Archive for April, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Is A Key Player In Marketo/Google Product Debut

Monday, April 30th, 2018
Representation of AI

In August, Marketo announced a long-term collaboration with Google Cloud to help scale Marketo solutions and make them more widely available to marketers. The first product of this collaboration, AudienceAI, debuted today. This solution is a program that uses the Google infrastructure and artificial intelligence to help marketers more easily expand target audiences.

Marketo is a leading provider of marketing automation solutions, including the increasingly popular Engagement Platform. Marketo works closely with large enterprises to help them build lasting relationships with their consumers.

Marketo CEO, Steve Lucas, explains that “Marketo customers use [the] Engagement Platform to deliver personalized experiences…this collaboration with Google takes that capability to new heights.”

Marketo solutions are widely recognized for scalability and the alliance with Google Cloud will only allow for more flexibility in the automation programs.

Tariq Shaukat, Google Cloud President, says “this collaboration will allow for innovation leveraging Marketo’s Engagement Platform and Google Cloud’s commitment to performance, collaboration, and data science at scale.”

By leveraging Google’s infrastructure, Marketo has access to untapped resources to fuel further growth. The launch of AudienceAI marks the first product to come from this partnership. AudienceAI is described as “a tool for unlocking unused audience segments lying dormant inside data.” With the help of machine learning, marketers will be able to better personalize content and experiences they create for their audiences.

The idea behind this development is to help marketers find lookalike audiences through Google’s data analytics with the ultimate goal of increasing conversions, revenue, and ROI. The beauty of such a highly evolved solution is that marketers are able to harness the power of extensive data without needing a data scientist to extract the information so it can be used.

With more and more capabilities to gather data on consumers, marketers often find themselves in a catch-22 – they have the information, but they don’t have any way to use it. This solution takes out the middleman and helps marketers tap into the power of the information they already have to create better communications and build stronger relationships with their audience.

This partnership is just the start of data-driven AI solutions that will help marketers become more effective in their communication and get brands in front of their ideal target audiences. We’ve been keeping a close eye on how AI is impacting marketing and communications, you can see our analysis here and here.

As AudienceAI takes off, the impact of artificial intelligence on marketing will become more and more noticeable. We can’t wait to see the next steps Marketo and Google Cloud will take together to help marketers create more meaningful messaging.

If you’re interested in leveraging data to create impactful communications that reach your target audience, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing today.

Bringing A Greater Purpose To Life With HopeNWellness

Friday, April 27th, 2018
Feeding America

A long-time client of ours is expanding his reach to help the community. Chiropractor and owner of Ideal Health, Dr. Greg Funk, launched HopeNWellness, an online affiliate of Metagenics supplements. Fifty percent of the sales through HopeNWellness go to Feeding America, which helps provide food for hungry families in the United States.

The Story Of HopeNWellness

As a practitioner of alternative medicine, Dr. Funk is passionate about helping his patients live happier, healthier lives. He believes that the body can be harnessed as a tool to improve overall wellness, but under certain scenarios, it needs a little assistance.

In order to help his patients live a well-balanced life, Dr. Funk turned to Metagenics. Metagenics creates all natural supplements that aid the body in becoming the all-powerful tool it has the capability to be. From immune health and function to muscle, bone, and joint health, Metagenics has products to support any weakness that is holding you back from reaching your full potential.

As Dr. Funk started recommending Metagenics products to his patients that were presenting with problems that required additional support, he began to consider how he could make an even bigger impact on the community and its wellness. With two daughters at home, Dr. Funk has always been devoted to the youngest of generations. In seeking a way to fulfill a larger purpose, Dr. Funk found the organization, Feeding America. With more than 13 million children and 41 million Americans facing hunger every day, he didn’t think twice about forming a partnership.

FiG Advertising – Your Partner For Affiliate Marketing

As a partner of Metagenics, Dr. Funk sells the products on behalf of the parent organization. He needed someone to develop a site that would be compatible with the Metagenics e-commerce website, as well as build a loyal audience who are as passionate about the cause as he is.

The Naming Process & Logo Design


Dr. Funk worked closely with our graphic designer to develop a brand identity that represents everything this project means to him. That started with the naming of his organization. The name HopeNWellness encompasses the two key goals for the organization – hope for Americans that are unable to get sustenance on their own and wellness for all, achieved through nutrition, supplements or both.

From there we went into logo development. The final product resulted in two lines that cross to form a circle, which represents the two key goals of hope and wellness and how they work together to create the complete picture of overall wellness.

Website Design & Marketing Automation

The website followed. Designed with the HopeNWellness brand standards, we created a comprehensive blog site for consumers to get detailed insight on Metagenics products. All the content is set up with marketing automation software to distribute to current and potential consumers, as well as included in a robust social media campaign to increase overall awareness and engagement.

Dr. Funk and our content writer will be teaming up to generate content each month to help the target audience get to know Metagenics and HopeNWellness.

We are honored to be working with Dr. Funk to help bring this project to fruition for a greater purpose.

If you’d like to learn more about the organization HopeNWellness serves, Feeding America, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Metagenics, you can visit the HopeNWellness site here.

Finally, if you have a dream project that you’d like to pursue, contact the branding and marketing experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today to schedule a consultation.

Which Is Better: SEO Or PPC?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
SEO vs. PPC concept

As digital marketers, we get this question all the time. Each time we speak to someone who is wondering about the best marketing tactics to drive traffic to their website, our answer is always the same: “It depends.” In order to choose the most effective tactic to complement a marketing strategy, one must take into consideration a number of different aspects of the company’s current situation.

We start by narrowing down a couple of the major factors to help our clients get the most out of their marketing budget. There are three key questions we ask:

  1. What is your budget?
  2. How competitive is your CPC market?
  3. How competitive are the SERPs in your market?

With a little research, we can help our clients navigate the marketing landscape and start driving meaningful traffic to their website.

Understanding Your Options

Search engine marketing falls into two main categories: SEO and PPC. You often hear these buzzwords thrown around when people are discussing digital marketing, but having a better understanding of what each does and how it can impact your overall reach can help you make the right decision on how you spend your marketing budget.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving rankings on search engine results pages to drive organic traffic. Traffic from SEO is technically free, in the sense that you are not charged when a user clicks on your site in the SERP. However, upwards of 65 percent of clicks go to the top five organic results – and that does not take into consideration the number of clicks that go to the paid ads at the top of the SERP or the search queries that do not result in a click at all – so building the awareness and high-rankings does take time, effort, and, in many cases, money.

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is the process of utilizing programs like Google AdWords to bid on keywords. These ads are the sponsored results that appear at the top and bottom of the SERP. You bid on targeted keywords and pay only when the results are clicked on. Keywords costs can range from a dollar or two per click to upwards of $50 per click, depending on the specific industry.

So…SEO or PPC?

Both PPC and SEO have their benefits and drawbacks. Choosing one over the other depends entirely on what your goals are.

Benefits of SEO

  • High-ranking organic results can improve your credibility among consumers
  • Long-term return on investment can be higher
  • A sustainable tactic that when maintained can be highly effective over time
  • The scope of rankings is much wider with strategic SEO

Drawbacks of SEO

  • Long-term process that takes time to develop and show results
  • Requires ongoing maintenance with expertise in the execution
  • Algorithms change over time and require adjustment to strategy

Benefits of PPC

  • Immediate results when the campaign is activated
  • Highly specific targeting capabilities
  • A/B testing options to improve the effectiveness of campaigns
  • Flexible budgeting with tight control

Drawbacks of PPC

  • Can be expensive and requires ongoing investment
  • Clicks don’t confirm conversion
  • Short-term solution – when you stop putting money in, the ads stop

An Integrated Strategy

While both of these marketing tactics can be used on their own, they are exponentially more effective with used strategically in tandem with one another. The data you gather from your PPC campaigns regarding keywords and A/B testing results can be fed into your organic campaigns to improve the overall success. You are also able to increase visibility and authority in your niche market by appearing in organic and paid SERPs.

An integrated search strategy is the ideal approach for increasing visibility and driving traffic to your website to ultimately converting potential customers into loyal ones.

If you’re interested in developing a more robust search engine marketing campaign, contact the search experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing for a consultation today.

Kobe Bryant Enters The Advertising World With BodyArmor

Friday, April 20th, 2018
Basketball players drinking sports drink.

BodyArmor released four 30-second spots on Wednesday that take aim at Gatorade, the sports drink giant. Featuring NBA, WNBA, and MLB stars, each spot depicts an ironically outdated scenario (from 80s workout classes to carrier pigeons) that poke fun at Gatorade’s outdated product. Each spot closes with the line, “Thanks Gatorade, we’ll take it from here.”

A Timeline

Gatorade has been a longtime partner of the NBA, with a partnership that dates back to the 1980s. Early last year, the NBA announced that Gatorade had purchased the naming rights to the NBA Development League, which is basketball’s minor league, and the G-League was born. The NBA Gatorade League is the first title sponsorship of a US professional sports league, so the changing dynamic has been met with a lot of skepticism.

Some feel that the G-League lends itself to slang terms that insinuate gang relationships, while others feel it was a cheap shot at leveraging an established brand to initiate more sales. Ultimately, buying the naming rights was led to animosity towards the brand from fans and players alike. Gregg Popovich and Klay Thompson being a few among the many who are less than willing to support the drink, making post-game comments and displays to snub the brand.

BodyArmor is approaching the industry with the intention of evolving with it. Founder and CEO, Mike Repole, asks “How does it make sense to have the same exact sports drink we had 50 years ago? Athletes are more sophisticated than they have ever been. They train year-round, they have chefs and they read labels.”

A Household Name Speaks

Gatorade’s A-list endorsement roster and significant market share lead don’t phase BodyArmor execs, though, who are working hard to create a movement with the help of Kobe Bryant. Bryant is the third largest investor in the 6-year-old startup, behind the founders of the company, and has been intimately involved in the development of the brand strategy and creative.

Repole, told ESPN, “When I teamed up with Kobe, I thought I was getting an elite basketball player with great vision. I wound up with an Oscar winner who has his fingerprints all over our creative…[I] consider him a co-founder.” Bryant’s relationship with BodyArmor is different than many other brand endorsements you see from household names. As an investor in the company, Bryant has played a huge role in making it what it is.

In regard to his goals for the brand, Bryant said the following:

“It’s one thing to inspire athletes to want to be great and you see a lot of brands doing that. What we are trying to do instead is challenge. And there’s a big difference between inspiring and challenging. We live in a day and age where kids are surrounded by instant gratification, but in sports you can’t do that.”

Can The Underdog Win It All?

The competition is steep, but who better than a world-class athlete to take on the challenge? According to IRI, BodyArmor has less than a 2 percent share compared to Gatorade’s 75 percent market domination. Bryant’s not discouraged by those numbers. In the 52 weeks that ended last month, BodyArmor sales grew by 140 percent to nearly $123 million.

BodyArmor is working to make moves in the industry based on product quality and standout athlete endorsements that run the gamete of sports. Created using natural ingredients with no colors from artificial source, BodyArmor is branded as the “better-for-you” super-drink that provides superior hydration. These on-trend building blocks are key factors supporting the success of the product.

Often, we see negative reactions from the public when advertisements directly call out competitors, however, in the right setting it can be a very effective tactic. In the case of BodyArmor versus Gatorade, the public perception seems to be overwhelmingly positive, as Gatorade’s recent missteps have sent previously loyal fans back into the market. We’re keeping our eye out to see how Gatorade responds to the idea that they are no longer the freshest sports drink in the game.

You can check out the latest BodyArmor spots here.

If you want to create a movement with your brand, contact the experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing.