Episode 002 – Larry Meador – CEO Evōk Advertising

Larry and I have been networking friends for many years, and I was very excited to get the chance speak with him about technology in the advertising industry.   Our discussion ranges from the technologies still used in print, email and direct mail marketing, to geo-fencing, augmented reality, dashboards and social media.

Evōk, Larry’s 16-year-old ad agency, has been awarded many accolades including such noteworthy ones from the Orlando Business Journal as both one of the Top Ad Agencies and Best Places to Work, not to mention the Fast 50 and Coolest Office Spaces.  Larry himself was voted one of 2017’s CEO’s of the Year.  So when I say Larry loves and knows what he’s doing, trust me, I can barely do the guy justice.  Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to mention Provōk – Evōk’s own podcast.  Check it out for great insights into the world of advertising.

Larry and Evōk have created and enhanced marketing campaigns for clients of all sizes – we talk about their work with targeting the extreme niche customers of insurance consultants UIC, Inc, and the detailed strategy to marketing Pizza Hut‘s mobile app, using those specific demographics that help their clients reach customers who are the immediate ideal target.  Larry dissects the Burger King December 2018 campaign of a Whopper for a penny and how it created an advertising value equivalent (AVI) and return on investment (ROI) by both the stunt itself and the hype that surrounded it.

Sockwell socks, another Evōk client, has benefited from Larry’s knowledge and use of technology in ways they never imagined, using that specific ad targeting methodology to produce a return on their marketing investment which far exceeded their expectations.

Larry is always looking to learn about and test new, relevant technologies, and his team sits down regularly to discuss what they might look at implementing to improve how they serve their clientele.

One of the most interesting aspects of the conversation was when Larry described how the reporting and analytics aspects of marketing has changed the levels of effectiveness his firm is able to achieve.  Using such tools as NinjaCat reporting, monitoring & tracking platform, Evōk can create a “real-time dashboard” that makes it easier for his team to use and communicate data to clients.

My favorite quote form Larry: “I will give you a dashboard, BUT, you have to promise me that if I show you data at 10 o’clock and can show you inferences by 11, and can give you changes I want to make by noon, you’ll approve by 1”.

3 hours to change an ad campaign based on analytics which not that long ago could take months to sort through, and still might not have been anywhere near as accurate.

Larry compares the QR code to the newer and better use of augmented reality tags in print, which captures data based on those ads that takes brands through a positive life cycle.  He also speaks admirably about the original Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom show, which he describes as one the first great examples of content marketing.

Ad re-targeting, the practice of hitting consumers with the same ad over and over again even if they really don’t want to see it, is something Larry thinks can be improved upon, more personalizing the web experience.  Look for Evōk  to start using Persosa‘s to improve their own web site experience, helping Evōk to better become their client’s “friend”