Setting It Straight: Trust Is Better Than Transparency

In this Ad Age DigitalNext article, Goodway Group COO Jay Friedman explains why building trust is more important than providing transparency when it comes to fostering good digital media partnerships and relationships. But what is the first step to setting the stage for greater trust, transparency, and profits?: Ensure all media can be traced back to measurable marketing objectives.

What I Learned about the State of the Digital Industry from dmexco

Last week, I wrote about why Goodway Group attends the Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference (dmexco). This week, I want to share a few observations from the 2016 event. Idea Concept with Gears The growth paradox at dmexco. There were 50,000+ attendees this year—the most since the conference started. As this was my third year attending, I can share that while the addition of a fourth hall definitely reduced congestion, I didn’t feel  those additional attendees represented “new blood” in the programmatic and ad tech industry. The cost of a booth is a sunk cost, and it could be that many U.S. companies don’t feel the benefit justifies the expense. There weren’t new ad or marketing technology companies there creating a buzz. It seemed that companies came there to entertain their UK and European clients. Caveat: This observation is for U.S.-based companies only. “I pity the fool,” Mr. T’s famous catchphrase, comes to mind when I think about data companies setting up shop or competing in Europe. The United States is at an advantage for building a business around aggregating and selling behavioral or geotargeting data because we have a fairly uniform ability to collect signals (cookies, device IDs, or IP addresses) to use for targeting consumers. Imagine how difficult it would be if each state had their own online privacy policy around data collection, targeting, and identity usage. That’s the reality of Europe. Each country has its own guidelines, and some, such as France, are way more restrictive than others. This presents the obvious challenges in identification accuracy and scale for companies looking to expand their market to Europe. There’s an arms race occurring between vendors offering header tag implementation for publishers, and some leaders are emerging. I feel fortunate Goodway Group recognized this movement as early as we did. We’ve been monitoring adoption for over a year now. While header bidding gained popularity with publishers quicker than we anticipated, we’ve been proactively educating our operational and sales teams on the adjustment to the auction process, pricing dynamics, and alternative ways to access quality inventory. For a long time, the concept of “remnant inventory” was synonymously used for inventory available programmatically or via real-time bidding (RTB). That time is in the rearview mirror. Programmatic is now more closely associated with automated work flow and data strategy activation. This speaks to the maturation of our industry and the advancements that have occurred in processing power, system architecture, and CRM audience segmentation. The level of sophistication in conversations we’re having with partners and vendors has increased year over year. The feedback we get in these conversations reinforces our convictions around our bidding strategy and inventory procurement. We know we are addressing the changing market dynamics in a sensible way. Likewise, all the conversations at dmexco had a unique undercurrent. Think about the decisions happening at “bid” time: audience identification and valuation, fraud detection, pricing dynamics, and other factors all happening in thousandths of a second. This is the new reality for the buy side. I left dmexco feeling very confident the strategy we’ve been formulating is sound and puts us in the best position to find our clients’ audiences.

The TV Emperor: Clothed, Nude, or Wearing a Speedo?

Is TV advertising as effective as we assume? Within the next few years, we’ll be able to find out. When we do, Jay Friedman, Goodway Group’s COO, thinks we’ll find TV viewability is no different than digital when all is accurately measured, meaning the double standard between traditional media and digital media will finally disappear.

Ad-Tech Execs Weigh In on The Trade Desk’s IPO

The Trade Desk (TTD), a successful ad-tech company, hit a new milestone this week when it became a publically traded company. What do ad-tech execs think of this big post? Our own Goodway COO Jay Friedman believes TTD has an advantage with its APIs and a clear lead with its enterprise solution, making it a strong candidate to win the ad automation race.

The Drum’s Digital Trading Awards US Hands Grand Prix to Appleyard Agency

Goodway Group and Appleyard Agency won big yesterday at the Drum Digital Trading Awards USA, not only winning Most Effective Programmatic Partnership but also the top prize of the nightthe Grand Prixfor their “Driving Pensacola Tourism through Digital Innovation” campaign! Learn all about the event details and see the full results here.

Five Reasons Why Attending a German Trade Show Benefits Our Clients

Generic trade show stand with blurred zoom defocusing - Concept of business social gathering for international meeting exchangeThe Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference (dmexco) is the largest digital marketing trade show in the world. This was my third trip to dmexco, which is held every September in Cologne, Germany, and the second year in a row that our COO, Jay Friedman, went with me. Jay willingly crossing the Atlantic is curious enough, but to do so for a conference in a place that is as aesthetically pleasing as Akron—Cologne is no Florence or London—might seem strange since all our clients are in North America. So I thought I’d share the reasons why we make the trip each year:

  1. It’s a real trade show. The closest comparison in the states would be Ad Tech. But that show has featured the companies in the underbelly of digital marketing for years and could fit in one aisle of dmexco (there are about 25 aisles, if you were wondering).
  2. Speaking of size, it’s enormous. Every ad and marketing tech company has a booth. The conference spans four conference halls that are each the size of an airline hangar. There are a number of two-story booths that reportedly cost over $100K Euros. My Fitbit logged over 28K steps during the two days of the conference, which helps offset the traditional meals of Cologne—sausages, schnitzel, and mashed potatoes.
  3. Unexpected, random, but meaningful conversations. While there are sales reps manning the booths, they mostly represent the European market. But it isn’t uncommon to find senior sales and product executives in the booth, too. These encounters, when relevant to us, almost always result in a spontaneous and provocative conversation. Jay and I walk away from the booth knowing more or thinking differently about a channel or strategy than we did before.
  4. Senior and C-level attendance. We have meetings booked ahead of time with senior or C-level executives. This makes attendance cost-effective. Otherwise, it could take several different trips to NYC or other cities to meet with many decision-makers. Here, we can do it in under 48 hours.
  5. The knowledge we can gather in such a short period of time is unsurpassed. Enough conversations take place that it enables us to stitch together our thoughts and shift our thinking about a strategy one way or another. Whatever it is, it’s concrete and actionable. A couple months ago, Jay asked me what we were trying to accomplish this year at dmexco. At the time, I couldn’t give him a straight answer. I didn’t have half our meetings booked and knew that I wouldn’t, in some cases, until the day of the conference. I told him I had a loose idea of whom we should meet with, if they were attending. But, as I write this, I know we both got enough answers and crystallized our thoughts around some key initiatives we’re tackling on behalf of our clients.

By the time folks started filing out on Thursday evening to catch their trains or flights, our feet ache and our heads are swimming. But over the next several days, a cohesion of ideas occurs that will have a meaningful, positive impact on Goodway’s business and our clients. It could be adjusting our bidding strategy, testing a new data partner, or discovering unexpected insights about the direction of a social platform we’re considering—whatever it is, this is information we didn’t have last week, and it positively offsets the expense, the travel, the cuisine, and the aching feet. 

How Marketers Can Score Big with Digital Advertising This Football Season

American football in spotlightWhen you think Sunday Night Football, what comes to mind? Most likely your favorite team, tasty appetizers to share, and the commercials. As millions of Americans pulled their jerseys out of the closet and set their fantasy lineups this past weekend, marketers across the country held their breath. It makes sense that marketers look to capitalize on the football season. According to the NFL, the average game gets over 20 million viewers, accounting for 46 of the top 50 most-watched fall shows on TV.* And that’s just for the regular season. With playoff numbers only going up and culminating with America’s most-watched show everthe Super Bowlit’s no surprise advertisers are willing to shell out over $625,000 for a 30-second spot on Sunday Night Football.** However, great marketers know these high-priced commercials don’t happen in a vacuum. Big games aren’t just talked about around the water cooler anymore. People search their smartphones for player stats. They update their fantasy lineup on their tablets. And they text their friends with memes from the biggest playsall while watching the big game. As consumers spread their attention across more and more screens and channels during the game, commercials must be interconnected with social media, programmatic display, geotargeting, and many other modern campaign tactics to capture and hold the consumer’s attention. Here’s a look at three campaign strategies that will score big with consumers across all channels: Make Mobile Your MVP. With over 90% of millennials and 85% of Generation X using at least two screens while watching television,*** it’s safe to assume that smartphones will play a significant role in your reach. Start by making sure all of your landing pages are small screen-friendly to ensure successful conversion of your ads post-click. Once you’ve covered the mobile basics, consider other unique approaches. For instance, when video game developer EA Sports fused their video ads with live NFL data, they were able to deliver display ads with different combinations of copy, images, and backgrounds on the fly across sports mobile sites and apps. EA Sports also ensured high fan interaction with GIF highlights of their favorite teams through custom affinity targeting. Steal the Show with Social. In 2015, 50% of Super Bowl ads promoted hashtags, and this number is only expected to increase as Twitter partners with the NFL in 2016 to live-stream games throughout the season. But getting the most mileage out of a social campaign requires thoughtful groundwork before kickoff. Brands who pre-promote their ads through social media contests and events can drive future value by placing tags to retarget users who visited their landing pages with specialty ads during the live event. Taking a page from this playbook, Budweiser enlisted the help of their social media following prior to the 2015 Super Bowl with a #BestBuds sweeps contest. More than just registering strong results for emotional effect, the #BestBuds campaign drove content, engagement, and conversation before the big commercial reveal. What’s more, the company dove into display, creating commercial-related landing pages that were tagged with tracking pixels for retargeting post-event and purchasing numerous display spots on prominent sports websites during the Super Bowl. Go Deep with Advanced Geotargeting. Since most fans cheer for their hometown team, advanced programmatic geotargeting can be especially useful for large campaigns with dynamic creative. Utilizing ads that feature the local team creates an opportunity for your brand to become hyper-relevant in the eyes of the consumer. With programmatic geotargeting, brands can combine audience data filters with location signals to deliver customized ads that resonate with individuals. Last year, Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” commercials took a unique turn with geotargeted banner and Snapchat ads. Video ads successfully ran inside Snapchat’s localized Live Story feature targeting the Los Angeles area, and banner ads ran in 15,000 U.S. cities incorporating city-specific information in the ads themselves. In the end, no matter how memorable a television commercial may have been, it needs a digital component in order to survive in today’s complex marketing world. That’s why as the conversion funnel gets more complicated, game-day advertising strategy must begin long before the first Sunday night matchup and continue well after the Super Bowl confetti is cleaned up.

*NFL Communications, 2015 Regular Season Ratings Recap **Ad Age, Here’s How Much Ad Time in NFL Games Costs Marketers This Season, September 15, 2015 ***Statista, 2015

A nearly 10-year veteran at Goodway Group, Chris Palantino brings an unparalleled understanding of the full campaign life cycle for global brands. Chris currently leads a digital ad operations team in developing the creative and ad tags required to ensure expected delivery, ROI, and client satisfaction day after day. But it’s his proven problem-solving ability combined with extensive interactive media experience that has produced consistently strong strategy recommendations within the programmatic space year after year. When it comes to football fandom, some people paint their faces and others bare their chests claiming to be the NFL’s greatest fan. But we know who is #1 at Goodway. As our Fantasy Football Commissioner, Chris brings his A-game and creativity every season to build our league into the stuff of Fantasy folklore.

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Digital Media Buys Are Viewable

Goodway Group’s recent viewablity research found when users are shown ads measured as viewable, they have an 8-9 percent higher conversion rate than those served ads not deemed viewable. So viewed impressions, good. Served impressions, bad. But how do you ensure your digital media buys are indeed viewable and performing most effectively? This article will explain how to take action. Also, check out Goodway Group’s viewability white paper to learn about our other findings regarding viewability’s true impact on campaign performance.

The Scoop on Sourced Traffic

Contributed by Noah Everist, Director, Account Strategy at Goodway GroupShot of a businessman using a laptop in an office

What is Sourced Traffic?

Sourced traffic is any method by digital media sellers to get visitors via third parties, and the tactic is commonly used to reach audience guarantees for digital ad campaigns, also commonly known as audience extension.*

Marketers Unaware of Sourced Traffic Issues

Many clients and advertisers take deals with direct sites at face value as they are not aware of this inventory procurement method. Per eMarketer, only about 40% of clients are familiar with the concept of sourced traffic, and over 50% of clients do not know if sourced traffic is part of their buys. This hampers knowing what inventory is actually, and actually not, providing results for their campaigns. Per an ANA and White Ops study, sourced traffic was estimated to be 52% fraudulent, about 5x more than all digital traffic. High-profile and well-known sites were not immune to this phenomenon.**

Protecting YourselfBuyer Beware
  • Read the agreements. If you work with publishers directly, read the agreements. Understand how they go about audience extension or source third-party traffic, and ask about how they prevent fraud. Negotiate that they will not source traffic, or that they will disclose what traffic they are sourcing.
  • Be skeptical. If a site with a small audience sends you guaranteed impressions that seem way too big of a number for them to fulfill, they are probably using sourced traffic.
  • Demand transparency. Don’t be afraid to look through the third-party ad server reporting. Chances are, if they are not transparent, something is being hidden for a reason.
  • Utilize outside resources. Be sure that you utilize a third-party fraud partner. And measure viewability!
  • Align your goals. Set your goals as deep within your purchase funnel as possible. This helps protect against fraud and improves campaign performance.
  • Include a human element. Don’t completely trust the computers; have a skilled trader analyze your traffic flow.
  • Work within the system. If their sourced traffic is appropriate for your target/goals, continue to monitor and negotiate a better price on that traffic.
How Goodway Can Help

Transparency. It’s your data, and you should be able to see it. We hold our inventory partners to the same standards. Human Involvement. Goodway has over 70 media traders who supervise and optimize campaigns. Third-Party Ad Server and Viewability Measurement. Goodway partners with best-in-class companies in both categories. Lower Funnel Goals. Goodway encourages clients to provide goals as deep within the purchase funnel as possible. Fraud Protection. We work with many partners and even help our DSPs root out fraud.

* **

Noah is a 15-year agency veteran who brings his deep cross-channel and cross-vertical media experience to the digital table. He co-created an agency trading desk, leading a trading team into the real-time-bidding environment before it was an industry-accepted practice. As a member of the sales-enablement team, he lives on the front lines of the digital world providing our clients holistic strategy recommendations, insightful research, and in-depth analysis and evangelizing all things programmatic. You can find him in an airport near you on his way to a client meeting.

Digital Politics

Getty digital politics In a politically charged election year, it becomes increasingly apparent how impactful advertising budgets can be on primary outcomes. This same effect holds true for elections of all sizes, whether presidential, gubernatorial, local officials, or even ballot measures. Political spending in digital is increasing rapidly, with particular acceleration each election year. Borrell Associates estimates that political advertisers will spend $1 billion on digital advertising in 2016, rising to $3.2 billion in 2020.

Areas of Opportunity

Local Campaign Spend Growing Quickly Local campaigns for politicians, ballots, or initiatives will grow quickest, as the smaller operations will look to digital to access better targeting on smaller budgets. According to Borrell Associates: digital politics spend Social’s Sought After Social inventory is highly prized by advertisers, as consumers look here for political news and updates and to stay active in conversations taking place. According to a Lab42 study, 53.6% of U.S. Internet users will use social media to research and learn about political candidates prior to elections.

  • Millennials in particular favor this medium and ought to be a focus as this demographic becomes a growing portion of the electorate.
  • Minorities, Hispanics in particular, also largely access and heavily participate on social platforms.

Missing Out on Mobile Mobile is a missed opportunity and will be the next frontier for political dollars. As reported by eMarketer, mobile comprised 53% of digital ad spending in 2015, but only 6% of registered voters saw ads on mobile. digital politics mobile

Goodway’s Best Practices

  • Utilize real-time ad serving to update messaging in line with the news cycle.
  • Geo-target down to the zip code level.
  • Use contextual keyword and content targeting to reach users interested in relevant topics.
  • Target third party data segments to reach audiences based on the previous voting, political affiliation, and behavioral attributes of your constituents.
  • Create geo-fences around churches, colleges, and other voting locations.