Our Blog

Why Data-Driven Creative Is No Longer A “Nice To Have”

David Drewitz, Managing Director – Denver, Colorado – We as consumers, have changed our behavior in the age of mobile technology, smartphones and multi-tasking. If you’re like most people, you will find yourself watching tv, checking Facebook and listening to Pandora all at the same time.  This is exactly why data-driven creative is essential to

Posted by

4 Key Elements for Killer Creative in Today’s Digital World

The digital world is a magical place. We can share virtually anything through voice, text, image, audio, and video with our friends and family. Most of us spend a lot of time in the great digital land; it’s become an ever-constant companion. However, as a marketer, what should be a really great place to find

Posted by

Marketing Data Care and Nurturing – A Lesson from Amazon

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the dominant cloud computing provider in the world. They host hundreds of thousands of other websites and apps via a cloud infrastructure, enabling those sites and apps to use precisely resources they need but nothing more. Very efficient, very smart. They are cloud computing gods. They are data experts. And

Posted by

3 Trends That We Should Return To In 2017

The season of annual trends and predictions blog posts is here. I know — I’ve written and posted a few myself. And with the New Year now here, I thought I’d share my three trends that we should return to in 2017. 1. It’s still about the benefits In a profession built on providing people

Posted by

For The Rest of Us! Five Digital Recommendations in 2017

It’s that time of year again – parties, resolutions, and, of course, predictions for how the year ahead will unfold. Recently, I read a prediction list for digital marketing in 2017. It was very informative. Except for one thing… The prediction list was geared to big brands and Fortune 500 companies with a team of

Posted by

United We Market, Divided We Fail

Planning your 2017 marketing strategy and tactics? MindEcology’s Darren Drewitz and Jed Jones have some tried-and-true ideas to help you make your effort success. Marketing in a Decision-Making Vacuum Will Fail Seasoned marketers know that good marketing does not happen when carried out in isolation from other people. Nor does it happen in a way

Posted by
It’s Still Rock-n-Roll To Me:

It’s Still Rock-n-Roll To Me:

Strategy Still Matters Even in the Age of Programmatic Buying Acid rock, alternative rock, blues-rock, ethereal wave, funk metal, punk jazz, southern rock. This is just a tiny sample of the 221 rock genres listed in Wikipedia. That is a lot of variations on a theme! At MindEcology, that kinda reminds us of all of

Posted by

Survey Results In: Your Biggest Marketing Challenge Is…

We made the call and you answered. We were jazzed to see how many of you were willing to share your biggest marketing challenge. Now want to take a look at the results with me? Of course you do. We don’t need a survey to tell us that everyone loves to know what their peers

Posted by

Q&A: 5 Tips for Highly Successful Automated Marketing Campaigns

 If you haven’t yet taken a plunge into the marketing automation pool, you might be missing out on sales. According to survey stats provided by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 84% of “top-performing” companies were already using or planned to start using marketing automation in 2015 – and 69% of those in the “already using”

Posted by

Q&A: 5 Killer Tips for Better Brand Engagement

In this article, MindEcology co-founder and chief strategist Darren Drewitz offers 5 tips for smart businesses who want better brand engagement: So tell us, Darren, what is brand engagement anyway? “Brand engagement is a $10 marketing term that describes the level of attachment that your audience members/customers have for your brand or business. Let’s say

Posted by

Q&A: 5 Facts To Know About Audience Definition

  In this article we sit down with Dr. Jed. C. Jones, co-founder of MindEcology and the agency’s chief data scientist, for a chat about audience definition and what it means for your business. Q: Jed, what is audience definition? “In the marketing world, it’s the process (and the outcome) of narrowing down and characterizing

Posted by

The ZIP Code that Got Away

There are just over 40,000 ZIP codes in the United States – and roughly 30,000 of them play host to people: households or businesses. (The remaining 10,000 are used for PO boxes and other specialty purposes). As experts in figuring out where our clients’ best prospects live, we at MindEcology can tell you everything you

Posted by

The Role of Evaluation in Killer Agency-Client Relationships

This article is Part 4 in a series about successful advertising agency-client relationships. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Evaluation is another critical element of successful agency-client relationships – whether you’re referring to the almost-subconscious, ongoing mutual evaluation process that agencies and their clients go through almost every day, or the formal “should

Posted by

Scope of Work and Reporting in Rockstar Agency-Client Relationships

This article is Part 3 of a series about marketing and advertising agency-client relationships that rock. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Are you an agency who is celebrating a new client – or a client celebrating a new hire? Congratulations! Now the fun – and the really important stuff- begins in earnest. We’re talking,

Posted by

13 Content Marketing Tactics That Help You Win Facebook

Looking for a smart social media partner? Let’s talk. Facebook’s war on organic reach for brands has made it harder to score big content marketing wins on the platform – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still achieve a nice ROI for your Facebook marketing efforts without spending a ton of money on boosted

Posted by

The Client and Agency’s Guide to Strong Starts and Mutual Greatness

Part Two in a series of article about effective marketing and advertising agency-client partnerships. Contact MindEcology to extend the conversation. Now that client has said “you’re hired” and agency has said “you’re signed”, what needs to happen next to make a strong start that leads to marketing and advertising greatness? For starters: Figure out the

Posted by

How to Find, Interview and Hire the Right Advertsing Agency

  First in a series of articles on effective marketing and advertising agency-client relationships. Contact MindEcology to extend the conversation.   So you’re on the hunt for a killer advertising or marketing agency, because you’re ready to do some killer work. Let’s talk about some of the things that need to happen first, along the

Posted by

Is Your Ad Agency Bilingual in Data AND Creative?

Shopping for a full-service advertising agency partner? If so, “bilingual” should be at the very top of your wish list. By bilingual, we mean the ability to speak both data AND creative. At MindEcology, we predict that by 2020 the top 10 full-service ad agencies in any given major U.S. market will either have an

Posted by

Q&A With MindEcology: 5 Things To Know About Agency-Client Relationships

As part of a series of articles we’ll be publishing about the secrets of killer agency-client relationships, MindEcology co-founders Dr. Jed C. Jones and Darren Drewitz recently pulled up a couple of chairs and fielded questions about the insights they’ve gathered in a combined 40 years of experience in the marketing/ad game. Here’s what happened:

Posted by

Thinking About Best Customer Profiling? Do It Now.

  If your business is looking pretty good these days, congratulations. That probably means you’ve got smart products, smart services, smart people, and you’re pretty smart yourself. So what’s next for you? Are you going to open up more locations? Hire more talent? Go to Disney World? They all sound like great ideas – but

Posted by

Go Home Earlier, Get More Done

  If going home at 5 p.m. seems “early” to you, Saturday and Sunday afternoons are “great times to catch up”, you never seem to chug through your to-do list no matter how long you stay at your desk, and you’re constantly doing battle with Time Vampires (people and things that suck up your time

Posted by

The 3 Types of Advertising Agencies

By some estimates, there are more than 120,000 marketing and advertising agencies in the U.S. alone. It’s no wonder, then, that so many of us have gone to great lengths to craft clever brand identities that we hope will differentiate us from the guys down the road.   Ready to start a conversation with MindEcology?

Posted by

The Three Ds of B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Ready to start a conversation with MindEcology? Let’s talk. Does the B2B content marketing experience have to be a snooze fest in order to be informative? Apparently not, or a brand like Intel wouldn’t be bringing in 2 million readers each month, according to this recent article. Sure, some of their content consumers may be

Posted by

So You’re Thinking About Hiring An Advertising Agency…

If you’re ready to start a conversation, we’re ready to talk. Contact MindEcology.   If you’re thinking about hiring an advertising or marketing agency – or wondering if you’re ready for it – or if you’re not sure how to get the conversation started – or if you just want to know the meaning of

Posted by

Does Having More Marketing Agencies Equal Better Results?

    It’s an age of niche marketing, hyper-targeted segmentation, emerging platforms, and shifting consumer demographics. So it’s not surprising that with respect to marketing strategy and exection, it’s also an age of serious specialization. In the last decade or so, it’s become commonplace to find even mid-sized or smaller businesses using one agency for

Posted by

5 Ways Your Website Is Letting You Down

Your social media posts are performing well, your pay-per-click ads are getting traction, and your direct mail campaign never looked better. But somehow, your sales are flat. Could it be that your website isn’t a closer? Some of the signs that your website isn’t getting the job done are: – You’ve been around a while,

Posted by

Creative Advertising Isn’t What You Think It Is

“We need a great ‘slogan’.” “I want something really edgy.” “Let’s do something really funny like the Geico camel.” “Bright colors. Really, really bright colors.” “I love this font.” “Whatever it is, we have to use Twitter.” “I want something we can submit for an award.” “What’s our emotional paradigm?” When it’s time to develop

Posted by

How To Save Your Creative From Death by Committee

There’s an old expression that maintains that a camel is actually a horse that was designed by a committee. We don’t want to knock on camels – they’re pretty cool and all, given their celebrity status as superstars of the Geico campaign. But we’re definitely not fans of creative that happens by committee. And if

Posted by

The Perils of Marketing Pigeon Holes

Let’s pretend for a few moments that the practice of marketing is a universe, and the hundreds of marketing disciplines and sub-disciplines (like branding, marketing research, etc.) represent the galaxies, solar systems, and planets within that universe. That’s going to be one busy universe. Besides being well-populated, there is going to be a lot of

Posted by

The 5 Worst Types of Marketing (Non) Strategists

If you’ve been in marketing or advertising for more than a minute, you’ve probably worked with (or for) someone who always seems to be in the middle of everything, but doesn’t really make any strategic contributions. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders when it comes to non-strategy: THE SELF PROMOTER: Characterized

Posted by

5 Strategies for Creating a B2B Cult of Personality

While the cult followings enjoyed by brands like In-N-Out Burger, Trader Joe’s and Apple may be difficult for non-consumer businesses to achieve, there’s no reason why B2B brands should consider themselves limited when it comes to tactics they can employ to craft a strong, personality-rich brand image. Too many B2B companies, however – in many

Posted by

The 5 Secrets of Awesome Agency-Client Relationships

Advertising agency and client relationships usually fall into three categories: Contentious, unremarkable, or effective. The formation of strong working partnerships takes time, effort, and a little bit of luck – and some strategy. Based on our experience, here are some of the elements we see as essential to achieving agency-client awesomeness: Smart Discovery Thorough discovery

Posted by

5 Ways You’re Wasting Your (Marketing) Time

Due to the nature of our work, marketing and advertising professionals have extra challenges when it comes to time management. To a greater extent than many other professions, we’re expected to deal with shifting or competing priorities, last-minute client requests, client-orchestrated delays, and crises that require fast action. In this type of environment, even marketing

Posted by

Do you know the signs and symptoms of marketing “overwhelm”?

Missed deadlines, campaigns that don’t come off, and an ever-growing list of tasks that just never happen are all symptoms of a marketing program that clearly needs some intervention. If none of these indicators can be accurately attributed to your program, congratulations. You must have everything under control. Or do you? The fact is that

Posted by

Is Your Marketing As Strategic as You Think It Is?

It’s the end of the year, and you’ve made most of your sales goals. Maybe all of them. And things seem to be generally “moving along” for your business. All good news. So your marketing strategy must be working, right? Or maybe you don’t have any strategy at all – and you’re thinking that you

Posted by

New Year’s Goal Setting: 5 Tips for Smart Marketers

One of our most favorite moments of the year looms just ahead. (No, it’s not National Data Nerd Day. Though that would be awesome.) It’s the new year, a time of fresh beginnings and opportunities for new accomplishments. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as opening up a crisp new notebook or calendar and surveying the

Posted by

How to Talk to Different Customer Segments

Let’s talk for a minute about Paul Revere. (The American historical figure, not the Beastie Boys song.) Image courtesy of Encyclopedia Brittanica On the eve of the Battles of Lexington and Concord that kicked off the Revolutionary War, patriot and Boston silversmith Paul Revere embarked upon an historic horseback ride to warn the colonists of

Posted by

5 Creative Holiday Marketing Tips for Agencies

With the holiday hustles and hassles also come a number of opportunities for marketing and advertising agencies (and other businesses, too) to build relationships with existing clients and get in front of new ones – as long as you’re willing to get creative and do a bit of advance planning. If you need a jump-start

Posted by

Get Involved – It Pays

MindEcology team members are big believers in networking, volunteering, and association membership. We’re especially involved in the local chapters of the American Marketing Association (in both Austin and Dallas) – in fact, one of our principals is a very active AMA volunteer, having served multiple years as an officer or committee head. Another one of

Posted by

You Don’t Have to Be a Data Rock Star to Be In Our Show

Marketing research types like us are all kinds of crazy about data. But even though we’re unabashed data nerds, we know that not everyone’s idea of a good time is sitting around and talking about analytics intelligence, predictive modeling, and best customer profiling —even if they work in marketing or advertising. Some marketing pros or

Posted by

Mediocre Marketing is an Expense – but Great Marketing is An Investment

In an earlier post we talked about how tactical marketing mistakes (like an ad with the wrong phone number or 25,000 misprinted postcards) can be costly, but not nearly as costly in the long run as business marketing strategy misfires. Similar thinking can be applied when comparing mediocre marketing to marketing that’s thoughtfully and strategically

Posted by

Whole-Brain Marketing

“Are you using your whole brain on that marketing problem?” This question could be taken in many ways. But when viewed through a neuroscientific lens, “whole-brain thinking” means using both analytics (left-brain thinking) and creativity (right-brain thinking) to perceive a situation and make decisions that will effect favorable change. In the context of marketing, here

Posted by

The 3 Deadly Marketing Mistakes

When “mistake” is used in a marketing context, you might think of 20,000 direct mail postcards printed with the wrong phone number, or a well-meaning Twitter hashtag gone wrong. And no wonder, as misfires like those can certainly prove costly. That’s why many marketing pros will take preventive action up front – like hiring a

Posted by

How to Promote Your Brand Message Across Platforms

After weeks of internal wrangling, your company finally has a “messaging platform” – a document outlining your business’s key talking points that everyone has agreed to use. Congratulations! Now what? Most of the time, marketing sages discuss the idea of marketing messaging (also known as brand storytelling or corporate messaging) in the context of “why”

Posted by

Automated Marketing to the Rescue

Most lead generation takes the form of prospect lists, glad-handing at networking events, or waiting for someone to respond to a website form or other digital marketing call to action. These tactics can prove fruitful, but they have downsides. Some are very time consuming, and they either require you to go out and look for

Posted by

Identifying Your Web Visitors by Name: Creepy or Caring?

Web analytics have been around since the Internet was invented. They simply have gotten a whole lot better over the years. Still, unless you are driving traffic to specific PURLs (personalized URLs) designed to make personalized offers to specific individuals, most analytics tracking today is completely anonymous: it cares about individuals only in the context

Posted by

All This Data, But Are Marketers Effectively Leveraging It?

Our collective ability to store massive amounts of data continues to increase. In a recent development, Sony has announced a new tape cartridge meant for long-term storage that can hold 185 terabytes of data per cartridge. (1 terabyte is equivalent to over 1,000 gigabytes). But even as we continually increase our capacity to store more

Posted by

All Your Marketing Performance Data in One Place – SnapReports

The world’s top marketers have at least one thing in common: they are vigilant about keeping close tabs on which marketing activities are paying off for them – and which are akin to just pouring money down the drain. Now, you can put the power of integrated reporting in your own hands for your marketing

Posted by

Pay Attention to Your Historical Marketing Performance Data

If you sell goods or services, you almost certainly have some form of marketing in place. Marketing can be defined as anything that promotes awareness of your offerings to others. It can be as simple as your choice of business card or store sign to something as complex as a multichannel, integrated, and interactive promotional

Posted by

The Perils of Predicting Political Affiliation by ZIP Code, Age and Income

Midterm elections are coming up. If you are advertising on behalf of a particular political candidate or special interest group, it would be natural to want to target a subset of all possible households in your area that fit your target profile. This could be, for example: “Republican,” “Democrat,” “Independent,” or “Undecided.” But, how do

Posted by

Are You Setting Your Marketing KPIs?

We came across this handy article by BI company Domo, “The 5 KPIs Every Marketer Should Be Looking At.” As a huge proponent of data-driven marketing, MindEcology wholeheartedly supports the idea of setting key performance indicators, or KPIs, for every marketing initiative. We are echoing the article’s 5 KPIs here, while elaborating on each and

Posted by

Supercharge Your Database Marketing with Psycho-Demographic Segments

Traditional database marketing techniques have been in use for years by companies seeking to target their best customers. For the uninitiated, database marketing involves analyzing your historical customers in terms of their transaction history with a company. Database marketers will often speak of “RFM”: which together stand for “recency, frequency and monetary value.” By segmenting

Posted by

Data Mining is Not Evil

“NSA, snooping, spying, violation of personal privacy, Big Brother.” These are just some of the buzzwords that come to mind these days when most of us hear the term “data mining.” At MindEcology, we are here to tell you that data mining is not evil. At least not inherently. Of course, like any effective tool,

Posted by

5 Reasons to NOT Market to Everybody

What does your best prospect look like? Many business owners answer this question something like this: “Everybody could benefit from our product or service, so I suppose that everybody is my best prospect.” Thinking this way about one’s prospects represents an all-too-common, often fatal flaw in any marketing plan. It no doubt costs companies large

Posted by

Frustrated Marketers: Learn to Talk Like Your CFO

Marketers in charge of creating marketing plans, setting campaign budgets and executing on all of it certainly have good reason to feel frustrated at work on a regular basis. From our experience as marketers – and as consultants who use data to support other marketers – we believe that three big sources of marketing frustration are: 1. Facing unnecessary difficulty in “selling” their marketing ideas internally to other company stakeholders. 2. Not knowing how and where to spend their marketing budget in a way that yields the best return on investment, leaving a nagging sense of uncertainty. 3. Being unsure about how to best track campaign effectiveness. Our advice for overcoming these frustrations: to learn to talk like your CFO. You see, any good CFO worth his...
Posted by

The War Between Sales and Marketing

If you have ever served a marketing role within your company, you have no doubt felt the heat from sales on more than one occasion. In fact, that feeling is palpable on a daily basis for many marketers. For members of a marketing department, it is easy to feel like the “also ran” group as

Posted by

Google+ Event

Are you interested in getting up to speed on Google+? If so, and you live in the greater Austin, TX area, we encourage you to check out this RISE event coming up on Wednesday, May 15th: How to Use Google+ to Grow Your Business.  

Posted by

Banner Ad Design: Build a Brand or Drive Conversions?

So, you are creating some new banner ads in order to increase traffic to your website. You may be setting up your new banner ad campaign as a remarketing campaign or just a standard “spray and pray” campaign targeting everybody. Similarly, it could be set up as pay-per-click or as pay-per-impression. Regardless of these decisions,

Posted by

The Proper Care And Feeding Of Your Customer & Order Data – 5 Steps

“Information, that is imperfectly acquired, is generally as imperfectly retained.” – William Playfair, Scottish political economist and inventor of the time-series graph, 1786 Every day, your business is generating data. Data about itself. Data about your customers and your prospects. If you are like 99% of existing small and large companies alike, you are not

Posted by

Outsource Your Data Scientists for Better Marketing Conversion Rates

There is a lot of talk these days about big data, analytics, and the cloud. And with good reason. Every business these days – large and small – generates copious amounts of data about itself. And, that data is becoming increasingly easy to collect, organize, and analyze. In his recent article, “We don’t need more

Posted by

In 2013, Too, All Prospects Are Not Created Equal

At MindEcology, we love what we do, so we often find ourselves engaging in “shop talk” with casual acquaintances, people in the elevator, and most anybody else who shows any interest. We like asking people about their company’s business model. We also enjoy hearing about their biggest challenges and pain points. We ask because we

Posted by

Leverage Location Intelligence to Attract More Revenue Dollars to Your Business

The emerging field of location intelligence represents the convergence of two modern technological wonders: advanced digital mapping systems and database-driven analytics. It can be applied to almost any field, but it is finding a particularly strong foothold in the realm of competitive business intelligence. While the term “location intelligence” sounds like it should be reserved

Posted by

Who Are Your Gold Medal Customers?

How does predictive modeling work? A recent article describing how to predict medal counts by country yields some interesting parallels with our own best customer predictive modeling process. Researchers at a German university recently built a predictive model to determine which countries will win the most medals during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The

Posted by

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Business Intelligence?

Numerous modern thinkers have made the important distinction between data, information and wisdom: they are clearly not the same thing. When it comes to business intelligence, we want to collect the right data, consolidate it into meaningful information, and apply our own wisdom to interpreting that information to our benefit. On the surface of things,

Posted by

Using Predictive Analytics to Optimize Marketing

Predictive analytics have been in use in the business world for decades. But today, there are three trends converging that give small and midsize companies the ability to leverage predictive analytics for their own marketing decision-making: 1. The WHERE: The advent of the affordable desktop and laptop computer 2. The HOW: The creation of desktop

Posted by

Advanced Customer Segmentation: A Look at the Data

We have a new video for you (see below). But first, some introductory thoughts: At MindEcology, we see essentially three ways to approach customer segmentation: 1. Simple segmentation: this is the easiest method, but also the most limited in terms of its potential applications. Simple segmentation involves grouping your current customers by total annual revenue

Posted by

5 Ways Most Site Selection Efforts Miss The Mark

Site selection is the process of choosing the ideal real estate location for the purposes of building, buying or leasing an office or retail business facility. Business that often require site selection include both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) concerns. The tricky part, of course, is to take into account as many relevant factors as

Posted by

Visually Target Your Best Customers: Block Group vs. Zip Code-Level Maps

As the name implies, a geographical heat map employs a color scale in order to differentiate between various attributes of a geographical area. Various colors (say: red, orange, yellow, green & blue) are assigned to different geographical units (sub-sections) within a trade area as a way of indicating the attractiveness of each sub-section of the trade area in question.

Posted by

Make Your Data Confess Its Secrets

The process of data mining refers, in general, to the act of applying various mathematical and statistical techniques to massive amounts of often disparate data in the hope of teasing out significant details. These details can then be leveraged for future (usually business or scientific) endeavors. To make data mining work, one requires access to

Posted by

Why You Need Structured Analysis For Making Major Business Decisions

Every businessperson makes decisions every day – literally hundreds of them. Most of these are micro-decisions. Micro-decisions are those little split-second decisions we all make throughout the course of our day, such as: whether to backup your computer files now or later, how to word the e-mail to that prospective client, how much cream to add to your coffee, etc.

Posted by

The Difference That Makes A Difference In Predicting Future Business Success

Predictive modeling is all about leveraging historical business data to predict the likelihood of future success.

But hold on moment: if this assertion is correct, its very premise seems to go against that now-infamous – yet ubiquitous – cautionary phrase found on advertisements for investment opportunities anywhere they appear in print:
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Posted by

Reading the Tea Leaves of Your Data . . . Only Better

People are often surprised when we self-ascribed data nerds at MindEcology demonstrate to them just how much useful information is hidden within their database. Our reports and analyses reveal things about their business that are immediate, insightful and actionable. It is a very satisfying feeling to present one of our reports to our customers and

Posted by

Is Your “Dirty” Data Typical?

At MindEcology, when we engage a new client for an analysis, we always start with a look at their database in its raw state. Depending upon the project, the data could consist of customer names, mailing lists, order history, or product catalogs, for example. It is the rule, rather than the exception, that most customer

Posted by

Market Segmentation Poll

Market segmentation is the art and science of dividing your customers into groups, or segments, in order to better target the right ones with the right advertising message and/or media. In fact, in some cases the results of a segmentation analysis can even suggest that you should completely “step over” or avoid certain customers or

Posted by