Risk, Opportunity, & Data

Digital’s Risk, Opportunity, and Data group helps organizations make sense of their data to create sustainable competitive advantage. We have the expertise across analytics, cybersecurity, privacy management, and other industries.

That’s why when companies decrease marketing budgets as a knee-jerk reaction to downturns, IFM recommends a more aggressive approach.

Leveraging data to craft a recession-proof marketing plan

The mere mention of a recession can cause panic as people shut their wallets tight and dig in. But for John McColman and Dave Taylor, the co-founders of In Front Marketing (IFM), recessions offer unique possibilities.

“We see it as an opportunity, a chance for us to provide better value to our clients,” Dave said.

That’s why when companies decrease marketing budgets as a knee-jerk reaction to downturns, IFM recommends a more aggressive approach.

“Clients and consumers are still spending in a recession, they’re just doing it smarter,” He said. “They’re doing a lot more research, which means that companies have to be aggressive in digital advertising.”

Then, as other companies pull back, it provides room for active companies to increase their market share – if they do it right.

Aggressive digital advertising

In a recession, each dollar needs to be spent efficiently. With the old way of marketing and its hazy ROI, that was impossible. No one knew exactly how the web of display ads, banners, and social media linked up to create a sale.

With IFM’s data-rich approach, the path of every conversion is clearly mapped from initial impression to purchase, giving clients the information to streamline ad campaigns. Underperforming media is cut to make way for ads that convert, creating a more cost-effective campaign with a higher, demonstrable ROI.

This creates flexibility in the system, allowing IFM to work with any budget to market when and how it makes the most sense, and pull back if there’ no concrete ROI.

IFM’s process starts with a deep dive into a company’s existing plan to pinpoint inefficacies and continues with real-time monitoring to determine which ads are working and which ones should be cut. Then, clients can move forward with a more effective model based on the data provided.

For IFM, this is more than a marketing approach – it’s the way they started their business.

Leveraging a recession

John and Dave opened IFM in 2015, in the midst of one of the worst recessions in recent memory. While other companies were closing up shop or retreating until oil prices began to rise again, they decided to push forward because they understood what clients wanted.

“We found that business owners were not being given any insight into what happens when they run a digital advertising campaign,” Dave said. “There was no real understanding of how a consumer engages with a business when they see an ad.”

Knowing their clients would be searching to find the best ROI from their advertising dollars during the recession, John and Dave knew their data-driven approach, tying investment to return, would win-over the companies.

So they began an aggressive, flexible campaign to grow their market share.

The power of data

By using this approach with other companies, the pair was able to show clients a better way forward, helping them to grow and thrive in the recession.

Recently, IFM helped the Calgary Flames clear the fog from their marketing campaigns. The team was able to prune ads with low conversion rates in order to focus more of their budget on ads that worked.

The IFM team

Today, John and Dave are celebrating In Front Marketing’s fifth successful year in business and about to set up shop in a new, 2000 sq/ft office space on the Red Mile.

The company was incorporated in February 2015, when John and Dave quit their day jobs to work from home.

The pair started in the marketing industry around the same time, and now have over two decades of experience between them.

Dave started his career with the Yellow Pages in 2009, before moving to Sun Media in 2012. It’s there he met John, who had been working with the company for three years at the time. The pair worked together for three more years as John climbed the corporate ladder to become head of online operations, and in charge of $14 million in annual, digital revenue.

After discovering their frustrations within the marketing industry, John and Dave decided to create their own company to give clients the data that shows real ROI.

To learn more about the power behind digital advertising and the data your business could be missing, call Dave or John to schedule a free marketing review and consultation with In Front Marketing.

John McColman administrator

If you want to pick someone’s brain for anything from social media to display advertising, pick John's. Today, John’s putting businesses in front of millions of users and he can do the same for your business.


Digital Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Social Advertising