How to Find a Social Platform for Every Marketer

With such a wide variety of social media platforms, apps and communication channels now available, how should marketers allocate their budget most effectively for a solid social media strategy? Goodway Group COO Jay Friedman suggests narrowing your choices and going with only those that best match your needs and campaign goals, whether that means going with the popular household names, such as Facebook or Twitter, or the more obscure smaller networks that only cater to a niche audience.  

Working Moms in Tech Share How to Get the Best of Both Worlds

women in tech are working moms in tech No matter what title they have, women in tech industries are typically surrounded by men. However, that male-dominated culture simply doesn’t exist at Goodway Group. Our company is 75% female, which also means we have lots of working moms in tech and leadership roles at Goodway. Since March is Women’s History Month, we wanted to shed some light on the lives of our full-time professional women (and full-time moms). To celebrate, we recently reached out to some of the most amazing working moms we know in ad tech to share their personal stories and advice for achieving the best of both worlds: What’s your motto as a working mom? 

My motto is that I have two jobs, and I must be equally dedicated to both — work hard at work and work hard at being the best mom I can be. Goodway allows me to succeed at both!

Robin K., Sales Business Manager (and wrangler of her 10-year-old son, nephew and parents)

What impact has working virtually for Goodway Group had on your life as a parent?

I’m married to a pilot who has a crazy schedule. Many times, he is outside of the country, and I can’t contact him, which leaves me in single-parent mode. Working from home allows me to avoid the commute time and being away from home while my husband is out of town. Another one of my favorite aspects of working from home is the ability to have breakfast as a family every morning. We make omelets, eggs and bacon, pancakes . . . . you name it; we have time for it! Our mornings are less stressful than they used to be because we have this time together.

         – Sarah M., Director of Ad Operations and Creative Services (and mom of four)

What’s the greatest lesson your mom shared that has helped you succeed as a professional? 

My mom taught me early on that just because I am a woman, it didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything I set my mind to. I come from a long line of strong, independent women. That has helped me to work in industries where women were scarce (auto parts, construction, IT).

         – Katie S., Client Coordinator (and mother to a middle schooler)

What advice would you give to the next generation of women in tech who have big dreams?

I would say be you and no one else. Tap into what makes you unique because being your true and authentic self will always pave the way for success. We’re all born with innate gifts and abilities — somewhere among them, we find our purpose.

         – Amber J., Training Supervisor (and one of Goodway’s newest parents after the birth of her daughter last year)

How would you describe Goodway Group (in a Tweet)?

A company that truly cares. About its clients, about its employees, about making this world a better place one day at a time. #goodwaygrouprocks

          – Ellyn G., Training Enablement Specialist (and mom to a growing 6-year-old boy)  

Among Goodway’s core values, at the center of who we are and what we do are our Family Values. And it’s partly because of this commitment to our core values and working moms in the tech industry that we were named a 2017 Best Place to Work by Glassdoor. To find out how you can achieve the best of both worlds — professional and parenting — search our current job listings and apply today. Then, share how you celebrate the rising women in tech with us through our social sites: Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Make Your Digital Media Job ‘Automation-Proof’

How can you add value to a programmatic team and best protect your digital media job from automation? Read voraciously about diverse topics to exercise your brain and develop the higher thinking skills and strategic insights needed to grow beyond your college education to meet real-world problems and client needs, so says Goodway Group COO Jay Friedman in his recent AdExchanger “Data-Driven Thinking” column.

11 Free Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement

Among Inc. Magazine’s 11 creative and cost-effective strategies to help companies motivate employees to be more focused and productive on the job, Goodway Group COO Jay Friedman’s idea was sixth on the list: Value employee feedback. Give employees a way to be heard, a direct line to the leadership team so they can share their ideas, opinions and suggestions. Show your employees you care what they have to say and then respond quickly and appropriately.

What is Programmatic? A Video You Can Share with Clients

You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect pitch deck for your client, and now it’s your big moment to deliver. Then come the dreaded questions from their old-school CEO, “What is programmatic advertising? Why should I spend money on it? Can’t we just keeping buying from the sites we know?” It’s like you hadn’t even presented in the first place – clearly, this CEO needs to be enrolled in programmatic 101. We’ve all been there. It’s tough to explain a technical concept like programmatic to a client from the newspaper-and-TV-only era or who still buys digital media through an ad network. Before you dive into the jargon around demand-side platforms and their eyes glaze over, try a different approach and teach them about programmatic visually. In less than three minutes, you’ll finally have the answer to your client’s eternal question, “What is programmatic advertising?” Check out our latest video for an easy-to-understand programmatic primer: how it works and why it should be part of every advertiser’s media mix: You know programmatic is how media buying is done today. Don’t let your clients get left behind! Share our What Is Programmatic Advertising? video now with those questioning clients.

Paid Social Advertising Trends from Social Media Week NYC

people holding up paid social advertising trends bubbles at social media week nyc During the 2017 Social Media Week NYC, hundreds of professionals gathered to share what paid social advertising trends are emerging in the digital marketing space, to discuss how Amazon’s Alexa is disrupting things, and to keep a close eye on the Snapchat IPO that was happening down the street. After recovering from a full-on week of excitement and learning, I’m eager to highlight my top four takeaways from the Social Media Week NYC event:

1. Organic Is Only for Your Food.

With the advent of Facebook’s News Feed and everyone else in the social space following suit, the chronological-style update is dead to users. Thousands of elements are factored in when you log in to any of your social media profiles, and some of those elements include paid posts. For companies looking to drive awareness, engagement or conversions, social media is now a pay-to-play game, but you must play it smart. Clicking a “boost” button next to a post is the equivalent of buying the travel-size bottle of aspirin next to the register versus walking back to the medicine aisle and getting a better deal. Sure, it’s convenient and will get you a quick fix, but you can really stretch your dollars and layer in better audience targeting by spending the time planning out a buy. An MTV panelist at Social Media Week NYC admitted that most posts that went viral had some kind of paid element. Whether it was at the start of the post or at a certain viewership level, there was a paid tactic to help grow the viewership and awareness.

2. Snapchat! Snapchat! Snapchat!

Snap Inc. actually went public while we were at Social Media Week NYC, and it’s all anyone wanted to talk about. There were varying degrees of love (and hate) for the ghost icon, but there was no denying how much attention a face swap could get you. Our COO Jay Friedman even got in on the conversation last week, sharing with AdExchanger why he thinks Snapchat’s IPO is more like Twitter 2.0. Snap is now seeing its biggest growth with Gen Xers . . . . you know, the parents of those teenagers who have been snapping for years now. Despite the polarization of the platform, it’s the most “enjoyable communication technology,” according to Adaptly and just recently opened up its advertising platform to the masses. Snapchat is so popular that Facebook seems to be adding very similar features to their suite of products, including Instagram Stories, which has a higher viewership than Snapchat despite its significantly shorter tenure in the space.

3. Video Viewership Is Big. Like Really Big. Huge Even. 

YouTube’s viewership continues to rise versus linear TV, which has flatlined. Long gone are the days when everyone sits down to watch a live broadcast together now that video content is so easily accessible on demand. Programmatic TV has been on the rise and will be for years to come. One billion (with a b!) hours are consumed daily on YouTube, and Snapchat sees more than 10 billion video views per day. Facebook just released new features that will only increase viewership — like bigger video displays and auto-sound — and continues to promote its Live feature. Advertising on Facebook Live is still in a closed beta test, but we all know that this paid social advertising trend will catch on and will be opening up to marketers very soon. Even though video viewership is up, attention spans are down. The average video view length on YouTube is 5 seconds, Snapchat 3.4 seconds and Facebook  3 seconds. Apparently, a goldfish has a 12-second attention span, making humans more distracted than a goldfish. Who knew? Well, now you know you’ll need to optimize your videos for shorter view times.

4. The Bots Are Coming! 

As messenger apps are becoming more popular, social platforms are finding ways to create that one-to-one user interaction. From Amazon’s Alexa to chatbots, companies are finding ways to create a more personalized and automatic response to their users’ needs. This artificial intelligence is changing how companies communicate with their users and has implications for how advertisers can monetize this new conversant channel. There still is a lot in development in the chatbot arena, and this will be a big year full of releases and updates for the space; for example, Alexa already has more than 10,000 skills, up from the 1,000 it had last summer. Whew, what a list! Those were just my favorite highlights on paid social advertising trends from last week, but what were some of your most memorable moments from Social Media Week NYC? Share with us through our social sites: Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and for more insights to elevate your digital media campaigns in 2017, contact us today.

Programmatic Audio and Video Planning for a Knockout 2017

programmatic audio and video planning being used by a girl in a gym on her phone Under 90 days into the new year and many retailers are already promoting swimsuit season! With “Get Healthy” listed as the number one resolution in 2017, according to NBC News, fitness centers across the country have been busy with people working toward that beach body. Whether they’re jogging on a treadmill, pumping 200 pounds of iron or stretching in the downward dog pose, chances are they brought some form of digital entertainment to pass the time. According to a survey conducted by Netflix, more than half of users preferred the digital distraction from binge-watching while exercising over lounging on the couch, making this the perfect time of year to shake up your media mix with new marketing solutions. Make programmatic audio and video planning your spring resolution, and don’t miss your chance to connect with these highly engaged consumer groups: Cardio Theater Buffs For cardio addicts who select the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike as their fitness equipment of choice, a favorite television show will often provide the necessary diversion to make their workout more enjoyable. While most gyms offer television screens attached to cardio machines, the channels may be limited and commercials load too long for viewers to stomach. According to eMarketer, 62% of users turn to digital video for its on-demand capabilities, while 45% of viewers prefer digital video over linear TV due to the reduced number of commercials per episode or video. programmatic audio planning chart from eMarketer No longer at the mercy of cable and broadcast schedules, many people come to the gym with their own personal device — phone or tablet — and stream their favorite videos. It’s this shift to on-demand television that has made digital video advertising a popular choice for advertisers in recent years. With programmatic video, advertisers can utilize first-party and third-party data segments and contextual targeting to identify specific audiences. Additionally, programmatic video planning means you can take advantage of a variety of ad formats and extensive targeting options to broaden the campaign for highly engaged, gym-going viewers. With video CPMs nearly four times that of banners, I know what your next question will be, “How effective is video at actually converting customers?” With video, paying more means getting more. Goodway’s data scientists have found that our video campaigns typically convert just under five times as many prospects as banners alone. Before you start shifting all of your budget into programmatic video planning, consider this: When our clients ran banners in conjunction with video ads, the conversion rate jumped to ten times that of banners alone! Weight-Lifting Rhythms According to a recent Spotify Brand Impact Study, 32 percent of users stream music most often while they are exercising. No matter if they are weight lifting, cross-training or kickboxing, your customers are tuned in to their earbuds for the energy to take their workout to the next level. Although music tastes vary widely, people often crave songs that fit the tone of their workout. With the popularity of streaming music apps through Spotify and Pandora, many have moved away from personal playlists to streaming channels pre-curated with songs trending for their specific activity. Through programmatic audio, advertisers have access to this extremely relevant audience information and can utilize it to target specific users based on the perceived mood. For instance, an auto manufacturer may see strong results from heavy-metal and electronic dance lists that pump adrenaline and excitement into the listener’s veins, whereas a pharmaceutical advertiser may prefer songs with a slower tempo that have a soothing effect and bring awareness to the body and its surroundings. Pavement Pacers We haven’t forgotten about those who turn to music’s motivational powers during outdoor interval training, such as running, cycling or swimming. A recent study commissioned by Spotify found that more than 75 percent of runners rely on music to achieve peak performance. Typically, pop songs that ramp up into high-energy choruses work well to keep listeners moving throughout the entire workout, and repetitive beats can make pacing easier to synchronize movements to the music. In the same way, programmatic audio makes it easier for advertisers to get into an efficient stride more quickly. Advertisers can immediately leverage first-party and third-party data segments as well as target contextually to ensure they are hitting the ideal audience in the right environment. Then as the campaign ramps up, advertisers can see how their ads are performing in real time, giving them the opportunity to adjust for even better performance in their programmatic audio and video planning. Need more? There were over 62.7 million internet searches for “Get Healthy” resolutions in 2017 — more than a 13% increase from last year. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your consumers while they are working toward a personal and relevant goal. Don’t just sit there; hit gym-goers with the best programmatic media mix. Contact us to get started on your programmatic audio and video planning today!

Ask the Expert: What Your Digital Advertising Strategy Is Costing You

digital advertising strategy of people with overlapping hands in a huddleIt’s common practice in today’s ad world for planners to divvy up media dollars among a number of similar providers in order to test performance. Since most providers have the full array of media capabilities in their toolbox, this may seem like an easy digital advertising strategy to compare multiple partners at once, apples to apples. While some reps may feel like it’s their duty to their client to compare providers, this actually can have some drawbacks. If you’re using a multi-vendor digital advertising strategy, you might be missing out on some significant benefits, which we recently explored in a Q&A session with our COO Jay Friedman:

1.    How did this practice of parsing out media dollars among multiple vendors come about? What do you think is the driver of why media planners do this?

In the early-mid 2000s there were so many ad networks and ad tech companies launching, each gathering tens of millions of dollars in venture capital money, that agencies had (justifiable) difficulty sorting through who did what and who was better. This was the first time the media sale had to be trusted without being able to be verified. What I mean by this is that sales reps would tell agencies that “the algorithm does this and that,” but the buyer couldn’t verify it. The buyer could always verify print circulation or TV ratings, but this was unverifiable, especially in the early days. Because there was no way to tell who was best, this “bake-off” situation was born and agencies defaulted to comparing ad tech vendors based on performance.

2.    How should planners handle buys that are only accessible through specialty providers — i.e., the very newest/niche native, video or mobile products that advertisers want to test out?

Agencies can’t ignore these, but they shouldn’t test them just because they’re new either. Three things agencies should remember: First, just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s good. It has to align with the target audience. Second, it should align with the target better than where the agency is already spending. Third, there will always be ten times more opportunities that are actually worth buying than there is budget. The very best opportunities that do the very best at achieving marketing goals should get the money since buying everything that clears the threshold is beyond any advertiser’s budget.

3.    What does an agency lose by parsing out budget among multiple vendors?

1) Frequency control.

2) Any one vendor getting the optimization benefits of having all of the data from which to build better intelligence. More data ALWAYS equals a better ability to optimize.

3) Confidentiality and trade secrets. Parsing out budgets among multiple vendors is like blowing a dandelion in the wind. All of the performance intelligence about your brand — what media works, what audiences work, their seasonality — gets seen by multiple vendors. These vendors have turnover like anyone else, but the impact on your business is multiplied when you’ve spread knowledge around. Their employees go to other places and have no reason not to share this knowledge with your competitors!

4.    What are some of the non-media challenges you’ve encountered when an advertiser works with multiple vendors?

Billing reconciliation can become challenging and actually costly to an agency. Additionally, using five vendors requires five sets of ad tags, five sets of reporting (even if you have an ad server you should pay attention to each vendor’s own reporting), five IOs and five invoices.

5.    There are some obvious practical advantages that consolidating and choosing one digital advertising strategy and programmatic partner would have for an advertiser — a single point of contact for all media buys, standardized reporting and reduced administrative costs. Are there any less obvious benefits that advertisers should consider?

As mentioned above, it consolidates optimization learning into one place. This speeds up optimization and helps an advertiser get better performance faster. Managing frequency is also valuable. Finally, there is the ability to influence your vendor’s product planning and roadmap. If you’re spending $100k/month with five different vendors, you’ll not likely get heard by any of those vendors regarding products you’d like to see built. If you’re spending a half a million per month with one vendor, your voice will be heard loud and clear!

6.    Why do you believe some advertisers aren’t cutting down on the number of programmatic vendors they work with?

FOMO (fear of missing out) is #1. So many companies with so many fancy logos — what if I pick the wrong one? But I’d worry more about picking too many than picking the wrong one. I also think there is a lack of understanding by advertisers around what challenges come with spreading out the budget. Finally, I think advertisers think if they never commit they’ll never get burned. Kind of like, “If I always date multiple people and never marry anyone, I can’t get too hurt!” Well, correct, but as anyone who’s been in love will tell you, it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all!

7.    There is a risk in putting all your eggs in one basket. How can agencies be sure they are choosing the right digital advertising strategy and programmatic partner?

There’s the chance you can choose the wrong partner. I think that’s OK. I think it’s better to choose a slightly less-than-perfect partner and commit than it is to spread spending around for all of the reasons above.

Are you ready to cut to the chase and get to what really matters in selecting a digital advertising strategy and a programmatic partner? Before you send out that RFP, start by asking your top prospects these five questions. Good luck in your selection process and contact us today if you want to find out what makes Goodway different.