November 17, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Media Monitoring for the Communications and Public Relations Industries
About iQ media
John and Lakshmi teamed up nearly 25 years ago, forging an inseparable relationship that made them pioneers of big data before it was a trendy word to use. During that time, they trail blazed new and innovative ways of transforming seemingly endless data into valuable information streams to meet the custom and ever-changing needs of the retail banking and credit card industries. They quickly realized that the approaches to data models and infrastructures that had been developed for challenges in banking were applicable to other big data problems that they saw in other significant industries.
So why did they pick the media monitoring industry? First, the data versus information disparity certainly existed and was not being addressed. Second, there were unique technology challenges in media monitoring that nobody was trying to overcome which they felt were solvable. Third, it enabled them to work where major technology trends were constantly evolving – such as search engines, video streaming, and new web-centric content consumption – and that is exactly where they wanted to be.
Revolutions are often born from an outlier-– driven by someone who takes a very different approach. We felt we could provide that different approach to media monitoring. Most importantly, we wanted to advance the old monitoring platforms into the “Media Intelligence Age.” The revolution of iQ media was born in an office over John’s garage in rural Pennsylvania.
John is the founder of iQ media and its CEO. In his early career, John developed hands-on expertise in working with large databases and quantitative techniques. He was a pioneer in early marketing databases for targeting and risk management, which evolved into a successful technology startup that built predictive models used by large enterprises such as JP Morgan Chase, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Fleet Financial, MRU Holdings, and Advanta Corp.
John's career has been defined by creating business entities that have produced significant technological advances, but also significant investor returns. Coupling his desire for innovative technologies with exceptional financial returns, he has balanced risk and return through many different business sectors. Involved in various stages of development and growth, he has exceptional experience in managing though every cycle.
Interview conducted by:
Mr. Derham, your website indicates, “Goodbye Medial Monitoring, Hello
Media Intelligence”. How do you make that happen?
CEOCFO: Would you give us a couple of concrete examples, so that we can get a real feel for what is different?
Mr. Derham: We believe that monitoring is really about establishing baselines in data that unlike others in our space we will monitor events over a period of time and hold them against other periods of time, year-over-year. You can be getting a great deal of activity because of a specific media event, and it may look pretty good, but it may be under what you had experienced over that past couple of years because of seasonality. What our platform allows you to do is be able to look back over several years of data and be able to understand baselines, so that we give not only the number of impressions or the number of hits, but also audience measurement, media values and tonality.
CEOCFO: Who is typically using your services?
Mr. Derham: Currently we have a very deep customer base in the communications and public relations world. However, increasingly as we expand our capabilities, we are picking up C-Suite management primarily in the marketing world.
CEOCFO: Was healthcare a deliberate strategy or more opportunistic?
Mr. Derham: We like to think that our products resonate with any organization that has a brand that they want to monitor and measure. We have explored a number of different avenues, vertical industries including the entertainment industry, broadcasters themselves, politics, professional sports and even Fortune 500 brands. What we found is that in each of those areas we have been very successful in demonstrating the value of our products and services to be able to bring benefit in multiple verticals.
CEOCFO: You mentioned overtime as an area that you do that is a bit different. What might you be monitoring or consider important in the mix that perhaps others do not realize can make a difference?
Mr. Derham: Many of the media listening platforms currently available focus on online and social primarily. They do a very good job of organizing the events around online news and social tracking like Twitter, of what is being said. However, none of them right now have access to the broadcast data to be able to integrate that. We are very different in that we include what is happening in television and broadcast and integrate that into the messages that are being communicated online and in social media. That is one of our biggest differences from the other platforms that we compete with. It is the comprehensive and completeness of the media message. To not look at what is going on, on the broadcast side and make conclusions without seeing is half backed. We believe that our clients are increasingly looking for a more complete picture of the data.
CEOCFO: Do clients typically know what they are missing or are they surprised when they find out what you are able to do?
Mr. Derham: Interestingly enough, the impression that we get is of surprise. I think that people look at what we are showing them, having not seen it in the past, and see that our data tells good stories about the sequence, the timing and the persistency in the message across all of the media types. Having not seen these things in the past, it is hard to describe it until you actually show it. I think that people are really interested in what they are seeing.
CEOCFO: Does it surprise you that more companies are not, for example, looking at broadcast or is it that people are not able to measure the way you do?
Mr. Derham: Many of the competitors that have products that are very good in the marketplace right now, have legacy systems that were not able to capture broadcast. Because we are a relatively new company we were not anchored in a legacy system and were able to build things first principles out. It is a benefit that we have of being a relatively new organization and making the broadcast integration much more central. That makes it a differentiating part of our platform. I think that other competitors of ours are increasingly interested in finding a way to integrate our data.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your product offerings?
Mr. Derham: Our core product is called cliQ, which is a Software as a Service model that allows self serve users to be able to log in, check a dashboard and be notified as media events pertaining to their interests come about. It is very user friendly, very easy use, powerful and very fast. It also has a very deep and rich database that can be accessed over several years. We have another product that we just launched called fliQ, which is a content marketing function that allows users through mobile devices, to capture video upload to a central point of curation for our clients, to be able to merge and manage the messages. Then to be able to in a controlled manor, play them out in a venue outside of YouTube. That is resonating very well with our brand managers and CMOs. We also have a group of products called analytiQ, that are really focused on answering questions that lie underneath our click model, to be able to help our customers understand how and why things are happening and what we need to be able to do on the back end of it. We are also in product development with a number of video based technology offerings that will be coming to market in the next couple of quarters.
CEOCFO: Do you find that many or most of your clients take advantage of the full range of your services or products?
Mr. Derham: Some of them are taking advantage of more of the products, as they become familiar with the core products that they bought out of the gate. I think there is a convergence of marketing activities in most of our clients organizations across product marketing, communications and brand management that the strength of our products like cliQ and fliQ, really resonate. We are not aggressive in pushing our sales to folks who may not have a need for them, but what we are finding is that the needs are emerging and people are seeing the benefit of one product and asking what the integrated pieces can do for them on the side. I think the behaviors and the attitudes of our clients are constantly changing and our products are there to meet them.
CEOCFO: Are many of your clients utilizing the information and making changes based on what they are learning?
Mr. Derham: I think that our clients are asking better questions than the ever have. They see our platform as the means in which they can answer those questions. There is a convergence in these disciplines within the marketing of organizations and they are looking for a convergence of technology to be able to able to address the full question and not just answer a question within a specific media channel type. Our platform is seen as one of the best out there to be able to help them.
CEOCFO: How do you reach potential clients?
Mr. Derham: We do a number of marketing activities through web based marketing plans, branding efforts, trade shows and directly reaching out to them through our sales staff.
CEOCFO: How is business?
Mr. Derham: It is growing very well. We are very happy.
CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach?
Mr. Derham: Currently our offerings are in the entire United States and North America. We have aspirations to move into the UK and Europe in the 1st Quarter of next year (2015).
CEOCFO: Are there differences that you would need to account for in Europe or is it basically the same idea?
Mr. Derham: It is the same idea, but we are respectful of different needs across different markets. We are not going to package our offering that we have in the US and expect that the customers in the UK and Europe are going to want the same things. I think that the technology platform and the capabilities that we have can be adapted to meet their needs as well, with a very specific approach.
CEOCFO: How do you keep on top of new technologies and trends?
Mr. Derham: We do a great deal of reading. We have a great network of people in the emerging technology side of things, in both hardware and software, as well as in infrastructure. We have historically pushed the envelope as it relates to new types of technology that we deploy in our operating platforms; not quite on the bleeding edge, but definitely on the cutting edge. We have a very efficient and lean infrastructure that forces us to need to stay on top of what is happening out there. A good example of that is that our platform has been developed primarily for mobile applications and then rolled back to desktops, which is the key for us. We believe that everything needs to be core mobile, verses the traditional website desktop applications. Especially for the types of clients that we need to serve right now. However, it is fast past. There are many things happening out there that we need to be on top of and looking for strategic help is front and center for us.
CEOCFO: Do your clients need to add technology to use your products or do they tend to be plug and play?
Mr. Derham: One of the best things about our solution is that it does not require anything other than a connection and a browser. We do all of the heavy lifting and the infrastructure is cloud based. Therefore, they have very easy training, very easy setup, which works out very well.
CEOCFO: Why pay attention to iQ media?
Mr. Derham: We believe that the combination of our technology, our customer focus and our innovative mindset provides the best solution for marketing and PR professionals. It is a very easy to use intuitive system, it is very reasonably priced and we feel that we are the best solution out there. Couples with the fact that we have exceptional customer service and very high quality standards, we think that we are onto something really big. In addition, we feel that things are changing for us from an investor standpoint and we feel that we are in the right place at the right time.
“We believe that the combination of our technology, our customer focus and our innovative mindset provides the best solution for marketing and PR professionals. It is a very easy to use intuitive system, it is very reasonably priced and we feel that we are the best solution out there.” - John Derham
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