Wednesday December 11, 2013 0 comments
By Debra Kahn
LOVELAND -- The secret behind Madwire Media's exponential growth over the past four years is their strategy of "eating our own dog food," says CEO JB Kellogg.
"We had growth right away," Kellogg recalls. "We were seeing conversions from our marketing, which was the exact same marketing we did for our clients. We tested it on ourselves first, and then if it worked, we rolled it into our clients' campaigns."
Founded in mid-2009 by JB and his father, Joe Kellogg, Loveland-based Madwire helps client businesses grow through inbound marketing campaigns that convert Web visibility to revenue. The duo brought on partner Jerry Kelly, currently CMO, about six months after the company launched. Since then, Madwire has grown from three employees to about 170 and has worked with nearly 8,000 customers to date, says JB.
He attributes this success to a tightly-focused philosophy. "Our whole focus is driving conversions. That's our philosophy - how do we get more results for less?"
Visibility first step
This means that Madwire produces "streamlined Web marketing solutions" for its clients and has a trademarked strategy, which JB describes as "visibility, clickability and convertability."
"Visibility is the first step in the process. But being visible is going to do you absolutely no good if no one clicks on your listing. What we do is make sure that your ad copy is very, very convertible, so that you're gaining as many clicks as possible. Even then, you're still not seeing any benefit unless they're actually converting.
"So that's where we drill down: How many clicks are actually converting and how do we get the conversion rate of your marketing campaign to the highest possible percentage? That will reduce your overall cost-per-sale and increase your return on investment," he explains.
About 50 percent of Madwire's customers are startup companies. In fact, its target customer is any type of business that does not have a large in-house marketing team.
"Our primary customers are small-to-medium-sized businesses from any kind of vertical - from service-based to e-commerce - that gets value out of having experts like us partner with them and become essentially their marketing and design department," says JB.
Conversions measure success
The company has a simple measure of success - conversions.
"We look at the data all the time. We can see how many people saw your advertising online and out of that how many visited your Web site. From there, we can see how many visits actually resulted in either a lead or an online sale. We can see how many people called and when, and we can listen to the call to see if the quality of the call was even valuable or not. So we track everything down to the finest level."
Helping to drive up conversion statistics for a client's online campaign is Madwire's team of design, content and marketing experts. Farra Lanzer, Madwire's public relations director and content team manager, explains that her team's mission is "to improve our clients' organic ranking on Google."
And one of the biggest factors in Google's algorithm is fresh content on the Web site. So her team regularly updates client blogs with new material.
But there is a technology component to Madwire's client offerings, too.
UXi is latest innovation
The company's latest innovation - the UXi Web site platform - launched just this year. The UXi (User Experience Intelligence) technology "allows your Web site's conversion rate to continually increase over time by positively adapting the design to convert its traffic to a higher rate," according to the Madwire Web site.
JB explains that UXi is part of the company's full Web-design service, which a client initiates by completing a design questionnaire. Madwire experts then use the questionnaire data and the tool to "design on a fast scale the most convertible Web site possible." Clients can use the tool to review and even tweak their site without having "to know any code."
The tool allows for a free-flowing Web site design - not based on set templates or layouts - and mobile-friendly results, according to JB, so it offers very competitive capability.
"But the real beauty of UXi is the process that happens after the site goes live. Basically, the Web site design evolves over time. Based on the traffic coming in, the Web site adapts...automatically. It tweaks itself."
Thus colors, messaging, layout and even the number of landing pages can change dramatically from month one to month 12 of a Web site's existence.
The technology itself is also evolving. Coming soon will be the tool's capability to recognize a past visitor and present that visitor with favored content on the Web site's home page. So every repeat visitor would see unique content rather than a static page.
Also coming soon is Madwire's new marketing software tool, which will allow clients to market their businesses through different online channels by using a single piece of software. With this tool, "you can manage your Google ads, manage your Bing ads, manage LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter ads, all from one place," says JB. "But more than ease of use, it actually has algorithms built into it which optimize campaigns to drive the highest results."
Madwire is positioning this tool as a software and service hybrid (SASH) because "it also has service tied to it," explains JB. "You'll have a certified digital marketing expert working with you either hands on - literally doing everything for you - or hands off and giving you recommendations and support." Plus, the tool will allow clients to assign specific tasks directly to Madwire's design and creative team, such as creating a new Web site banner.
With these new opportunities in Madwire's future, JB said he believes the company will continue to grow. "We want to be the largest small-business digital marketing agency in the country, when it comes to inbound marketing."