Carsen is a digital marketer by day and a digital DJ by night. He has a great love for travel and adventure, connecting with new people, and spinning out only the funkiest of beats. No matter if he's marketing or DJing, Carsen has a talent for making people smile.

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Vovia Client Profile – Get to Know GMS

I was at a Calgary Marketing Association event recently, and we talked about what makes a great relationship between clients and agencies. What fosters great work? What drives success? In a room full of both clients and agencies, they agreed that collaboration and trust were key. One person half-jokingly said “agencies deserve the clients they win”. In our case, we are lucky to work with great clients who we can truly collaborate with. This year we want to celebrate some of these long-standing clients that have made Vovia the company we are today.

Our first feature client is GMS. GMS is a health and travel insurance company that has been covering Canadian families since 1949. Based in Regina, GMS offers health insurance coverage for things that aren’t covered by public healthcare, such as prescription drugs, ambulance services, dental, etc. Ultimately, GMS focuses on wellness first; they believe that happy and healthy people create thriving communities. From customizable health coverage plans to giving back to health-based non-profits (this is the 4th year GMS is presenting sponsor of the Night with STARS Gala, which generates more than $200K annually for STARS Air Ambulance). It’s refreshing to work with an insurance company that actually cares about its customers and their health. That’s why we love supporting them!

I sat down with Matt Best, Marketing and Communications Manager at GMS and Vovia Account Manager Lauren Leung to get the low-down on how our relationship with GMS has grown over the years.

Q:When did GMS start working with Vovia?

Matt: We’ve been working with Vovia since 2016. At first we just needed some advice on SEO. But we quickly learned that the team could also help us run our paid campaigns, which we started in 2017.

Q: Matt, how did you find out about Vovia?

Matt: I met Susan, the President of Vovia, at a Jolt conference in Regina, where Heather, Vice President of Client Service at Vovia, was speaking. I was very interested in Heather’s content that talked about how Vovia uses data to guide decisions on media strategies, and further chatted with Susan about it afterwards. The conversation was super easy going yet insightful, and we were interested in having them help us out with some SEO work.

Q: What other things do you work on with Vovia?

Matt: Vovia now handles all of our media planning and execution that supports direct web and phone sales. They also recently helped us with SEO around the launch of our new website in June 2019. And to top it off, we consult them for advice on SEO, landing page optimization, and any other marketing questions that come up! I like that I can call Lauren and ask her just about anything about marketing – sometimes we’re on the phone for an hour just bouncing ideas off each other.

Q: How would you describe the Vovia/GMS relationship?

Matt: Vovia is an extension of our team; not just a vendor. The collaboration goes beyond the media strategy, which is very valuable to our team. We’ve gotten into the habit of bringing them into conversations around more holistic business strategy and problems we’re facing. Bringing them to the table provides different perspectives and angles for the business problems we’re facing, and we always come out with great insights to consider. They’re serious about our results and passionate about driving success for our business, while still having a lot of lightheartedness to it and have a good time! It’s great to build such a strong relationship with a team you are working with day-in-day-out.

Lauren: I love working with clients that are passionate about learning and using data in smart ways. I’m all about numbers, which is great because GMS is all about numbers too! Over the years we have increased the amount of data we share with each other, which has helped us improve performance. An example is the advanced weighted profit model that we use to optimize our campaigns. By leveraging revenue and profitability data that Matt provided, we were able to identify that the profitability of each product is quite different. This has allowed us to refine our optimization strategy to focus on sales that are more profitable which has ultimately helped increase revenues year over year.

Q: What’s one thing you find different about Vovia?

Matt: Vovia is more than just our media buying partner. We see them as marketing partners. Over the years we have built trust with them, and they’ve shown us the value of collaborating and sharing information as she just mentioned. Since their strategies are built to hit our revenue targets, it made sense for us to share real revenue data with them every month so that we can see how their efforts relate to our actual business results. Vovia gets the same information we would normally share internally. There isn’t any hesitation because I know they can almost always find a way to draw insight from the data and improve the campaigns from it. They have an impressive handle on analytics that has allowed us to change the way we measure our campaigns.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working with GMS?

Lauren: Vovia has work hard/play hard culture and GMS has that too! Whenever I am out in Regina to meet with them, we go hard collaborating on marketing strategies during the day, but always leave time for fun things like locked rooms or golf tournaments!!

GMS and Vovia getting their Stampede on!

Q: If you could describe Vovia in one word, what would it be?

Matt: Strategic.

Stay tuned for more client profiles as we continue to celebrate our amazing clients and thank them for providing us with the opportunity to do what we love to do.