5 Questions For Matt Wise

by , Dec 29, 2006, 3:35 PM
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CEO, Q Interactive

Matt Wise was appointed president and CEO of Q Interactive, an online marketing services company, in July 2006; he joined the company in October of 2004 as senior vice president of marketing and subsequently became chief marketing and sales officer, leading the organization's sales, client services, and business development departments, and overseeing corporate and consumer marketing teams. An online marketing expert, Wise also served as senior vice president of account services for Draft. Wise held senior management positions with a variety of online companies, including LuckySurf, Delphion, and Classified Ventures. 

What are some of the biggest digital media and marketing initiatives your agency has handled on behalf of clients during the past few months? Which were you most proud of and why?

  • I'm proud of our accomplishments with our magazine publishing and continuity club clients. As postal rates increase, these industries rely more heavily on the Internet to grow their subscriber base, primarily through "bill me" soft offers, where the consumer receives magazines or other merchandise up front and agrees to pay later. The problem is that "bill me" marketers have historically been unable to consistently reach consumers on the Internet who will actually pay on the back end. At Q Interactive, we've developed a unique solution via our proprietary TrueConversion Engine targeting system that combines offline modeling methodologies with consumer data to create custom models that target soft offers only to consumers who have a high propensity to pay. On average, we've increased the pay-up rate for magazine and continuity club "bill me" offers by 28 percent.

What is your mission in 2007?

  • Our mission in 2007 is to increase our penetration with traditional brands and agencies that are beginning to move more brand dollars from offline to online vehicles. The intent of much of these initiatives is to begin a dialogue with consumers to build brand relationships. We're uniquely positioned to power the first step in a consumer dialogue - getting permission from interested consumers. The challenge is to make advertisers aware that lead generation and consumer-requested marketing are the all-important first step in beginning the dialogue rather than just a direct-marketing initiative.

What are the most vexing issues facing your business right now?

  • Online lead generation is by far the fastest growing category in online advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That's been great for business on the one hand, but it's also brought an influx of players into the field with less than stellar permission and privacy practices. I have similar concerns for the e-mail category. Many providers are compromising permission standards by mailing under "spawned" brands and rotating domain names.

What are the new opportunities you see on the horizon in lead generation and how do they integrate into the overall online marketing equation?

  • One of the biggest opportunities is bringing in large, brand-oriented advertisers, who have traditionally relied on other mediums to build consumer interest in their companies. Online lead generation allows these brands to not only generate consumer interest but actually get the consumer's permission to be contacted - a critical step in starting any relationship with a consumer online. Further, as offline dollars continue to move online, lead generation allows these brands to start the conversation with a consumer in a manner much more cost-efficient than banners or search. Online lead generation also provides unique capabilities for brands to target specific consumer segments. Alcoholic beverage companies such as Smirnoff, for instance, could target consumers 21 and over with their lead-generation promotion on the front end and additionally verify age when the consumer submits their information. Automotive companies like BMW could similarly target based on specific household income levels.

If you were not in your present position, what would you most like to do?

  • A pianist in a jazz club. All the socializing with the patrons, ad-libbing, and taking requests - that would be a blast. Unfortunately, I can't sing or play the piano, but a guy can dream, right?

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