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NOVA Award Winning Case Study: Bird's Eye View

Posted on 09/18/2019 at 1:00 PM

2019 Award Winner Interactive Marketing — Bank Iowa

As a community bank proudly serving 22 towns throughout the state o​​​​​​​f Io​​​​​​​wa, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bank Iowa was challenged with ways to demonstrate the same sense of pride local residents h​​​​​​​ave for their communities on our social media channels. Bird’s Eye View focused on building a closer relationship with each community through a social media campaign that included a contest and aerial drone footage of each of the towns served by the bank. 


Many of the towns Bank Iowa serves are small, some with populations as low as 421, so Bank Iowa set a goal of 3,000 views per video.


Not only did Bank Iowa want to highlight the unique communities we are a part of, we also wanted to involve our clients. Prior to each full Bird’s Eye View video, a short teaser video was posted with the opportunity for people to guess which town it was. Those that guessed correctly were entered into a chance to win a $50 gift card that we purchased from one of our local clients in that community. This was a way to show support to those that ​​​​​​​choose to do business with us and also increase the engagement on our social media.


At the time of the entry period, The Bird’s Eye View campaign had garnered an average of 5,200 views per video with the most being 12,000 views for the video about the town of Essex, Iowa, a town of almost 900 people. The contests were successful as there were 30 or more participants guessing each location on each contest post. The highest amount of engagement for the social media contest was for the town of New Hampton with over 280 comments. In terms of likes or shares, almost every post had over 100 likes and over 80 comments.

In addition to showcasing the pride that we have to be a part of these communities, we wanted to give back. Following the social media contest and posting of the full Bird’s Eye View video for each town, a direct mail piece was sent to the local chamber of commerce. The piece included a flash drive with the raw aerial footage as well as the Bank Iowa branded video that is found on our social media channels. This campaign helped Bank Iowa create communication and partnerships with each town’s chamber of commerce. Our videos were circulated through other social media channels, seen playing on loop on TV screens throughout the town, and on B-roll for local newspapers and TV stations.

Looking back, this campaign proved to be a great way to engage our markets on a local level in a way that promoted Bank Iowa, our clients, and our communities collectively. You can visit Bank Iowa’s online presence here.

About Bank Iowa

With more than $1.3 billion in assets, Bank Iowa ranks as one of the leading independent ag banks and the second-largest family-owned bank in the state. Farmers, families and businesses access Bank Iowa’s products and services through 25 locations in 22 communities, as well as online and on mobile devices. To learn more, visit Member FDIC.

The Anonymous Website Visitor

Posted on 09/03/2019 at 2:15 PM

The Anonymous Website Visitor

By Keith Snow, President, B2E Data Marketing

Who is visiting your website?

It may seem like a simple question, but for many marketers, website visitors remain elusive. Unable to be identified beyond device type, region and site behavior, the anonymous website visitor could be your next big sale.

Marketing dollars are being spent on search engine optimization and landing page development; campaigns that will drive traffic to the website. In fact, according to Hubspot, 54% of marketers say their top marketing priority in 2019 is growing website traffic. If you’re putting your budget dollars into the website, company leaders will expect ROI. Understanding who is visiting the website now becomes even more impactful, as we all know campaign attribution can be tricky when visitors remain anonymous.

A website is a goldmine for qualified leads. Each visitor to your web domain is there for a reason. Perhaps your link popped up in a web search, or someone referred them, or they saw your booth at a tradeshow. No matter how they found the site, the reason they are there is more important. It could be they are researching options as an in-market prospect.

Pull off the mask.

In today’s marketing environment, anonymous website visitors do not need to remain unknown. Services can collect visitor IP addresses and match them to home addresses. With a simple data append, you can gain additional segmentation information about the web prospect, including their age, income or occupation.

Over time, this additional information about the website visitors can assist you in creating segmentation profiles and optimizing your website for the information visitors are seeking. Who is in the market for your company’s products and services? Visitor segments can help you uncover new learnings about a potentially viable market segment that may have been ignored in your original website design.

Don’t go so fast.

Anonymous website visitors likely want to stay anonymous, however, once the IP addresses are collected, a host of other re-targeting marketing activities can follow. Online digital ads can be targeted to specific IP addresses, so they are reminded of your brand on other websites they visit as well. This consistent drip of brand messaging is sure to keep your products top-of-mind. Additionally, if you prefer direct mail campaigns to follow up, IP addresses can be matched to home addresses to complete this type of campaign as well.

Websites are a huge investment for any marketer, so ensure you are getting the most from your resources. Don’t let anonymous website visitors walk away.

About the author: With over 30 years of Marketing and Technology experience, Keith develops programs and provides business leadership for data marketing, insights, analytics and strategy for B2E clients. Over his career, he has served in the U.S. Army Reserves, been an Applications Developer, Systems Analyst and Marketing Database Director before starting B2E Data Marketing in 2003.

A Better Way To Calculate Social Media ROI: ROTOMA (Return On Top Of Mind Awareness)

Posted on 06/19/2019 at 10:30 AM

Q & A With Spencer Smith - July Luncheon Speaker

From sales, then IT, to owning his own business and then venturing into the wild, wild West of social media, Spencer Smith has learned a thing or two on his mission to better calculate marketing ROI. On Wednesday, July 10th, Spencer Smith will share his expertise and findings featured in his new book, “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media ROI: ROTOMA” with the AMA Iowa Chapter. We asked Spencer a few questions on what we can expect, who should attend and the key lessons that will be shared at the July luncheon.

Can you give us a preview of your professional background and how you got to your position today?

My path to marketing is different than most because I’ve been both a business owner and in sales before — it’s only been the past few years that I’ve been in the direct marketing end. That stemmed from three different things. I started at IBM while I was in college and worked through Y2K. I then worked in IT and started a company which I sold in 2006. After that, I went into financial services and acquired licenses that allowed me to focus on the sales side, but there were limitations on how I could use social media. 

So, I left that business and gave up my licenses in January of 2015 because I saw that social media was really at an intersection of sales and IT. Now that we’re a little more than four years into my company, AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, we’ve been doing a lot of this work for more traditional industries such as banking and law firms. Ultimately, we look at social media from a sales standpoint. How do we get people to think about us more often and buy from us?

Your presentation topic is titled “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media”. What does this mean for today’s marketers and what should they expect from your presentation when they attend? Who should attend?

This is really me being empathetic with marketers. In the last decade, you’ve gone from being responsible for about five core areas like branding, events and sponsorships, traditional marketing, media or PR — to now 100 things that marketers need to own. One very small portion of that is social media on top of everything else.

What usually happens a person’s boss saying, “What’s my marketing ROI?” Back in the day, we really didn’t have a way to measure it. My goal is helping them understand what ROI technically means, but what that also means from a salesperson’s standpoint. People aren’t really asking for the ROI, they are asking for help to understand what they are doing, because they may not understand it. I’m being empathetic from both a salespersons’ standpoint and the marketers’ standpoint so they can best present their marketing activities and then go bat for themselves when determining budgets and initiatives.

Individuals that own the marketing at their company with a boss they have to report their activities to should attend, but it’s also really good for those who freelance or have an entrepreneurial mindset. This will help them understand what marketing means to those that they are selling ideas to and just as importantly how they support their efforts.

If there is just one key takeaway from your presentation for folks to learn, what would that be?

The acronym I created, which is the title of my book — ROTOMA. Instead of ROI, this means “return on top of mind awareness” which is helping marketers understand what salespeople want. What do salespeople want? They want their potential customers or clients to think about them more often than not, so when there is an opportunity, they are the ones that are top of mind for them. How do we quantify what we’re are doing in marketing to help deliver what to the sales team needed?

How has marketing changed throughout your career?

The general acceptance of it, especially with some of the stodgier industries that I mentioned before — banking, legal or financial services. I think about the guy with a big hub who finally decided that [social media] is not just a fad. They noticed that people started to direct a lot of time and attention to it, so they said, “We should probably start showing up here.” I’ve seen a massive shift, especially in those older industries, that started to figure out “how to use this stuff,” as opposed to having the obligatory Facebook page and not doing anything with it.  

Want to hear Spencer Smith speak in-person? Sign up and join us for the July Luncheon on Wednesday, July 10th! 

Volunteer of the Year: Kait Miller, Sammons Retirement Solutions

Posted on 06/06/2019 at 1:00 PM

Each year, the AMA Iowa Board of Directors nominates fantastic volunteers from the past year for the honor of Volunteer of the Year. This year, we are pleased to announce Kait Miller as the winner of this award. 

Kait is a Marketing Strategist at Sammons Retirement Solutions in West Des Moines and served as the Communications Lead for the 2019 NOVA Awards. Her experience with copywriting, project management, development and execution of marketing plans, corporate communications and social media was a huge asset to the committee and helped us attain record attendance at the event.

As one of the largest events of the year, the NOVA Awards require a considerable communication effort. From calls for entries, finalist announcements, and People’s Choice Award voting online, to deadline reminders, registration invitations, and winner announcements, Kait organized and managed the content calendar and executed everything in a timely and organized manner. This included emails, social media posts, and press releases that she coordinated through our board members and PR sponsor, Hanser and Associates. In addition to her communications duties, Kait regularly attended committee meetings, where she actively provided ideas for the event and always offered a helping hand to her fellow committee members.

“This is a huge amount of work, and something Kait enthusiastically took on and completed without hesitation,” said Christy Gooding, AMA Iowa Immediate Past President and NOVA Awards Co-Chair. “We couldn’t have done it all without her.”

Kait was recognized at the luncheon on June 5 and was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award. A big thanks to Kait for all the work she put in this year!

Want to send well wishes? Send Kait your congratulations today! 


AMA Iowa Recognizes Top Marketing Talent in the State; Names Marketing Executive & Marketer of the Year

Posted on 05/28/2019 at 8:27 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 10, 2019)—The Iowa Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA Iowa) held its 14th annual NOVA Awards on Thursday, May 9 in downtown Des Moines.

In addition to recognizing the top marketing campaigns completed in 2018, this year’s AMA Iowa’s awards also showcased top marketing talent working in Iowa’s businesses and organizations. With two new award categories, Marketing Executive of the Year and Marketer of the Year, this 2019 addition to the awards allowed for individual recognition of those making a significant impact on their company and the community.

Through a reciprocal judging agreement, a panel of marketing professionals from the AMA San Antonio Chapter judged all categories for the 2019 awards. Top award recipients in each NOVA category include:

  • Advertising – ZLR Ignition, Wellmark-Medicare Campaign
  • Copywriting – Indigo, Indigo Premier Brochure
  • Direct Marketing – Sammons Institutional Group, Inc., Tax Season Care & Safety Package
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign – OBI Creative, Cobalt Credit Union Rebrand
  • Interactive Marketing – Bank Iowa/Lessing-Flynn, Bird’s Eye View – Bank of Iowa
  • Marketing Communications – Sammons Financial Group, Midland “MVP Playbook”
  • Marketing Department of One – ASI/Signage Innovations, Reflections Campaign
  • Marketing Research – Sammons Financial Group, Empowered: Women and Retirement
  • Non-Profit Marketing – OBI Creative, Nebraska CASA Campaign
  • Public Relations – Vermeer Corporation, Vermeer Corporation Survives the Storm and Comes Back STRONGER THAN EVER
  • Small Budget Campaign – Sammons Institutional Group, Inc., Tax Season Care & Safety Package
  • Special Event – Iowa Finance Authority, Flock to the Block
  • People’s Choice Award – Goodwill of Central Iowa, Styled by Goodwill
  • Best of Show – Iowa Finance Authority, Flock to the Block​​​​​​​

Marketer of the Year was awarded to Abby Delaney, Digital Marketing Manager at Bankers Trust. Receiving this award,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ which recognizes one up-and-coming marketer who shows potential to shine as she rises in her career, is a testament to the “h​​​​​​​igh volume of high-quality work” Abby produces for Bankers Trust. She leads a variety of digital campaigns and projects, all positively contributing to the bottom line. Because of her work in marketing automation and digital advertising campaigns, Bankers Trust is now able to run… “consistent, regular email touchpoints with all customers, customized to the individual based on their current bank relationship and anticipated future needs,” said her nominator.   

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Marketing Executive of the Year Award was created to honor one individual who inspires, leads, and achieves excellence in the field of marketing, and has contributed significantly to the region’s marketing community. At the 2019 AMA Iowa NOVA Awards, this achievement was given to Emily Abbas, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Bankers Trust. 

In her time with Bankers Trust, she has built a highly-functioning and fast-paced marketing team. Most recently, her team launched a new “Bankers Trust Difference” branding campaign and an updated website. Her team has also done tremendous work in documenting personas and customer journey mapping for all customer segments and has created advanced marketing automation systems to drive business results. 

In a recommendation letter, her team wrote, “Emily is a leader who encourages collaboration and creativity,” stating she “has helped shift our Marketing and Communications team’s role from order takers and brochure makers to consultative, strategic partners for our business units.” They added, “she inspires the people around her to be better” and continually “motivates everyone around her to reach higher. She achieves results and shares her successes.” 

Visit for a full list of award recipients.

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