When Josh Fleming joined Bank Iowa as the Vice President of Marketing, he wanted to push the envelope and move away from a traditional approach to bank advertising. He reached out to LIFT, a company specializing in research-based customer and brand experience, for help.

“I would say bringing in an outside partner was the smartest thing we could have done because otherwise, it’s just a new marketing director saying we got to spend all this money here, here, and here.” Fleming explains. “I needed to know for myself where the best place to spend money was.”

LIFT’s brand awareness study of Bank Iowa surveyed customers in every county the company serves. The results were insightful. “The good news is the people that knew of Bank Iowa absolutely loved us, they thought we were trustworthy, loyal, skilled. The bad news was only 9% of the people in the counties we served knew who we were,” Fleming recalls.

This positioned the bank with a unique opportunity to build awareness through ongoing measuring and monitoring. Its media plans are specifically structured to promote the brand primarily through radio and television, with some traditional print advertising as well.

Fleming says when you’re trying to elevate the brand and measure it, “it has a domino effect because everybody at the bank knows that we’re trying to build brand awareness.” He adds the benefit of this approach is that it’s hard to argue with data. “If you have data to back up your assumptions in what you want to do, it makes it pretty easy to kind of give a head nod to move forward.”

The research LIFT provides has produced numbers that prove the marketing approach is effective. “It’s really hard to say that we ran this radio spot and 10 people opened accounts, we can’t really do that.” But that’s where the data comes in. Fleming can show brand awareness has increased somewhere between 15- 20% over the last five years. “We’ve been able to do that with a dedicated marketing plan, and data that shows this is actually working.”

Up to this point, Bank Iowa’s primary approach has been building brand awareness. Fleming says now that they have their message figured out, which was done through a lot of research and data collecting to get to a brand position, “it’s time to go a bit more granular”.

Fleming says they are looking at ways to move the needle more specifically. “To be able to say we’re going to run this digital campaign, we expect it to generate 110 accounts within the next three months. And here’s how we’re going to track it,” he explains.

Bank Iowa is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and serves some 40,000 customers.


Technology Use Case


COVID-19 presented Salesforce with a unique and challenging opportunity to completely re-imagine their events. With a long track record of successful, and engaging events – primarily known for networking opportunities – Salesforce had to rapidly answer 3 key questions:

1) What do users expect from a virtual event?

2) How can we make sure we deliver a superior experience – both in technology and content?

3) How do we capture and re-create that Salesforce Event Magic?


Due to the need for rapid deployment, Salesforce engaged LIFT to conduct a series of agile in-depth interviews to evaluate the TrailheaDX prototype. LIFT recruited participants who matched the audience persona and conducted UX interviews to evaluate the prototype for discoverability, navigation, and intuitiveness. These interviews resulted in actionable next steps for the Salesforce UX Team to optimize the virtual event and deliver a superior experience, complete with Salesforce Event Magic.


LIFT executed this research, start to finish, in just 5 days.

  • 23 positive user experiences identified with +90% of panelists reporting a great user experience.
  • 28 user experience improvements identified generating 13 design optimization recommendations.
  • 22 Salesforce stakeholders from 4 departments.
  • 1 prototype evaluated with 3 distinct experiences (pre-event, during-event, post-event).


Salesforce is no longer just a CRM software company. Over the last several years, Salesforce has expanded into a wide variety of software and business intelligence tools. Beyond the SaaS offerings, Salesforce has become known worldwide for their industry events. Salesforce events are more than sales opportunities or tradeshows, they’re a complete experience. Salesforce hosts a variety of events throughout the year, culminating in Dreamforce, the largest software conference in the world.


“Users and analysts had a tremendously positive response to our rollout of TDX and we believe that the responsive, iterative approach [LIFT] took to the research was largely responsible for that. Thanks for your partnership!”

Katie Wornson,
Senior Manager of UX

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Education Use Case


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic impacting the University community, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) needed to quickly shift over 13,000 students to virtual classrooms as well as create on-line operational services for over 8,000 employees to ensure business continuity.


UMBC leveraged Cisco Collaboration Solutions to facilitate learning from home and as the primary channel for people to collaborate on University operations. The Cisco team engaged with LIFT to deliver the necessary tools for UMBC to rapidly implement and rollout the Webex solution to faculty, staff, and students.


  • Successful deployment of virtual classroom in 1 week
  • Faculty and Staff are utilizing Cisco collaboration tools in alignment with UMBC standards
  • 10% increase, greater user satisfaction with more stable and predictable use of collaboration tools for meetings and events
  • Increased Stability and Use of full suite to include secure mobile access
  • 25% growth in number of virtual meetings held as a result of the adoption of the tools


“With the help of Cisco and LIFT, UMBC has created a plan to execute the orientation advising model virtually.”

Kenneth Baron,
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Advising and Student Success, University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus


The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) is a public research university. Established as a part of the University of Maryland System in 1966, the university became the first public college or university in Maryland to be inclusive of all races. UMBC has the fourth highest enrollment of the University System of Maryland with 13, 600 students enrolled during the 2019 school year. The university is divided into three colleges, three schools, as well as its graduate school.

Nation’s Largest Utility

Public Sector


The COVID-19 crisis forced social distancing and remote access procedures into the public meeting process for the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility. The utility needed to quickly provide a seamless transformation from in-person meetings to a digital, virtual board meeting while retaining a secure environment, procedural compliance, and the traditional experience.


The utility contacted LIFT to help run 12 meetings while simultaneously transitioning all roles and processes to utility personnel. In parallel, LIFT provided secure virtual worker improvements so that gains were made in both efficiency and effectiveness.


LIFT successfully ran the Commissioners Board Meeting under emergency conditions with just two days’ notice. LIFT provided:

  • A secure meeting environment
  • Procedural adherence
  • Improved government and private contractor employee satisfaction a
  • COVID-19 safety compliance


“LIFT has been a great partner in showing us how to ensure we understand how to use our Cisco technology for maximum business value.”

Utility CIO


The customer is the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility employing over 9,000 people and providing water and power to over 4 million residents and businesses for more than a century. The utility is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners who meet bi-monthly in a highly procedural, public forum.