The Goodway Life: Camaraderie Over Cubicles

What’s it really like to work at Goodway Group?

Q&A with William Folston

William Folston

Digital nomad William Folston explains how it’s not physical proximity but close-knit friendships with his coworkers that inspire him to give his all.

Everyone loves to talk about themselves! Give us your CAREER STory … in a tweet.

Whether it’s advertising or marketing, local or national, traditional or digital … I’ve probably dabbled in it. For me, it’s all about new experiences and true camaraderie.

When Friends and family ask what you do all day, how do you explain it?

I tell my friends that I work with advertisers and agencies to provide straightforward answers to their complex digital questions. Simply put, I’m a problem solver.

How has Goodway Group helped you grow?

My initial role was solely ad operations-focused but that expanded to involve client communication as I transitioned to a principal campaign operations manager this year. In each of these roles, I turned to mentors at Goodway Group who provided me not only with an opportunity but also the tools and advice to be successful. They fueled my passion for digital media and industry discovery. Beyond growing professionally, being surrounded by so many talented and knowledgeable individuals enabled me to develop many close relationships and really connect with our family culture.

What do you wish people knew about goodway group?

With coworkers from all over the country, everyone brings a different perspective to the table that helps our team grow its knowledge base. This also sparked an adventurous spirit in me! I’ve begun “living on the road” as a digital nomad since working with Goodway, and I have so many coworkers to thank for opening my eyes to this unique lifestyle!

What has surprised you most about remote work?

Working virtually is different than I ever imagined. Although we are spread out across the country, we feel so connected, and many coworkers genuinely feel like close friends. I’ve been most surprised  at the close-knit relationships that develop amongst people who work physically so far apart and how we all seem inspired to give our best efforts for each other. Our all-company trips feel more like a reunion than a work conference, and there is a legitimate excitement leading up to each one.

If we stopped by your house next Saturday, what would we find you doing?

I enjoy being outdoors, so I’d most likely be preparing to go do something active, like hiking, biking, boxing or anything that gets me moving and sweaty. But in the fall, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find me watching a football game, touring the local brewery scene or checking out some downtown street art.

The Goodway Life Series

The Goodway Life: Explore the Realities of Remote Work

The Goodway Life: Inspiring Self-Discovery in Your Career

The Goodway Life: Make Work from Home Actually Work for a Family

The Goodway Life: Building a Digital Media Career

On Gratitude: What We’re Thankful for

Thankful On Gratitude: What We’re Thankful for For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time for family, football, turkey-induced naps and black Friday shopping. But what’s really at the foundation of this holiday, year after year? Gratitude. At Goodway Group, we have a lot to be grateful for. Over the years, we’ve built a team culture committed to giving our agency and brand partners honestly smart digital advice. Not only has this strategy created award-winning campaigns, it’s allowed us to work and partner with some awesome marketers throughout the country. Still, it’s always exciting to get outside recognition of what we do so well, which is exactly what happened in 2017. Goodway Group was named a SHRM When Work Works award winner in May, one of Fortune’s top 15 Best Workplaces for Women in September, and the 8th Best Workplace on Fortune’s medium-sized business list in October. We’re thrilled to receive these awards, but we owe all the credit to our employees, who provide meaning in our work and who helped us become a trusted guide to so many media planners, CMOs and agencies. A special thank-you goes out to each of them for their dedication and teamwork. Most of all, we’re thankful for our amazing partners this year. There are far too many to list here, but we wanted to share our heartfelt appreciation with each of you. None of this would have been possible without your continued support and your trust in us to build programmatic campaigns that help drive the revenue engine of your business. Thank you for choosing us. To all our friends and partners, we’re sending the warmest thoughts and best wishes for a Thanksgiving season filled with joy! *This post was originally published on 11/21/16 but was revised and updated on 11/14/17.

A Practical Guide to Audience Targeting

Imagine you’ve been tasked with creating a digital marketing campaign for a new healthy snack bar. You need to reach women ages 35-55 who are interested in a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps these women have visited yoga websites or purchased multivitamins or live in one of the nation’s most athletic cities, like Denver. How do you find these women online? Audience targeting, of course. Audience targeting is as simple to define as its two words; essentially, it’s targeting an audience or a specific group of people. For those who want a more detailed definition, it’s using data points available online to target segments of the population based on their demographics, interests and behaviors.

Types of Audience Targeting

There are various ways to target audiences using both first-party and third-party data. Here are some of the most common ways to reach a specific audience:

Audience: You can segment your audience in several different ways – demographics, interests, and purchase behavior.

Creative: The possibilities for A/B 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 comparison being tested.

Timing: When your message is received 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.

Technology: What technology is your audience using to view your ads? Optimizing for device, browser and operating system will make sure that you’re reaching your audience where they access the internet.

Geography: Geography seems straightforward – only advertise where you sell; however, some areas might be more responsive than others. Comparing can help you figure which regions perform best.

Media Mix & Targeting: 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?

Finding Your Target Audience

Now that you know what audience targeting is, you might be wondering exactly how you find your target audience. Your target audience is the audience that is going to buy your product or service and become a loyal customer. If you have an established customer base but are new to audience targeting, you just need to profile your current customers. If you are a starting a new business or launching a new product, you’ll need to define your audience. Here are some suggestions on ways to find your target audience:

Profiling Current Customers

Analyze your customer data – Do you have a CRM system with customer records or a loyalty program? Depending on the information you’ve collected, you can comb through it to find trends on customer location, age or gender. You can also gather audience data from other online tools, like using Google Analytics data to find out your site’s audience, or Amazon data to find out who is buying your products on Amazon.

Survey your customers – If you have a customer base but don’t know much about them beyond an email address, try surveying them to find out some basic demographic and psychographic info. You can use SurveyMonkey or a similar tool to create a survey, and then offer your customers a small incentive to fill it out.

Defining a New Audience

Ask yourself questions – At the core of determining your ideal audience, you first need to define your product or service. What problems does your product solve? Then, ask yourself who will benefit from it? For example, a health food company has debuted a new gluten-free snacks line. They are offering an audience of gluten-free and health-conscious consumers a new option for snacks that fit both their dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices.

Use research tools – Marketing research tools can be useful for uncovering industry-level audience trends. Tools like eMarketer, Simmons, IBIS World and AudienceView can provide demographic and behavioral data by vertical to help you understand overall consumer patterns for your industry.

Engage a market research firm – Investing in professional market research can help you to develop a detailed audience profile. It’s not the most economical option, but if you are rebranding or planning a big product launch, it could be worth partnering with a firm that specializes in creating audience dossiers.

Audience Targeting in Programmatic

Audience targeting has always existed. Think about the location targeting that’s inherent to outdoor advertising. Posters and billboards target an audience that exists in a specific location, but outside of that location, no one will see the ad. Demographic targeting has been around for a long time as well and is still the primary way to buy audiences in traditional media channels like print, TV and radio.

The digital nature of programmatic advertising lends itself to some unique types of audience targeting that didn’t exist previously, like retargeting, people-based marketing and look-alike targeting. You know how when you are searching for a flight, you see ads that show you deals for the exact flight you were just looking for? That’s retargeting. You can target users because they visited your site and performed certain actions, or because they viewed your creative. It used to be that retargeting was only available through digital advertising because of the tracking mechanisms involved, but traditional advertising is catching up. With advanced TV, we can now track users as they watch TV on streaming and on-demand services and serve them retargeted ads.

People-based marketing is another tactic that’s unique to programmatic advertising. You can upload your offline CRM data into an advertising platform and segment your audience in various ways. Let’s use a pet store as an example. You can segment users who are frequent shoppers and encourage them to sign up for a rewards program or offer them a coupon for being a loyal shopper. You can also cross-sell by targeting dog food shoppers and showing them offers to buy dog toys, or showing cat litter shoppers offers for cat food. The possibilities are truly endless when you slice and dice your customer data to create custom segments that are relevant to your business.

Exclusion targeting, also known as suppression targeting, is another way to refine your audience with people-based marketing. With exclusion targeting, you can choose audience segments you don’t want to reach out to and make sure they are blocked from seeing your ads. For example, customers who only buy dog products probably don’t have a cat, so you might want to add your dog audience as a suppression target to your cat-products-only audience campaigns and vice versa.

Finally, look-alike targeting is a tactic that’s also easily available through programmatic. Look-alike targeting allows you to create a mirror audience that shares the same characteristics as your first-party data. You can create audiences that are similar to your retargeting audience, or audiences that are just like your customers in your CRM data. This targeting tactic lets you expand your audience and reach new people who have a higher likelihood of being interested in your products because they are just like the audience that already is.

Real World Results

So does audience targeting really work? Yes! We’ve seen great results across countless campaigns employing audience targeting. Our campaign for a cable marketing group was particularly successful. We employed a variety of tactics on this campaign, but one of the most effective was people-based marketing through Facebook, using the client’s offline mover data. We also created look-alike audiences based on the offline data. Our campaign resulted in an impressive 79% drop in our eCPL and 80% increase in leads over a 12-month period.

Audience targeting is a great way to reach your desired audience. Now that you’ve got the basics down, learn about how to expand your audience targeting.

Header Bidding: 3 Things Marketers Should Know

As publishers seek to better control ad inventory and improve yield, header bidding is on the rise in the digital media industry. Yet, surprisingly, less than half of U.S. agency and marketing professionals truly understand what header bidding is, its implications, and how to make it work in their favor, according to eMarketer’s Header Bidding for Ad Buyers: What Brands, Agencies and Buy-Side Platforms Need to Know: Our COO Jay Friedman recently contributed to this all-encompassing report on the state of header bidding, and here are 3 things every marketer should know:

1) What Is Header Bidding?

Header bidding is a common programmatic technical hack among publishers and non-Google supply-side exchanges that gives a publisher better prioritization in Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) waterfall. It’s called header bidding because publishers offer ad space to ad buyers by placing a piece of JavaScript code in their site’s webpage header, the invisible space at the top of every page that stores styling – how a webpage should be rendered. Both publishers and ad buyers can benefit from header bidding. For publishers, it can help them access more advertisers, gain greater control and efficiency, and earn more money. For ad buyers, the technique can give them access to more and higher quality ad impressions and more data to improve inventory forecasting and campaigns.

2) How Does It Work?

A publisher places a piece of JavaScript code in their webpage header. Once the code is in place, when a visitor enters the publisher’s URL in their address bar, the code requests all demand sources (advertisers) within the header to place bids to display an ad in one of the various elements and locations available on the publisher’s webpage. The publisher’s ad server selects the highest bid for each ad impression, and the site loads in the content and advertising to appear on the page to the website visitor.

3)How It Could Affect You as a Buyer?

Ad Prices Are Rising. Due to heightened demand for inventory, the competition is getting stiffer for ad impressions, sending prices soaring. Our COO Jay Friedman said he’s already seen desktop and display ads increase 100% to 200% in some cases, a good amount he attributes to header bidding’s influence. Jay also said many marketers are burying their heads in the sand, content to buy worse inventory instead of going back to clients to discuss the necessary programmatic price increases needed to buy quality inventory. But these conversations are important to have so you can revise media plans and metrics to ensure digital ad campaign performance won’t suffer. Infrastructure Demands Are Increasing. Demand-side platforms (DSPs) are facing more bid requests per second (also known as weight). Since they typically work with many supply-side platforms (SSPs) at once, sometimes they get multiple bid requests for the same ad impression. Not only does this cause confusion, this duplication along with higher bid volume are driving up DSP’s ad-serving costs and forcing many to pay for ad tech infrastructure upgrades to keep up. In fact, here’s what Jay had to say on the topic in eMarketer’s report: “There aren’t any more ads for sale, but DSPs are dealing with sometimes 10 bid requests for one ad,” said Jay Friedman, partner and COO of programmatic ad buying and planning firm Goodway Group. “And taking into account flex ad formats, a page could generate 120 bid requests for four ads. It’s out of control, and there are less than five DSPs that can shoulder this kind of weight with their infrastructure.” This will help put bid volume in perspective: According to Jay, two or three years ago, DSPs received about 1 to 2 million bid requests per second, but this may balloon up to 9 million by the end of 2017. Auction Practices Are Changing. Private marketplace (PMP) and direct deals no longer guarantee the same privileges, especially with a greater number of publishers adopting header bidding to chase more money. You can no longer assume you will automatically get the preferential treatment and premium inventory you did before. Also, first-price auctions are starting to replace second-price auctions, and this trend is shaking up auction rules and pricing expectations ad buyers previously followed. Having to navigate this new normal, it’s much tougher for ad buyers to even know what to bid, let alone successfully strategize and optimize for great campaign performance. With header bidding becoming more popular across our industry, now’s the time to embrace change when it comes to the shifting digital media marketplace. Talk to your clients about rising CPMs, how you can get them more value. Revise your bidding strategies and ad practices on your programs. Vet your programmatic partners and retain only those that are trustworthy, those that can offer the best scale, access, inventory and insights. And if Goodway can help you run programmatic campaigns, please contact us today.

The Goodway Life: Mastering the Science and Art of Digital Media

Christine Yang Goodway HeadshotWhat’s it really like to work at Goodway Group?

Q&A with Christine Yang

Christine Yang, our Atlanta-based learning and development program manager, shares how her transition from traditional media planner to digital media trader to L&D has helped her master both the science and the art of digital advertising.

Everyone loves to talk about themselves! Give us your motto … in a tweet.

There is nothing greater than helping people do awesome things. So, it’s no surprise that I’m in L&D for a company committed to helping advertisers achieve amazing things.

There are lots of ad tech companies to work for, so why Goodway Group?

I knew in my first interview – with our COO Jay Friedman back in the day when he interviewed every person coming in at Goodway Group – that I was onto something. Coming from a traditional media agency where I was the sole resource for all things digital, I was excited to join a team that was stronger and faster in digital media than I thought was possible in the early 2000s. But my real lasting memory of that conversation? When Jay asked me, “Which is more important: speed or process?” I can’t remember what I said; but months later, I heard him share his answer with someone else, “Speed is a factor with which you can adjust process, but they’re not interchangeable. If you can sacrifice process for speed, you don’t have the right process.” It’s been almost 8 years since I heard that response, but the statement is more true than ever.

How has Goodway Group helped you grow?

I’ve been fortunate to have many roles across multiple departments and been able to provide value to Goodway in so many forms over the past seven years. I started out on the media team, progressed into several new roles on that team, and then transitioned to the L&D team within the past year. All of these experiences have helped me reach personal milestones: how to be a good leader, how to be a good follower, how to be a voice for the company, and how to speak publicly in representing myself, my department, and Goodway at large.

If you had to describe what you do as a superpower, what would it be?

It’s not a super power per se, but I consider myself a bit of a mad scientist. L&D requires a lot of strategy, planning and persistence. And yet, it’s also a lot of trial and error with long periods of analysis before trying the next strategy (and hoping you don’t blow up the lab in the meantime). The data, science and storytelling all require a subtle balance of art and science that only a mad scientist with the right support can truly master.

What has surprised you most about remote work and working here?

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder … and I’d say that’s true at Goodway. I have better coworker relationships in this remote environment than any other office environment I’ve ever been in, and I’d be shocked if most others at Goodway didn’t say the same. Everyone is genuine; we don’t stand on much ceremony here. That’s the culture our president Dave and our COO Jay have instilled in the company. We don’t like fluff; we just focus on awesome work and let it stand for itself. I love that about Goodway.

If you’re working from home, how are you not tempted to watch Netflix all day?

To be honest, I’m not even tempted by Netflix. Even though I am at home, it’s still work that requires deep focus so I can’t have a TV on in the background. To help keep the balance, I have my dedicated office space, and when I’m not in that space, I’m not at work anymore. Making that distinction and shutting my laptop down at the end of each day has helped stop me from sneaking back later to do “one more thing.”

If we stopped by your house next Saturday, what would we find you doing?

I’m a media brain at heart — I like math, data, spreadsheets, hypothesizing and problem-solving. Anything that feels like a puzzle is like a call to arms. In fact, in my free time, my friends and I like to run around town and do escape rooms where we’re locked in and usually have 60 minutes to escape by putting clues together to open locks, break keypad codes, etc. It’s the thrill of entering this short period of intense, highly creative output that I enjoy and want to experience over and over. The Goodway Life Series The Goodway Life: Camaraderie Over Cubicles The Goodway Life: Explore the Realities of Remote Work The Goodway Life: Inspiring Self-Discovery in Your Career

It’s Time Marketers Realize that Supply Is not Unlimited

Bots. Domain spoofing. Nonviewable ads. Header bidding. In this AdExchanger Data-Driven Thinking article, our COO Jay Friedman covers all the reasons why high-quality programmatic inventory is so limited these days and three simple things we can do to move toward good-quality inventory at a fair price.