Needham, Mass.–based cross-channel marketing attribution software provider Visual IQ has nearly 11 years in the business. Founded in 2006, Visual IQ provides businesses with its SaaS-based IQ Intelligence Suite, which measures, analyzes and offers actionable data on its clients’ marketing efforts.
“Attribution should be part of anybody’s toolkit at this point,” said Phil Gross, VP of product management at Visual IQ. “Visual IQ is the leading attribution platform for understanding marketing effectiveness across all paid, earned and owned channels for some of the largest advertisers in the world.”
Visual IQ works with major entities, such as AT&T and American Express. Its biggest industries are retail, financial services, insurance and high-tech, according to Gross.
The IQ Intelligence Suite allows marketers to understand how users are exposed to the company’s advertising media, both online and offline — anything from online search to banner ads, TV to print.
“We use advanced machine-learning algorithms to figure out which media touchpoints matter and which don’t,” said Gross. “We’re able to see the effectiveness of marketing, and we provide the platform to the marketer to understand how their media is being consumed.”
Gross said that it’s all too common for advertisers to only understand media performance within one media channel — how TV ads performed compared to TV, or how search performed compared to search.
“Being able to look across all media channels in an even landscape using a model that really understands how media is performing, it’s been often a revelation to marketers,” he said.
Using Visual IQ, marketers have a common dashboard to view how marketing performs across all channels. This data allows marketers to make informed decisions on increasing media spending, conceiving new campaigns and optimizing media planning. The IQ Intelligence Suite additionally allows companies to run hypothetical advertising scenarios based on performance data analysis and consumer demographics.
Most recently, Visual IQ started work with TechStyle Fashion Group — a global fashion and lifestyle company, parent to brands JustFab, FabKids, Shoedazzle and Fabletics.
Dave Ehrhorn, VP of Southwest Region at Visual IQ, said that TechStyle is one of the company’s most forward-thinking clients.
“They are eager to start using the entire breadth of the Visual IQ Intelligence Suite to more effectively understand some strategic KPIs for their company,” said Ehrhorn.
Ehrhorn noted a few key aspects of TechStyle that make the fashion group a prime candidate for Visual IQ’s platform: TechStyle is international and multi-brand and advertises across multiple channels.
“TechStyle wanted to understand how all of their efforts were driving their primary KPI: VIP sign-ups,” said Ehrhorn. “They’re trying to encourage folks to become VIP members — an opt-in type of membership model. What’s powerful is that we can optimize their media specifically to that KPI.”
Visual IQ’s first optimization recommendations come between 60 and 90 days. It’s an impressive turnaround for the amount of data being analyzed. While it’s still too early to tell exactly how much Visual IQ has improved TechStyle’s marketing, Ehrhorn provided an example of a similar client — a high-fashion clothing retailer that sees over $1 billion in revenue and has almost 6,000 employees.
“We’ve been working with them for about a year and a half now — they achieved a 15 percent lift in revenue by optimizing within the search channel,” he said. “We’re the only attribution vendor in the landscape that enables you to model down to the media dimension level.”
That allows Visual IQ’s clients to perform what Ehrhorn called “intra-channel optimization.”
“They also saw a 15 percent increase in conversions, an 11 percent increase in revenue by optimizing across different publishers and a 4 to 5 percent increase in return on ad spends by uncovering and reducing payouts to lower-performing publishers,” Ehrhorn said.
“The thing about attribution is that what it really allows an advertiser to do is better understand media so they can make better decisions,” concluded Gross. “We don’t buy or sell media. We only work with advertisers and agencies to help them improve their marketing. We don’t have a stake in whether they buy from a specific publisher or invest more in search versus display. We’re the neutral arbiter and yardstick of media effectiveness.”