A flash of a commercial on a TV. A huge side panel ad running down the side of a site you’re visiting. More than $500 billion a year is spent on advertising worldwide. Even the average child in America watches over 40,000 television commercials in a year or over 100 a day. Digital marketing is literally everywhere we go and companies struggle and strive to keep up with the fast-paced, game-changing environment. Every square inch of blank screen space is an opportunity for companies. FreeForm grabs that opportunity by the reigns and wrangles it in for their customers.
Recently, FreeForm had a client who was very satisfied with their experience. Matt Meier, a graduate of the Executive MBA program at MIT (‘13), was the Chief Information Officer at a private equity firm when working with FreeForm. He is an advocate of FreeForm’s work and his perspective reflects his satisfaction.
"First of all, FreeForm is an extremely agile organization," says Meier. "Very lean, but with a model that scales based on client needs."
FreeForm differentiates when compared to some of the other larger digital marketing firms in terms of value. They’re able to do some pretty profound things at scale for a low cost, which is relevant to companies both large and small. The digital marketing space allows for feasibility in scale, unlike many other enterprise information technology domains. What takes other companies millions of dollars and major efforts, FreeForm can do in a fraction of the cost and resources through its approach of desirability, feasibility, and viability.
When asked about his opinion on FreeForm, Meier said this: "The really neat thing about the work that FreeForm does is the measurability of results. If you think about it, in terms of transformational investments, it’s often difficult to quantify the value for an enterprise. FreeForm’s focus on identification, nurturing, and conversion of digital leads, along with emphasis on success being defined by measurable revenue growth, I found refreshing. I think this is something FreeForm is making a cornerstone of their strategy. While most every digital marketing company says they do this, FreeForm prefers an engagement model where value to the client is easily measurable and the client is willing to sign up for results accordingly."
Essentially, in digital marketing, a customer’s life cycle is defined as their stage in the consumer process, whether the customer is a simple visitor to a site or a lead that can possibly generate value for the company. FreeForm works to turn site visitors into leads and helps foster the visitor's relationship with the company so that they turn into paying customers. Meier, as the company CIO, was looking for two major things from FreeForm: the development of a new customer-facing digital experience and the initialization of an inbound digital marketing system, which are among FreeForm’s award-winning offerings.
"The prior website was archaic and lacked compelling content," said Meier. "Further, we had no capability to develop effective digital campaigns and to measure their value. FreeForm completely revamped the user experience and established a back-end for inbound marketing that resulted in record traffic to our website and record lead generation."
FreeForm went through the site and assessed critical areas of user view and, at the same time, looked to develop more assertive yet modern points of interest on the site for users. The innovation of the interface included new Call-To-Action connections that would provide ease of access to users while harvesting data for the company, along with providing a completely new graphical interface that gave the customer control and easy access to relevant content.
Harvard Business Review, in their testing of digital advertising, reported that in 2000, U.S. Internet advertising revenue was $8.1 billion. In 2011, that figure jumped to $32 billion and went on to reach $42 billion in 2013. Today, it skyrockets to an estimated $70 billion market. The need for enterprises to be able to target customers is growing exponentially and companies like FreeForm are crucial to stay one step ahead of the game.
"FreeForm put in a platform for us to be able to target those customers with content we feel is relevant to them and then measure the relevance of that content to determine where those interests lie," said Meier.
FreeForm started the process of closing the loop between inbound marketing and the company’s own transaction systems, so they could measure the value of leads. In addition, FreeForm also helped with the establishment of relevant content and the management of targeting this content to those very same leads. FreeForm established new campaigns around specific customers and specific product lines as the company tried to grow into new verticals, all while re-mastering the company’s digital catalog—one of their most important assets—to be more user-friendly and efficient. Finally, FreeForm set up and developed a complete digital marketing platform that could be used to track important search engine optimization and lead value, along with specific lifecycles for all clients.
"There was a very objective and measurable definition of success with this project," said Meier. "Specifically, the focus was around generating leads from visitors and modernizing our customer website—one of our most important marketing assets. Our lead generation targets were blown away and the company continues to work to close the loop on measuring the sales impact of those same leads."
"I would recommend that any firm looking to expand their digital marketing capabilities might want to give FreeForm a try—particularly midsize firms that have not gone far with their digital marketing journeys for reasons of focus, expertise, or budget," said Meier. "FreeForm has a no-nonsense approach of starting small, defining mutual success, measuring results, and scaling upwards, which I think many mid-market firms should find compelling."
Most marketing companies are stuck on the ideas of yesterday. We at FreeForm focus on the ideas of tomorrow—to revolutionize today and go head-to-head with innovation at its finest. Our approach: design thinking. Think. Feel. Do. Through desirability, feasibility, and viability, we redesign the idea of innovation and, through it, rediscover the world through a new lens.