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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2019

Creating Brand Stories and Personalized User Experience That Drive User Outcomes: iCrossing

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Unleashing Potential

As many know, iCrossing was born as a standalone search marketing agency in 1998, the first of its kind in the U.S. The company has grown alongside its clients and added solutions and expertise to help brands win in the ever-changing marketing, technology, and digital landscape. The firm 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 our clients. The firm is an agency that sits at the crossroads of pretty and gritty.

Additionally, iCrossing is unique and 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 a tremendous value that it unlocks for clients within Hearst. Here relevant and applicable, iCrossing adds the power of Hearst to its solutions - including its rich data, quality content, editorial expertise, and category experience.

The company’s clients include Amazon, Bayer, Bridgestone, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the BMW Group, Church & Dwight, DIRECTV, LEGO, LG, L’Oréal, Microsoft, NBA, PepsiCo, SAP, Starwood, and Toyota. Headquartered in New York, our business has nearly 1,000 employees in 10 countries – with offices throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

Why the Company is Different

Every solution it creates starts with the premise that B2C marketing is over. The firm lives in a Consumer-To-Business (C2B) economy where consumers are in control of their 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. And thus help brands win by planning around people, not products.

The company specializes 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, it helps brands engage on consumers’ terms. The firm 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. iCrossing’s approach begins with a deep, data-enabled view of the customer journey. It identifies the points of potential where a brand can participate and engage the consumer and move them forward through the journey. The company develops passion platforms, intelligent digital experiences, performance media engines and seamless commerce transactions designed around the consumer – understanding how specific moments in the customer journey can translate into a substantial impact in business outcomes.

Services Offered by the Company

Brand Strategy & Experience Design: What brands need

Building a connected brand isn’t easy. If it were, more brands would be doing it. It takes a strong brand strategy and an equally strong plan to bring it to life. It takes access to data and insights that are essential to informed decision-making. It takes the right mix of disciplines to meet business needs while creating the optimum customer experience and it requires a holistic approach, using bought, earned, owned and shared media to create a fully integrated engagement plan. But, where do you start? Start with a plan. Some relationships begin with clients asking it for a campaign or technology solution. That’s a great place to start the conversation. But the firm won’t brainstorm a creative idea or push a single-pixel until the company has set itself up for success with a solid brand strategy and a fully developed engagement plan. That way, it knows that the firm is working toward the right business objectives and success metrics – established in consultation with your key stakeholders – before the first idea hits the whiteboard.

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Data Analytics: Cut through the noise

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. The 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, the team models, researches, and builds products that make the client teams and campaigns smarter.

SEM Services

The firm has proven that integrating your SEM, SEO and display campaigns can drive a lift in clicks, interactions, and conversions. Through its proprietary approach, the firm has shown that you can custom-tailor your marketing by audience persona, and serve customized content and experiences – including ad copy and landing pages – to drive superior results. And by combining search engine marketing, paid social and display media services into a single team, we can help clients better allocate their paid media budget for optimum ROI.

Advertising Campaigns

We believe that great creative leads to measurable results. And great creative is, by nature, well informed. So we won’t start until our analysts and planners have sifted through all the data, gleaned every insight, and delivered a keen and nuanced brief to inform our work.

Content Marketing: Content is power

iCrossing believes in the power of content, and it helps its 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.

Technology: World-class tech

In addition to creating world-class enterprise solutions, iCrossing builds and maintains websites, microsites, landing pages, mobile sites and native iOS/Android applications across all platforms. The company specializes in creating a seamless experience on any device. It can implement or interface with any solution, from content management to point-of-sale systems. The firm provides project management, technical strategy and architecture, solution design, application development, platform integration services, database and data management, infrastructure management, and application lifecycle management solutions. The company standardized its development and deployment process to utilize DevOps and continuous delivery, allowing it to reduce time-to-market and enhance the end product with real-time user feedback.

Programmatic

Today’s marketing world is no longer a place where consumers come to you. So it finds them—wherever they are. By leveraging the power of data with the ease of automation and the benefits of human touch, iCrossing provides a buying solution that reaches your consumer with the right message, at the right time, at scale, across all marketing channels to drive business outcomes.

Marketing to Hispanics: Shaping the Future of Marketing to Hispanics

iCrossing’s approach of marketing to Hispanics is consistent with its overall belief that modern C2B marketing is about connecting with people based on their interests, passions, needs states and lifestyles. And today, the reality is that you can’t win the future without winning Millennials, and you can’t win Millennials without understanding multicultural. The firm believes multicultural is the new mainstream.

Digital Media Planning & Buying: Making the most of every channel

iCrossing's digital media planning and buying team figures out how, when and where to reach consumers in the most relevant environments for our clients. With media buys reaching $600 million each year, it means identifying platform-agnostic synergies across paid, owned and earned media, integrating media in the creative process, optimizing the digital marketing mix and developing attribution models to measure the return on media spend – all at once.

SEO Services: Staying visible online

While marketers may still be focused on how their home pages look, the fact is most of their site visitors simply won’t see them. People use search to cut out the middleman and go right to the pages they want and that is why being visible requires a comprehensive search engine optimization strategy—including local and mobile. Here’s how iCrossing drives SEO growth for its clients:

  • By understanding opportunity through a full 360 SEO analysis and strategy
  • By planning a short and long term step-by-step growth program
  • By creating a scalable program that crosses multiple business groups or markets

Social Media Marketing

Today’s customer journey is no longer linear—it’s an on-going conversation that doesn’t stop at the sale. The social media practice is a marketing practice, focused on advocacy and engagement. The firm takes a brand’s strategy and activates it across the social landscape, delivering valuable experiences for audiences and making the highest business impact possible.

The Collaboratory

The Collaboratory’s purpose is to help iCrossing clients understand, navigate and partner with emerging technologies and startups. It serves as a conduit between the clients and the startup community providing education, interpretation, and best-practices for successful and mutually-beneficial relationships. The Collaboratory leverages iCrossing’s and Hearst’s network of partners and relationships to uncover leading products and platforms – giving clients access to some of the most innovative next-generation technologies.

The Global Leader

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. Before iCrossing, he was Global Chief Digital Officer at McCann World Group, and also served as co-president for Tribal DDB’s U.S. network. Mike has been recognized by Campaign Magazine as a ’40 over 40’ leader of digital marketing, has won Digital Agency of the Year honors and served as a member of the inaugural Cannes Lions Innovation jury.

“Audiences and content are the currencies we use to drive connections for our clients,” says Mike Parker.

“We are a marketing agency for the modern world. We turn brand potential into business performance. Further, creating brand stories and personalized user experience that drives business outcomes.”