people in the industry are joining the chorus for transparency and honesty – this is the way forward. Join us!

 

Posted by: In: Digital Success 04 Aug 2016 Comments: 0

Social Media Icons

 

It’s important for brands to reach their customer and make a quality connection instantly – in the most cost-effective manner possible. Facebook may serve as a great channel to target Moms with a Food & Beverage coupon promotion, but depending on the tactics being employed and the customer being targeted, other channels may drive greater sales lift (and ultimately ROI). This is why optimizing your marketing channel mix is so important. 

With More Than 100 Channels, How Do You Choose?

Some marketers peg the amount of channels they touch at over 100. Smart Insights keeps an ever-growing list of digital marketing channels, which illustrates the sheer amount of networks that continue to inundate the digital landscape. With more appearing all the time, how do marketers choose which channels to use to reach their target customer? For promotions specifically, brands have to decide whether or not to take an omnichannel approach, or focus their efforts on one main network (and in that scenario, is it a wide net on a major network or a calculated risk on a more niche channel?). The balancing act that comes with omnichannel campaigns can be hard to optimize, and putting the majority of a promotion’s budget on one key network leaves a very small margin for error.

Qoints recently published a new report which analyzed award-winning digital promotions to glean best practices for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) vertical. A large part of this research involved looking at the different channels that campaigns used, and trying to determine how the choice of channel(s) affected the campaigns and their end results.

Channel Usage (Total)

When looking at the digital channel usage found in our research, it is clear that some channels dominate. Facebook and Twitter, the two behemoths of social media, were used in 50% of campaigns. This number reflects the high amount of faith that marketers have in these two platforms. With such large user bases, both Facebook and Twitter have the ability to reach a large number of consumers.

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone When The Past Results Show You The Light

Looking past Facebook and Twitter, the channels used start to vary greatly and include newer channels that have been gaining traction over the last few years. Nearly one third of the channels used could be considered ‘new’ social media platforms. These are established services with a significant number of users, but still not close to Facebook or Twitter. While the use of channels such as Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube is a small percentage of the channels used now, their occurrence in digital campaigns will likely grow as marketers continue to target millennials and the platforms that demographic prefers.

Bottom Line… It’s The Top Line Sales That Really Matter!

In our research, we also ranked the campaigns by sales lift, and then split them into thirds to create a top, middle, and bottom third. We then analyzed which channels the better performing campaigns used, to see what was being done differently in comparison to lower performing campaigns. Measuring by sales lift ensures a focus on real results, as opposed to vanity metrics such as impressions and reach.

Channel Usage (Thirds)

In the top third of campaigns Facebook and Twitter are still prevalent, consisting of 50% of the channels used. This is likely due to their sheer size, and the fact that nearly every brand has a presence on both of these platforms. However, looking at the other channels used, the top performing campaigns are beginning to branch out and use less traditional channels such as Snapchat and Pinterest. This proves that there can be success outside of the big 2, and this should signal to other marketers to begin exploring opportunities on these lesser used channels.

Looking at the low ranking campaigns, both Facebook and Twitter are still relevant (once again making up nearly half of the channels used). Other channels utilized by the the bottom third of campaigns were branded microsites and branded mobile apps. This is a growing trend, but it appears that most marketers have not yet been able to unlock the full potential of these channels. It is also important to note that the newer social channels (Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) are not even present here. Low performing campaigns are sticking to what has always been perceived to work instead of experimenting with new channels, and this is hurting their sales lift numbers.

[READ MORE: SHOPPER MARKETING: EXPLORING DIFFERENT TACTICS AND THEIR POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH SALES LIFT]

Facebook and Twitter: Maybe Size Doesn’t Matter?

When looking at sales lift, it can be hard to attribute what actually drives it. While it is primarily the tactic that dictates the lift of the campaign, the channel marketers use is also important. Channel is how brands reach people, so it is critical that they reach the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.

Sales Lift FB & Twitter

By analyzing the sales lift of the campaigns and then matching them with the channel, we can see which channels are associated with higher sales lift. Campaigns that used Twitter in any way (on its own, or in tandem with other channels) generated an average sales lift of 23%, while campaigns that did not use Twitter at all had an average sales lift of 36%. We observed similar behaviour with campaigns that used Facebook as part of the channel mix (average sales lift of 23%, while campaigns that did not use Facebook at all had an average sales lift of 40%).

These contrasting sales lift numbers show that while marketers can reach a large number of people on Facebook and Twitter, these platforms may not be getting them the most desirable results possible. With so many advertisers flocking to Facebook and Twitter to run their promotions there is a lot of noise and competition, which fatigues consumers and thereby makes it harder for brands to reach them. If marketers can’t even reach the customer, they have no chance of ever selling them anything.

If You Snooze, You’ll Lose

Until last month, nobody had cracked the physical-to-digital marketing connection better than FourSquare – that was until Nintendo broke through and opened our eyes to what is possible with Pokemon Go! Brands such as Best Buy have tapped into the craze by introducing special offerings for Pokemon Go players to draw them into brick-and-mortar locations. Major sports teams such as the Houston Astros and the Jacksonville Jaguars have followed suit, opening their stadiums and arenas up to the public to catch Pokemon. This proactive yet cautious “test-and-see” mentality can pay off, with brands establishing a presence on the platform and having consumers associate the game with the company.

By utilizing newer channels, brands can have a far larger impact on a more targeted group of consumers. While they may not be able to reach the same amount of people (in Nintendo’s case however, they have surpassed Twitter in popularity at least for now), they will likely be able to get more engagement, which leads to more conversions. Like the old adage says, it’s quality over quantity. In order to reach the desired level of quality, this data shows that brand marketers must be willing to take some risks with channels that are not yet considered “mature.”

Qoints can help brands take calculated risks, optimize performance and mitigate failures. With the Qoints platform, brands and agencies alike are able to measure the success of the individual channels in their mix, allowing marketers to make data-driven decisions on who to target and where. This method can help drive sales lift for firms, taking the guesswork out of figuring out what is working and what is not.

Posted by: In: Digital Success 29 Jul 2016 Comments: 0

Shopper Marketing For Moms

Since the dawn of the digital age, futurists have predicted the demise of brick and mortar stores. Experts anticipated a shift to online shopping, with physical stores becoming obsolete next to the 24/7 availability of the online store. Why would consumers waste their time going to a store, when they can get everything they need from the comfort of their own home?

Shopper Marketing ImageE-commerce has exploded in the last decade (with companies like Amazon becoming behemoths in the retail space), yet consumers still visit physical stores en masse. The need to touch and feel in a physical retail experience is not going away. According to a 2015 report published by TimeTrade, 85% of consumers prefer to shop in-store as opposed to online. While shoppers like the ease and convenience of online retailers, it is clear that they still like to go shopping in the traditional way.

The need for physical locations means that retailers have to craft marketing strategies that generate opportunities to reach these shoppers. As a result shopper marketing has become a rapidly-growing space in recent years, supported by the wide availability of digital resources that are now at the disposal of almost every consumer.

There are several different ways that companies can approach a shopper marketing campaign. Based on the demographic being targeted, organizations must choose which channels to use and which tactics to employ for each of those channels. The success of a shopper marketing campaign should be measured by sales lift, in comparison to the same period of time the previous year (there are other Key Performance Indicators to consider, but sales lift should always be reported). Recently, Qoints published a research study in this area which shows, among other things, that campaign tactics play a prominent role in dictating the sales lift for a shopper marketing campaign.

 

Our Shopper Marketing Benchmarks

Tactic Breakdown Chart

The first step we took was to sort the campaigns we had by sales lift – we separated the results into the top third, middle third, and bottom third. There was a noticeable difference between the average sales lift between each third. Campaigns in the top third had an average sales lift of 55%, the middle third had an average sales lift of 20%, and the bottom third had an average sales lift of 8.3%.

Looking at the above graph, we can see the breakdown of the different tactics used  in the top third, middle third, and bottom third. One thing that jumps out is that the top third relied heavily on personalized display ads, with 56% of campaigns utilizing this tactic. In comparison, the bottom third of campaigns were more likely to employ the use of coupons (45% of campaigns in the bottom third used a coupon in some capacity).

Personalized Display AdsAvg sales lfit chart

As you can see from the graph to the right, personalized display ads generated the highest average sales lift for a company in our study. The average sales lift for a campaign that employed personalized display ads was approximately 49%, which well outpaced the other tactics. Why was this tactic so effective at reaching and engaging the consumer compared to the others? Personalization, executed appropriately for the demographic being targeted, simply offers a deeper connection with consumers than any of the other tactics that were utilized.

Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes generated a fair sales lift, with an average of approximately 33%, but were often hit or miss for brands. This tactic was found an almost equal amount of times in high performing campaigns and low performing campaigns, which contributed to the modest performance of the tactic across the study. When done properly, sweepstakes can pay dividends, but the floor is also very low (meaning that when executed poorly, they fail spectacularly).

Coupons

Coupons were the lowest performing campaign tactic in the study, only providing an average of an 18.8% sales lift. If this feels counterintuitive to you, you’re not alone – coupons have been a popular traditional tactic for brands and retailers for many years. In the digital age, however, coupons have become increasingly ineffective.While coupons still have a place in certain industries, brands must present a compelling case for consumers to use and redeem coupons or they will be stuck with a below average sales lift.

While sweepstakes, coupons, and personalized display ads accounted for the majority of campaign tactics utilized in shopper marketing campaigns analyzed, others were used. Both regular display ads and post/content tactics were used, resulting in unremarkable (below average) results. This is another indicator of the shift towards mass personalization, as the same tactic without personalization (regular display ads) was shown to drive minimal sales lift compared to the use of personalized display ads.

[READ MORE: CPG DIGITAL SHOPPER MARKETING PROMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE 2016]

With shopper marketing becoming a bigger focus for large brands, it is important for marketers to be able to stay on top of the current best practices within the space to ensure they are maximizing sales lift. Studies such as the one carried out by Qoints can help update the collective consciousness of digital marketers, but having access to real-time data that shows which campaign tactics are working best in the current shopper environment is essential for the cutting edge brand marketer. Contact us today to find out how using Qoints can help integrate data into your strategy, execution and evaluation processes for digital shopper marketing campaigns.

 

Posted by: In: Market Insight 25 Jul 2016 Comments: 0

Shopper Marketing Report BAA 2016

Increasing Sales Lift with Digital Promotions

Today’s marketers are facing ever-increasing demands to grow their business through more effective and efficient techniques. By placing a much-needed emphasis on improving and institutionalizing the tactical mix of promotional attributes, brands can more successfully build their businesses in a predictive manner. This report will explain how to increase your promotions’ sales lifts through changes to your promotional channel strategy, tactics, and promotions’ channel-demographic target alignment by presenting learnings and benchmarks from a recent study of shopper marketing campaigns undertaken by Qoints.

 

We’re happy to integrate your specific promotional target, channel, and tactics experiences into our work. Please contact us with any questions or just to talk!

 

Posted by: In: Company News 04 Jul 2016 Comments: 0

Qoints Champagne Logo

Yesterday, July 3, 2016, marks three years since we officially incorporated Qoints – our champagne birthday nonetheless! We’ve come a long way in that time but have many goals still to accomplish. As we grow as a company, we felt that this anniversary would be the perfect time to unveil a new, more mature identity in the form of an updated company logo, tagline and vision. We are excited to share it with you!

 

Qoints New Logo

 

Overall, we were looking for a more sophisticated representation of the brand to align with our positioning in the digital marketing intelligence space. Taking a closer look at the new logo, besides a cleaner, more mature choice of font and colours, the biggest change is to the “O” in Qoints. Our trademark “coin” has evolved. While still a coin being inserted in to a slot, it is now styled to take on a couple different meanings. The 0 and a 1 represents the foundation of our business; binary code, information, big data… (the underlying blueprint of Qoints technology and value proposition). It also resembles I/O, a recognizable symbol for power, ignitions and activation. We believe this new logo and design is unique, and will be a recognizable standalone icon in time. Here is the side by side comparison:

 

Qoints_Logo_516x151         FB_Profile_White

 

Our company vision has been solidified: Empower intelligent data-driven marketing solutions.

This vision implies a broad range of MarTech opportunities however, we are hyper-focused on digital marketing intelligence, specifically in the consumer brand activation space. The core verticals we focus on remain Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Financial and Automotive industries. Transparency, Omni-channel, Digital, Standardize and Knowledge-base are all keywords that came up often in brainstorms – however they are more tactical than visionary.

We have also tweaked our tagline slightly as we continue a theme of cleanliness, sophistication and maturity – shifting from “How Digital Success Is Measured” to Digital Success Measured.

We are excited to build on our maturing identity and to continue grow the company’s reputation as a market leader in the MarTech space.

Posted by: In: Digital Success 29 Jun 2016 Comments: 0

micro-campaigns

In today’s competitive marketing environment, firms place various strategic bets on different channels (hence the term “omnichannel”), rather than spending the entire budget on a single campaign and hoping for the best. In the age of data, traditional channels such as radio and print advertising typically have little impact and produce small or hard-to-measure ROI. Marketing departments are being forced to become wiser with their dollars, which has led to the current trend of running smaller, more focused, micro-campaigns.

 

What Are Micro-Campaigns?

Micro-campaigns have become commonplace in modern firms’ marketing playbooks. Companies now run many, small, hyper-targeted promotions, simultaneously to better reach key demographics that are valuable to their business. This omnichannel effort helps concentrate dollars across channels that are performing well, allowing brands to increase the effectiveness of their spend.

 

Targeting With Micro-Campaigns Pays Dividends

A prime example of an effective micro-campaign was a promotion run by Shoes of Prey, an online women’s footwear startup. They partnered with a 16-year old YouTube personality for a giveaway, and this resulted in hundreds of more clicks and views, and a permanent sales lift of 300%. This goes to show that zeroing in on the right market and running a small but focused campaign can end up paying dividends for a brand.

 

While many firms have embraced this paradigm shift, they are not utilizing data to drive micro-campaigns to their full potential. Many modern companies are still living in the past; while they do employ micro-campaigns and find some success, it is like a game of chance. Marketers are using antiquated technology and cannot objectively measure the success of their work, leading them to make guesses when it comes to figuring out what actually worked.

 

Marketing departments need to be able to measure how effective their micro-campaigns were, and manage them accordingly. If they can’t do this, then these innovative micro-campaigns can become as wasteful as their predecessors. Micro-campaigns, when executed properly, can help brands and marketers engage and connect with key customers to help generate sales and relationships.

 

[READ: HOW MARKETERS ARE USING REAL-TIME DATA AS THEIR SECRET WEAPON]

 

With micro-campaigns starting to play such a large role in a company’s overall marketing strategy, firms must have a tool that empowers them to make smart decisions. Qoints offers such a tool, allowing organizations to both manage and measure their micro-campaigns in an effective manner. Qoints can show a firm how well each campaign performed, looking at a campaign’s key performance indicators such as cost or conversion rate. With these insights, companies can adjust their spending across channels, getting more for their money and running more successful promotions. This extra help can aid brands and agencies when they call the shots and allow for them to be more precise, instead of a utilizing the traditional one size fits all model.