30 Most Valuable Companies to Watch 2020
As many know, iCrossing was born as a standalone search marketing agency in 1998, the first of its kind in the U.S. It has grown alongside its clients and added solutions and expertise to help brands win in the ever-changing marketing, technology and digital landscape. The company embraces its performance roots and expertise, harmonizing creative storytelling and compelling content with the gritty, accountable aspects of digital and performance marketing - ultimately focused on delivering business outcomes for its clients. iCrossing is an agency that sits at the crossroads of pretty and gritty.
Additionally, iCrossing is unique in that and is owned by Hearst, a global diversified media, entertainment and content company. Hearst’s privately-held status enables long-term planning and independence of action. There is tremendous value that it can unlock for clients within Hearst.
It’s a C2B world
Every solution the firm creates starts with the premise that B2C marketing is over. We live in a consumer-to-business (C2B) economy where consumers are in control of their own individual brand and marketing experiences. In this age of empowered consumers, where consumers lead and your brand must follow, the shift from a product-centric approach and brand-driven touchpoints to consumer-driven touchpoints is redefining the rules of success. iCrossing’s job is to shift brand behavior to help clients thrive in this new reality. iCrossing helps brands win by planning around people, not products.
The company says, “We specialize in designing people-centric media, content and experiences. The role of a brand is to facilitate and fuel your customers’ interests, needs, passions and behaviors – so that you engage in a way that makes an emotional connection and powers business growth.”
iCrossing aligns brands with the interests, needs and passions of consumers. Simply put, the firm helps brands engage on consumers’ terms. It believes a brand’s success lies in its ability to authentically connect to what customers are interested in and amplify that - rather than disrupt.
All iCrossing work is driven by this simple, yet powerful, principle: it’s a C2B world. The firm’s approach begins with a deep, data-enabled view of the customer journey. The organization identifies the points of potential where a brand can participate and engage the consumer and move them forward through the journey.
Services for you
iCrossing's data science group finds insights in a deluge of data, so it can make optimizations that have real and meaningful impacts on campaigns. iCrossing team of quants and analysts leverage their deep experience in cross-channel media marketing and data collection, mining and analysis, to build people-focused marketing programs. Whether it’s using machine learning algorithms to predict how likely a site visitor is to convert, or doing an audience analysis deep dive, its team models, researches, and builds products that make its client teams and campaigns smarter.
Make a lasting impression
Real performance marketing is not just a race to the bottom. In order to run marketing programs and campaigns that drive long term value for its advertisers, it must also appreciate and amplify what makes their brands and products different. To do this, the firm enables its clients and internal teams to be smarter with data that allows them to understand their customers and their habits - and how those data points and insights can make a difference. The firm then uses these insights (discovered algorithmically, of course) to build strategy and make campaign adjustments using machine learning processes – so they also get smarter over time.
Expertise to work for you
The organization proudly quotes, “Our work has led to iCrossing’s SearchAi and Audience Scoring offerings – both of which allow us to tailor search experiences, based on customer information in environments that are otherwise relatively data scarce. We’re also continuously working to bring the power and differentiation provided by our Hearst ownership and partnerships to our data science offerings. Where most agencies can only work with client data and third party data, iCrossing stands alone in our ability to give clients insights powered by the Hearst content universe as well.”
Content is power
“We believe in the power of content, and we help our clients identify, engage and build deep relationships with consumers through it. Regardless of the medium, regardless of the distribution platform, there’s always going to be a content solution that can drive increased engagement and performance for your brand,” says the company.
iCrossing works with its best analysts, search experts, planners and strategists to sift through the data, research and insights and uncover the nuggets that will fuel its work. That accomplished, the company can identify your business problem and how itscontent can solve it. Once they have done that, they will come up with a plan for how that content will work across all distribution channels, down to individual pieces of content. Then they get to work, and ensure that everything the firm does stays within those guidelines.
Content at scale
iCrossing’s ability to create affordable content at scale is a value proposition that is unparalleled across the agency world. Through its integration with Hearst’s top-tier magazine brands and digital studios and business ventures iCrossing can offer vastly different models from its competitors. From auto to fashion, beauty to CPG, luxury to retail to patient education; the firm covers just about every vertical in the book.
With award winners from the world of feature films, television and digital content, iCrossing knows what it takes to make content for a fast-paced, mobile-first landscape. With access to internal studios, as well as the combined resources of Hearst Digital Studios in Los Angeles and New York, no project is outside the wheelhouse. Working side-by-side the creators of content offerings such as CosmoBody and GHTV, producing first-class, affordable content is part of the daily routine.
Understanding the right KPI’s to measure success (whether direct revenue generation or key engagement metrics) is crucial to communicating the value of a brand’s content. Not all content is created to generate revenue - some pre-purchased content enables brands to be discovered and added to a consumer’s consideration set. Other content can cater to post-purchase needs to increase usage, loyalty and repeat customers.
Mike Parker, Global President
With nearly twenty years of experience in digital marketing, Global President Mike Parker has been a trusted partner to some of the world’s leading brands seeking to drive transformation and growth in an era of empowered consumers. Under his leadership, iCrossing has continued to thrive as one of the world’s leading digital agencies. Mike joined iCrossing in 2015 to oversee its west coast and US territories before taking the helm of global operations in 2017, a banner year for the agency which earned iCrossing a spot on Advertising Age’s coveted “Agency to Watch” list. Prior to iCrossing, he was Global Chief Digital Officer at McCann World Group, and also served as co-president for Tribal DDB’s U.S. network.
“Our performance-driven marketing solutions for major brands, powered by iCrossing’s creative, technology and media prowess, are strengthened by Hearst’s rich data, quality content and editorial expertise.”