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Covario Presents Sigma Awards to Six Top Digital Marketers

Bank of America, Intel, Kelley Blue Book, Lenovo, Nikon and Sony All Recognized at Covario's Annual INFLECTIONPoint Conference

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/14/14 -- Covario, a leading independent search and content marketing agency, presented the Sigma Award -- its highest client honor -- to six leading digital marketers during the firm's eighth annual INFLECTIONPoint conference held this month in San Diego.

The award is bestowed annually to marketers who demonstrate innovation and achieve measurable success in search marketing campaigns, combined with effective social media, content marketing, media-mix, and/or digital advertising strategies. This year's Sigma recipients recognized for their successful 2013 digital marketing initiatives include Bank of America, Intel, Kelley Blue Book, Lenovo, Nikon, and Sony Electronics.

Bank of America won its first Sigma Award for the re-launch of several business-critical website sections using the agile development methodology -- an alternative to traditional website design workflows. The agile methodology embraces adaptive planning, flexible development, and rapid deployments among cross-functional teams during compressed time frames known as sprints. Bank of America and Covario streamlined SEO workflow processes to fit within agile-sprint cycles aligned to various project teams, and ensured that SEO was built into the new designs and platforms from the ground up. More than 1,200 keywords were optimized, covering over 16 million search queries per month. As a result, first-page search engine rankings for non-branded keywords improved by 27 percent, while organic search conversions attributed to the optimized web pages increased by 76 percent.

Intel returned as a Sigma honoree for its global "PC Refresh" partner integration campaign. The "ingredient" technology provider drove consumer sales of Intel-powered PCs through effective paid search strategies that involved 40-plus retail and OEM partners across seven countries. Intel's first large-scale, collaborative paid search program grew both sales and order volume by more than 300 percent from the first to third quarter of last year. Cost-per-click (CPC) was cut in half over the period.

Kelley Blue Book won its inaugural Sigma Award for the best use of content marketing for branding. This early adopter implemented a responsive web design strategy with dynamic serving -- even before Google began advising digital marketers to take this approach. Kelley Blue Book also launched a full website for tablet devices. Working with Covario, this iconic brand and publisher launched a content marketing program that raised Kelley Blue Book's new car shopping visibility and expanded its brand presence for top-of-the-funnel queries about cars on its consumer website KBB.com.

Lenovo, another back-to-back Sigma winner, was recognized for the innovative use of paid social media by its U.K. digital marketing team. The PC manufacturer wanted to increase its Twitter followers, drive product awareness, and generate sales during Gadget Show Live (#GSL) -- the largest consumer trade show in Great Britain. Throughout the show, Lenovo used exclusive promotions and created Promoted Tweets geo-targeted to Birmingham (where #GSL takes place) to garner sales lift. The so-called "Flock to Unlock" campaign encouraged consumers to retweet Lenovo messages offering special product discounts. The campaign generated more than 2.3 million consumer impressions and 13,000 engagements. Lenovo also obtained over 2,500 new @Lenovo_UK Twitter followers. During #GSL, the company achieved PC revenue lift from Promoted Tweets at an effective 4:1 sales-to-spend ratio.

Nikon earned a Sigma Award for a creative social brand integration initiative involving Facebook. The digital imaging leader worked with Covario on a content marketing project tied to a new web app, which creates a seamless image of a consumer's profile and cover photo for use on Facebook profile pages. The campaign has helped increase Nikon's website traffic and drive awareness of the initiative, resulting from substantial traffic gains and social media engagement.

Sony Electronics, another first-time Sigma awardee, made effective use of local search strategies when the marketing team was charged with increasing revenue from its Sony retail stores around the country. With limited resources, the team worked with Covario to integrate different paid search tactics and advertising copy variations aimed at targeted consumer prospects in regions near stores in 20 metro areas. The result was a ten-fold increase in consumer search engine queries leading them to information about Sony stores, and a 30 times increase in impressions during the important holiday selling season.

"These six companies and their teams exemplify the principles of innovation, partnership, and passion that guide our approach to the Sigma Awards, while representing the core values of Covario as a whole," said the agency's Co-CEO Jeff Johnson. "Each of these marketing leaders did something that was successful and unique, exceeding campaign objectives and metrics."

About Covario
Covario is a leading independent search marketing agency and software provider. The firm was selected by OMMA magazine as the Search Agency of the Year a record three years in a row from 2011 to 2013. It was also ranked in 2013 by Advertising Age magazine among the nation's Top 10 search agencies. Covario offers a suite of SaaS-based enterprise search, local SEO, and social media marketing analytic and automation tools. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm has more than 200 team members globally, who are also located in Beijing, Chicago, London, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and other cities around the world. The firm's growing customer base includes global leaders in technology, consumer electronics, financial services, retail, ecommerce, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods. More information is available at http://www.covario.com.

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