Some Ad Tech Vets Have Doubts about Havas’ New Transparency Platform

Havas has just launched Client Trading Solution, a platform which supposedly offers advertisers full transparency into their ad spending and real-time performance. Transparency is a hot-button issue in ad tech these days, but will this new platform ultimately matter? In this Martech Today article, Goodway Group COO, Jay Friedman, said he doesn’t believe it will make a difference. Why? Though he doesn’t advocate for 70% margins, he does think the ad tech industry should be less concerned about transparency and more about offering better business results.

Ask the Expert: Secrets to a Great Digital Campaign Strategy

A comprehensive digital campaign strategy is the key to finding campaign insights. At Goodway, we strive to provide our clients with marketing insights on every campaign. Our strategic planning process uncovers insights through taking an approach that combines both art and science.

Goodway group insights process and best practices

Q&A with Nick Gaudio

As director of account management at Goodway Group, Nick guides the account management team to find meaning in data. He applies an end-to-end test-and-learn philosophy to help deliver the insightful reporting and strategic planning services Goodway’s clients deserve. Nick believes that numbers tell stories and that good campaign strategy is a delicate blend of craft and science. He’s spent the last two years at Goodway as the director of strategy and insights, working directly with clients to provide strategic advisement, education and subject matter expertise.

Access our digital campaign strategy guide for tips on how to build insights into your campaigns.

How do you set up your client’s digital campaign strategy for insights? Is it the same starting point for every client, or does it vary?

Since our overall planning process is strategically driven, we do our best to always set up our clients’ campaigns for insights. First, we look at a client’s goals and align those with the most effective channels to achieve success, whether the goal is upper funnel or lower funnel or awareness or direct response. However, within those goals there might live some unknowns such as, who is my audience, or is this the right creative message to present to the consumer? We compile a list of these questions, and then develop test-and-learn action plans or A/B testing to let the data guide us to the answers. Most clients start with some idea of who their audience is, yet segment discovery is a big part of the digital insights process. It helps to start broad and then further dive into subsets. For example, if you are selling computers and you know that college students are your core audience, testing can extract insights around whether we should also target the parents who actually make the purchase. Other clients might find insights diving into site analytics, testing different calls to action or measuring in-store foot traffic.

What value do insights provide?

Insights should be able to provide actionable recommendations that move up the marketing chain. Once you assess the data from a digital campaign, it should be applicable elsewhere. You might start with digital, but the best value is an insight that has a ripple effect to out-of-home, print, TV and partnerships or sponsorships. Ultimately, when you can apply those learnings to your client’s greater business, you can provide them ways to spend their budgets or run their business more efficiently. Digital has the advantage of rapid iteration and gaining significant sample sizes quickly, which presents the ideal test bed for insights.

What successes have your clients seen with campaign insights?

A luxury car dealership was targeting golfers, a segment they had been marketing to for years. However, when we did a segment exploration, we found that the golfer group had a lower digital ROI than other audiences. The golfers were still important to the client, but needed to be valued differently because they are an expensive audience to go after. We refocused our budget on lower hanging fruit to find more users that were still highly qualified, yet less expensive to balance out the cost of the golfer audience. Believe it or not, we discovered that owners of this brand also enjoy going to comedy clubs. It came totally out of left field, but there was an observed significant correlation and impact. This was not what the dealership was expecting, but it ultimately became a successful new segment that they continue to target.

You CAN’T always bat .1000. What’s your approach when an insight turns out to be false?

When you bubble up an insight, you are drawing from a trend with statistical significance, but it’s not always guaranteed to be right. With an experimentation-first mindset, it’s important to be OK with being wrong, because that’s crucial feedback that tells you to pivot and try again. It’s like Facebook’s old mantra of “moving fast and breaking things.” With digital, you have the advantage of being able to move fast and change rapidly if something isn’t working. Agencies and advertisers need to be OK with their hypothesis being wrong since course-correcting is part of a digital campaign strategy. Perfection is the enemy of good — it’s far better to be right only 80% of the time than not knowing what is working 80% of the time.

What are some common issues or blocks you see when agencies struggle to find campaign insights?

There are three main issues that I’ve seen several times:

  • The first is agencies or advertisers that aren’t open to an experimentation mindset. They are steadfast in their conception of their audience and assume their audience never changes or develops new interests. It’s important to be willing to try new things to gain insights.
  • The next issue is not including an active control in tests. Your control group must be running at the same time as an experimental group; otherwise, your conclusions won’t be valid. If you compare test results to last month or last quarter, your performance could have been affected by seasonality or the news cycle, so it’s like comparing apples to applesauce.
  • The final issue I encounter is agencies that act transactionally rather than strategically. An agency might say they want to spend $50K on a specific site or tactic because it’s “the thing to do,” without thinking through why they want to run there. Will they learn something from that site? If we’re just placing the media, we’re simply providing measurement and attribution, and no learning will come from that.

Digital Campaign Strategy Series How to Build a Digital Campaign Strategy to Gain Valuable Insights

How to Build a Digital Campaign Strategy to Gain Valuable Insights

Setting Yourself Up for Insights Success With Strategy & Planning How often have you found yourself working late nights and stressed out at the beginning of the month, trying to create client reports for the previous month? Your client is asking for more than just the numbers, but after drowning in a sea of impressions, clicks and activities, you’re completely cross-eyed and can’t find any insights to share. If this scenario is all too familiar, we’re here to help. One reason for this struggle might be that your digital campaign strategy wasn’t set up for insights success. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to plan campaigns with the end goal of generating insights for your clients. Running digital campaigns is like running a science lab — there’s a process that you need to follow to make the most of every campaign dollar.

Download our digital campaign strategy guide to apply these strategy tips to your campaigns.

To start, you need to identify two things — your unique business challenges and your audience. What is your unique business challenge? Are you trying to generate more leads through your website? Looking to increase sales? Launching a new product? Once you’ve identified your challenge, you need to identify the audience you want to reach. Are they current customers or new customers? Millennials or boomers? Male or female? Combine your business challenge and audience to determine what type of campaign to run. Want to reach millennials and entice them to try out your product for the first time? A social media campaign is probably a good fit. Looking to reach customers that have actively researched competitor products? A search campaign would probably work well for you, along with a targeted display campaign focusing on in-market third-party data. You’re not out of the woods yet on strategy and planning. Once you know what type of campaign you are going to run, you need to pick a specific goal and determine how you are going to measure it. If your goal is increasing website traffic by 25%, you should use a website analytics tool like Google Analytics to measure traffic over time. If your goal is selling 500 units within six months, you should link your ecommerce data to your ad server so that you can connect your advertising results directly to your sales numbers. Whichever goal you pick, make sure that your reporting includes your goal metrics. Why Testing and Learning From Insights Matter You might be wondering why clients keep asking for those insights. Let’s consider some real-world examples that show why testing and learning to gain insights is crucial to an advertiser’s digital campaign strategy. Smiling woman trying on shoes Scenario 1: Which day of the week is best to promote flash sales? A retail advertiser wants to figure out which day of the week is best for flash-sale promotions. The retailer has guessed it’s Friday but wants to be sure before moving more budget to Fridays. The advertiser builds out reporting that shows performance by day. After three weeks of comparing day-over-day reporting, the advertiser notices that Friday and Saturday have the best response rates, vastly outperforming the rest of the week. The retailer now knows with confidence that Friday and Saturday are the days to promote flash sales and spends more money on those days. Smiling businessman accepting business card Scenario 2: Using A/B testing to evaluate a new audience. A hotel chain’s main demographic is business travelers age 35-50. However, it is starting to see increased bookings from the 25-35 age group. The chain would like to test which demographic is more responsive to online advertising. The campaign is set up in two sections —targeting ages 25-35 and ages 35-50. The rest of the campaign settings remain the same. Final reporting showed that the 25-35 age group had more online bookings, even though the older group still had more overall hotel stays. The hotel chain now knows they should continue to invest in digital advertising to a younger demographic to build out their overall customer base. Picking Insights to Test — What Are Your Options? Now that you know how to set up your campaign strategy to discover audience insights, what possibilities are out there? There are several different types of strategic insights you could uncover about your campaigns. We’ll walk through each general variable. Audience behavioral targeting icon Definition: You can segment your audience in several different ways: demographics, interests and purchase behavior. Examples: Demo: A18-34 vs. A35-50 Interests: Auto Enthusiasts vs. Outdoorsy Purchase Behavior: Purchased Within Last 3 Months vs. Purchased Within Last 12 Months Creative Call-to-Action Icon Definition: The possibilities for A/B creative testing are endless: call to action, logo placement, image, background color, button size & color, offer and messaging. For a true test, all elements of the creative need to stay the same except for the comparison being tested. Examples: Call to Action: Learn More vs. Shop Now Logo Placement: Bottom Left vs. Upper Right Timing Timing Icon Definition: When customers see your message can impact how effective it will be. You can test out different times of day and different days of the week to see when your customers will be most receptive. Examples: Time of Day:  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. vs. 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Day of Week: Fridays vs. Rest of the Week Technology Cross-Device Icon Definition: What technology is your audience using to view your ads? Optimizing for device, browser and operating system will make sure that you are reaching your audience where they access the internet. Examples: Operating System: iOS vs. Android Device: Desktop vs. Mobile Geography Definition: Geography seems straightforward – only advertise where you sell; however, some areas might be more responsive than others. Comparing can help you figure out which regions perform best. Examples: Zip Code: Zip Codes With Store Locations vs. Zip Codes Adjacent to Store Locations City: East Coast Cities vs. West Coast Cities Media Mix & Targeting Definition: Testing tactics or channels will show how different types of targeting are resonating. How does behavioral targeting perform versus site targeting? How does social compare to your display, video and audio channels? Examples: Tactic: Behavioral Targeting vs. Site Targeting Channel: Display vs. Social Applying Your Results With Confidence Smiling Woman Typing on Laptop You’ve picked a variable to test, you’ve run your campaign, and now you need to analyze your results. Check your reporting and compare your goal metric for each variable that you tested. If you tested audience segments, compare each segment’s performance against your goal. Often, one will clearly outperform the other. Occasionally the results will be close. If your test shows similar results for both variables, it means both are equally important to your campaign, and you can move on to testing a different variable. Once you’ve analyzed your results, make sure to apply these insights to your next campaign. If behavioral targeting did best, increase the budget for this tactic next time. If a younger audience was more responsive than an older audience, consider adding YouTube and Snapchat to your campaign, if you aren’t running these platforms already. Uncovering your insights and continuing to apply them is an iterative process. Make sure that you are constantly testing and learning new things. Also, don’t forget the importance of retesting. Market conditions change throughout the year and from year to year. If a test six months ago indicated that iOS is outperforming Android, and you stopped targeting Android, retest to make sure this is still the case. Sometimes, what worked well in the past is no longer the best performer, and you could be missing out on new opportunities by not reconfirming whether or not your past insights still apply. Get the Digital Campaign Strategy Tool Fill out the form below to access our guide and start building your digital campaign strategy today.

Goodway Group Recognized for Innovative and Effective Workplace Practices

Goodway Group was honored to win the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) When Work Works Award for the second time in a row. This award was largely based on our own employees’ feedback about our workplace practices, such as our solid work-life balance; the flexibility of our remote workforce model; our many opportunities for learning, growth and advancement; our strong corporate culture of trust and respect; and more.

A Roundup on the Implications of ISP Data Tracking Laws

Smiling woman looking at her computer and transmitting data A little over a month ago, our government passed a law that rolled back proposed consumer privacy rules for internet service providers, or ISPs, essentially allowing ISP data tracking. Everyone in our industry has an opinion on what this means for them, including consumers, advertisers, publishers and the ISPs themselves. Here’s a roundup on the implications of the ruling for all the players.

Why is ISP data tracking allowed?

The rules proposed by the FCC are related to, but separate from the net neutrality decision made in 2015. In a nutshell, reclassifying ISPs to comply with net neutrality opened a loophole for consumer data protection. The proposed rules, developed during the Obama administration but not set to go into effect until December this year, would have required your opt-in to give permission for your data to be used for advertising. The rollback allows ISPs to continue to use or sell your data as they wish, unless you actively opt out, which is a more involved process than being asked to opt in.

Internet Service Providers – A Seat at the Table

Three of the largest ISPs have claimed they do not have plans to sell consumer data to third parties. However, even if they keep this promise not to sell data, they can certainly use it themselves to offer more robust advertising opportunities than they have previously. Some industry insiders think that ISPs are looking to rival Facebook and Google and increase their profits through creating cross-device advertising packages. After all, your ISP knows every single website you visit on every device, and if they are also your cable provider, they know every show you are watching. Some take this a step further and think that ISPs are going to marry their data with ad tech acquisitions to create an entirely new business model.

Publishers – Concerns Over Proprietary Data

Publishers haven’t spoken out directly about the ruling, but some could be worried that ISPs will steal their hard-earned proprietary data. ISPs only see the top-level domain of secure sites, so they might know that you visit The New York Times website regularly, but they won’t see which stories you read. However, this data could be enough to combine with other signals to put you in a “reads newspapers online” audience. The ISP could profit from the publisher’s data without the publisher’s involvement. However, as noted earlier, it seems more likely that ISPs will monetize this data through cross-device packages rather than sell third-party data.

Advertisers – Trade Groups Onboard, Advertisers Keeping Mum

Industry trade groups seem to be for the ruling, claiming that there will be more opportunities for relevant advertising. Both the Data & Marketing Organization and Internet & Television Association applauded the decision. It’s not surprising that trade groups would be in favor of more accessible consumer data. Individual advertisers and DSPs have yet to speak out publicly, perhaps because they are caught in the middle. They could be intrigued by new targeting opportunities available through ISP data tracking but might be hesitant to speak out since the legislation is so unpopular with consumer and privacy advocates.

Consumers – Worries About Invasion of Privacy

Finally, consumers are concerned about invasions of privacy. Not much has changed, but consumers don’t like being reminded that their daily internet activity is for sale, especially since they are paying ISPs for their services. It’s very different from the data-as-a-fee services that Google and Facebook provide. Consumers can try to protect their data through opting out of ISP data collection, using end-to-end encryption apps or setting up a virtual private network, or VPN. Each method has benefits and drawbacks, but the one thing they all have in common is that it is up to each user to protect their data. At the end of the day, we’re at the status quo since the proposed FCC rules never went into effect. We’ve yet to see major plays by ISPs to use this data, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t already taking advantage of it behind the scenes, or that they don’t have plans in the works. This is a development that we’ll keep our eye on, and we’re interested to see how the ramifications of the law will affect our industry.

Celebrating Our Culture as a SHRM When Work Works Award Winner

What an honor; once again, Goodway Group is celebrating our awesome culture and amazing people. We’re incredibly proud to share that our company has been selected as a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2017 When Work Works award winner. The When Work Works awards spotlight organizations that are excelling at creating effective and flexible workplaces. Those who made the cut are offering the best of the best in employee initiatives, such as work-life fit policies, flexible scheduling, learning and development programs, and more. At Goodway, our core values are distinctly family-oriented, which is why our people are so genuinely interested in one another’s success and happiness. We commit to our employees like family, creating opportunities for personal and professional growth and striving for just the right balance between work and family life. But ultimately, our culture and this award wouldn’t be possible without our team’s openness to diversity and passion for the work they do. To determine the winners of the When Work Works award, SHRM evaluated each company based on several factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement, in combination with direct feedback from employees, shared voluntarily and anonymously. A huge thank-you goes out to all our employees for their collaboration, effort and valuable feedback in driving us toward this incredible honor. But don’t just take our word for it; hear directly from a few of our employees about what it’s like to work at Goodway:

Charrise Klock

Charisse Klock

Campaign Operations Director

“Marc

Marc Morris

Software Engineer

Christine Yang

Christine Yang

Learning and Development Program Manager

At Goodway Group, we believe everyone deserves awesome co-workers, an inclusive atmosphere and work-life balance. To join our team of the best digital minds in the industry, search our current job listings and apply today. When Work Works Award 2017 Winner-Come Work with Us Button

Programmatic Icon: The Trade Desk Playbook for Growing a Thriving Ad Tech Business

The Trade Desk is beating the odds in ad tech. While many ad tech businesses now are struggling and losing ground, The Trade Desk only keeps on growing and keeps on winning with its strong focus on agencies, buyside techniques and a global omnichannel strategy. In this Digiday article, Jay Friedman, COO of Goodway Group, shares his experience with The Trade Desk’s “agency first” approach and has nothing but praise, saying the demand-side platform (DSP) is easy to work with, offers great service, and is always willing to take action, such as building  out new products or features.

Why Display Ads Are Cooler Than You Thought: New Myth-Busting Ad Stat Pack

why display ads and online banners work for smiling shop owners open for business in ad stat pack Just like the new kid in school, when display ads stepped into the marketing arena, many were skeptical. After more than a decade in the market, display ads have grown out of that awkward phase and are way cooler than you ever thought. Download our ad stat pack slides for the instant research you need to debunk display ad myths and explain why online banners should be in every client’s media plan.

Banner Ads Play Nice with Everyone

Remember that kid in high school who — even though he wasn’t technically in the popular group — seemed to be friends with everyone? In digital marketing, that’s display advertising. Without being too boastful or pushy, display has a clever way of allowing us to test, discover and solve the biggest challenges in digital marketing. For example, it enables marketers to test applications and translations of first-party data at scale through identity resolution products. These tests determine the best partners, verify match rates and inform all, ensuing decisions about how to use CRM data in the future to maximize ROI across all channels. What’s more, display isn’t looking to kill the curve. The lessons learned from banner tests can be applied to many other ad channels and mediums so everyone makes the grade.

Those Thick Glasses Are for More Than Seeing the Blackboard

There was once a time when thick glasses were a sign of corrected vision — and that you were sure to get your lunch money stolen. Today, these are more common on a fashion-forward hipster. Display is like said frames, giving the advertiser clear sight into both the micro and macro levels of digital campaigns. On the micro side, display advertising is where our programmatic traders scale and learn what’s working to drive KPIs, and what’s not within a campaign’s current parameters. It provides the most efficient path to understanding dayparting, device usage, audience geography, third-party data and more, which can be critical to how marketers position usage across other mediums. From the macro view, we can spot larger industry trends, mergers and acquisitions and new products on the horizon because of technology evolutions that are catalyzed through banner ads.

Why Display Stands Up to Bullies

Unlike other channels, display impressions provide the scale necessary to deliver and test site quality. With plenty of data available to shine a spotlight on possible bad apples, like fake news sites, and a gang of verification providers on your side, display can cost-effectively ensure advertisers are able to avoid potential fraudsters. This is also where private marketplaces and big data will meet to take down header-bidding bullies. As with past changes in RTB structure and pricing theory tests, the latest advances often start with online banners before filtering through to other inventory types. Let’s face it, display shouldn’t be your only friend in the digital space, but it should be one of your closest. Sure, online banners can seem a little geeky, but they’re smart in a suspenders-and-bow-tie kind of way. And we can’t do without them just yet … here’s five more reasons the banner ad isn’t ready to die. If you’re ready to learn more about why display ads are important in today’s media plan, download our Debunking Display Ad Myths: Revealing the Facts on Why Display Ads Work stat pack slides now.

‘A Proverbial Black Box’: Open-Exchange Auctions Have a Transparency Problem

Transparency has always been a hot-button issue in the digital media industry, particularly on the buy side, but now it’s one on the sell side as well. For instance, are supply-side platforms (SSPs) being clear with advertisers about the true cost of publishers’ inventory? Are the bid prices on the open exchange inflated with hidden costs? How much of an ad’s sale price goes back to a publisher? Jay Friedman, COO of Goodway Group, weighs in on the matter in this recent Digiday article.

Goodway Group Releases Guide Examining Advanced TV, Offers Tips to Marketers

Goodway Group just released an advanced TV resource guide to help advertisers and marketers navigate buying TV outside of traditional television. In this Martech Series article, get the details of what you can find inside the guide: an overview of advanced TV and its terms, its benefits and best practices.