Goodway Group Debuts Validate360™

First-in-industry product suite to validate actual offline sales and in-store visits

Goodway Group, a managed services programmatic media firm serving hundreds of advertising agencies and marketers across North America, has announced Validate360™, a product suite measuring actual sales and in-store visits against digital advertising spend and delivery. Validate360 is an industry first and functions as a value-added service designed to track digital ad campaigns and their effectiveness at influencing actual purchasing decisions. Validate360 intro ”Brick-and-mortar advertisers who rely on more than e-commerce have been waiting 20 years for a validation product suite that can measure true offline sales and store visits in a control vs. exposed, scientific manner,” said Jay Friedman, COO at Goodway Group. “Establishing the right data connections and algorithms took just under two years, but this will power the next decade in driving better ROI for our clients.” Whether the purchase is an automobile, traditional consumer packaged goods, dinner at a quick-serve restaurant, or clothing from a major retailer, Validate360 measures the lift between control and exposed groups with statistical confidence and significance. In addition, in-store visits can be captured without bothering the consumer or relying on often-false self-reported consumer data about their advertising awareness. At a time where consumers’ concern over their privacy is at an all-time high, Goodway Group is quick to point out the anonymity and trustworthiness of its data. Jonathan Mellinger, Goodway’s vice president of enterprise partnerships explains, “Goodway Group has been family-owned for 87 years. There have been prior solutions that didn’t meet our privacy standards, but Validate360 provides consumers with 100 percent anonymity and privacy guarantees. We wouldn’t have it any other way.” Validate360 operates as a true turnkey solution, offering an immersive view of the actual effectiveness of the digital ad campaign life cycle. What begins as a targeted ad and ends with an in-store purchasing decision can now be assigned, tracked, verified, and reported. From there, results can be matched directly to the original dollar amount of the digital media buy and compared to the total ad spend for a particular campaign. In addition, Goodway technology now has the ability to perform a “seed and replicate” technique to reach targeted consumers across any of their device platforms. Once a user and their individual device have been identified, digital ads can then be retargeted in a cross-device technique reaching any corresponding combination of their mobile devices, desktops, and tablet computers. To learn more about Validate360, watch this short informational video explaining just how this product suite works. For more information, please visit Goodway on the web at www.GoodwayGroup.com.

6 Tips for Managing a Virtual Workforce

Goodway Group Has a 98% Virtual Workforce in 36 States How many hours per week are spent in traffic? On gas money? Missed family dinners due to working late? Telecommuting and virtual workspaces solve these problems and much more. In the past 10 years, there has been a 103 percent spike in virtual workforces, and 44 percent of U.S. companies say they are currently looking to increase their work-from-home staff. It’s no longer a fad but a legitimate and growing trend in the business world today. Goodway Group knows change. In 2006, it took 77 years of being a traditional print company and turned it into a 100 percent digital ad tech firm. It was then that leadership decided to go all virtual, and in the past year have increased their workforce by 50 percent. Currently, Goodway Group has 290 employees, 284 of which work from home in 36 states across the U.S.: a 98 percent virtual workforce. However, implementing remote work places doesn’t happen overnight. For Goodway Group, it was a three-year process. As an industry leader in the digital advertising space, how do they sustain themselves while creating a successful work environment? “We manage our virtual workforce in four ways: culture, people, process, and tools,” says Jay Friedman, Goodway’s chief operating officer. “Our culture is such that we don’t treat those who work from home any differently than if they were in a centralized office setting. We conduct significant screening before hiring to make sure the candidate is a good fit, our processes are built around being remote, notes are taken at every meeting and shared/documented, and we use tools that make remote collaboration much easier.” GG Employee Map As an experienced virtual workforce leader, Friedman has six key tips for managing a virtual workforce:

  1. Use the right tools: Providing employees with the right tools for success is of the utmost importance. There are so many tools that allow virtual workforces to maintain and even exceed typical productivity benchmarks. These include Office 365, Yammer, Skype for Business, Confluence, OneDrive, and Reviewsnap. These connectivity suites allow simultaneous, multi-user editing and collaboration.
  2. Treat all employees the same: It is necessary not to treat remote employees any differently. They can’t be seen as exceptions or special cases. They should have the same expectations of them as they would in a traditional office setting.
  3. Establish rules: In a physical space, it’s easier to establish the basic rules of the office. With a virtual workforce, this can be more difficult, but it’s necessary to have firm rules of conduct. For instance, working remotely is not the same as flex-time. If employees are going to be away from their desk, they need to notify a supervisor, just like in a traditional office.
  4. Cultural symbols: If a company thrives on cultural symbolism, such as awarding perks for high-achieving employees, keep in mind that virtual companies don’t have prime parking spaces in the lot out back to give away. The same goes for birthday gatherings and group employee outings. Virtual companies must make it up to their staff in other ways.
  5. Remote leaders: If some of a company’s staff work remotely and some don’t, it’s important for the organizations’ leadership to set an example of working remotely from time to time, as well as being in the office. This shows that the company leadership does not favor one type of working environment over another.
  6. Virtual process: It’s important to make sure the company’s particular business model lines up with the option of having a remote workforce. If the organization’s process and way of conducting business require all employees to be in a centralized office, having remote employees will never be the best option. In addition, constant communication, documentation of everything, and storing notes in a centralized location for everyone to view are necessary steps in the virtual process.

Embrace Digital Advertising's Measurement and Technology

iStock_000056042348_FullDid your target consumers see the ad? Absorb it? Did it stick? Did it resonate? Measuring digital’s viewability and detecting ad fraud, it’s complicated. Sometimes, doing so can leave marketers feeling frustrated, focused on the messiness, the imperfect answers. Yet Goodway Group’s COO Jay Friedman explains why marketers should accept this complexity and focus on results instead—all that digital advertising can do today to measure success and effectiveness—in this AdExchanger article Marketers: Embrace Today’s Consumer Complexity and Technology.

Should You Consider Using Beacons?

Contributed by Jonathan Mellinger, VP of Enterprise Partnerships at Goodway Group

Getting started with “Proximity Marketing”

There has been a lot of buzz about beacons in the last year. You may have even read an article or two on high-profile companies like Lord & Taylor or McDonald’s testing beacons in their stores. First, it should be noted that proximity marketing is a very new industry segment. In baseball terms, the second batter is up in the first inning of a nine inning game—it’s a very nascent business. But startups in this space have already begun to differentiate their products, platforms, and business models, so much so that it presents a challenge for marketers to choose which vendor works best. The goal of this blog post is to help you better understand this new marketing-technology niche.

What are beacons?

Beacons are small devices that emit a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal. When a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device passes within range of the beacon’s signal, it communicates with beacon-enabled mobile apps, determines the mobile device’s proximity and Device ID, and sends personalized notifications and content to a customer’s smartphone.

How do beacons work?

Beacons rely on first- and third-party mobile apps to detect their signal, which then triggers a notification on a customer’s smartphone. Retailers with their own apps can install a beacon vendor’s SDK—basically a few lines of code—in their apps that allows the beacons in the store to talk to the app. Other beacon vendors partner with mobile apps who install their SDK. This allows marketers without their own apps to also communicate with potential customers.

Are Beacons Right for my Business?

Beacons are ideal for retailers and large venues. For the purpose of this post, I’m focusing on retailers because of the myriad of marketing applications. Brick-and-mortar retailers are best positioned to take advantage of beacons and proximity marketing for several reasons: Foot traffic—It’s much easier to develop an audience for targeting or a sample size for measurement when 1,000 customers come through your store doors each day. Beacons also can collect business intelligence. Mobile apps—Beacon vendors have their own software development kit (SDK)—remember, essentially a few lines of code—that retailers can install in their own app, allowing it to communicate with beacons placed around their stores. Customer engagement—Beacons provide marketers a new tool to communicate with their customers. For example, if a national paint retailer has its own mobile app and beacons deployed at its stores and wants to promote a launch of a new line of home paint, when a browsing customer enters the range of the beacon, he or she can receive a notification about the new line of paint and see a “design idea” photo gallery—all from within the retailer’s mobile app. This is just one example of how retailers can creatively enhance engagement with their customers. Attribution—Beacons provide one more touch point in the customer journey and will allow us to more accurately measure lift in store traffic from online campaigns. Proximity-marketing beacons spent the last couple years as “bleeding edge” technology. As many retailers have tested them and beacon companies have improved their product and platform offerings, they now have graduated to “cutting edge.” In subsequent posts, I’ll explain the differences between vendors and provide more sophisticated examples of beacon-marketing programs.     As one of the founders of EyeWonder, Jonathan has experienced firsthand the evolution of digital advertising from the nineties to the present day. In his Goodway role, he manages partner and vendor relationships, which affords him a birds-eye view of the digital media industry’s emerging technology and trends.

Connecting Offline Data for Online Success

Contributed by Amanda Martin, Director, Account Strategy, Northeast Region at Goodway Group iStock_000009077543_LargeConnecting offline data to online, which historically has been siloed from online marketing initiatives, can be the key to improving targeting and campaign measurement. Offline data is data collected and stored in “offline” systems, for example, CRM platforms, point-of-sale (POS) systems, email-marketing platforms, and contact-center applications. Ideally, it is tied to some form of personally identifiable information (PII) including but not limited to email address, name, postal address, or customer ID. Offline data can include first-party information, which is considered the most valuable, but also can include third-party information like demographics and buyer propensities. The act of connecting offline data to online is called “data onboarding” or more recently “connectivity.” The most important principle to this process is privacy; by de-identifying PII in both offline and online data sets, data vendors can connect the dots but also protect the individual’s privacy and the brand’s integrity.

Offline Data Tactics

Data onboarding allows marketers to increase targeting efficiency and close the gaps within campaign measurement. Below are the key offline data tactics in practice today:

OFFLINE DATA TARGETING

  • CRM Retargeting
  • Cross-channel Marketing
  • Ad Suppression
  • Look-alike Modeling

OFFLINE DATA MEASUREMENT

  • Closed-loop Measurement
  • Cross-channel Attribution

To ensure data onboarding success, there are three key characteristics to gauge when working with a match partner:

  • Match Rate–Measured as a % of the offline data matched to an online user, industry match rates currently fall between 30-55%
  • Accuracy–Measured based on how often the onboarding provider can correctly match offline data to an online user profile
  • Integration–Turnaround time is important, and, because cookies age, matching is an ongoing commitment

With a decade of digital media experience and wide-ranging industry expertise in client services, research and development, sales management, and strategy, Amanda is a valuable member of Goodway Group’s sales-enablement team. Directing account strategy, she strives daily to bring to life digital research and analytics in a way that is easy to understand, to strengthen and build strategic partnerships, and to find and mine only the best solutions to achieve clients’ goals.