Overcome COVID-19 With This 4-Step Conquesting Strategy

COVID-19 is sadly disrupting and quickly changing the competitive landscape. But do you know how to keep your business steady and on solid ground? Follow this 4-step conquesting strategy to use digital advertising to grow your market share and share of voice during the pandemic: Step 1: Do Your Research What are your competitors up to? How are they faring? What’s happening in your industry? Here’s how to get the intel you need to succeed: Look at COVID-19-related updates, articles and research. Check your competitors’ websites regularly and sign up for their newsletters. Use Moat to get the latest display creative and messaging. Or conduct a competitive website analysis with Alexa’s Site Comparisons or SimilarWeb. To review competitive ad spending, try Kantar and Nielsen Ad Intel. Use free Google tools such as Google Search, Google Alerts, Google Trends and Think with Google to understand search activity. (Remember, though, while you’re searching, never Google your brand terms. This could negatively impact your search campaigns.) Or use additional free or paid search tools, such as SpyFu, SEMrush, The Search Monitor, SE Ranking, Moz Local and Serpstat to dig into competitors’ keyword lists and organic rankings. Another smart move? Ask your SEM analyst or partner to do this: ·       Pull a competitive benchmark to measure impression share. ·       Pull an auction insights report to understand competitors that are in the auction with you for the same types of keywords. ·       Use scripts to monitor auction insights. Be sure to also check out your competitors’ social media presence. Manually search all the social platforms for content about them. Use Twitter’s advanced search function, follow or like competitors’ pages and get paid ad insights via Twitter’s Transparency Center or Facebook’s Ad Library. To monitor organic social, share of voice (SOV) and engagement, use Rival IQ. Step 2: Make Your Plan One common conquesting strategy everyone knows is to bid on closing competitors’ content to garner their impression share and win at the brand level. But to truly get a step ahead and keep your competitors’ conquesting efforts at bay, run evergreen and brand campaigns and pivot your messaging and measurement strategy across prime digital channels. Create an omnichannel digital advertising plan to find your desired audience at the right moments to win impressions, gain favor with consumers and build your market share. Before you set up your conquesting efforts across media tactics, consider these channel best practices: Search ·       Create ad groups with the competitive keywords for each brand you identified to target. ·       Build out your conquesting campaigns by match type at the campaign level using Exact Match and Broad Match Modifier (BMM). ·       Negative Match the Exact Match keywords against the BMM campaign. ·       Start with modest bids and small budgets, with more budget for Exact Match. But note: Your cost per click (CPC) will likely be high and impression share limited because your competitive conquesting keywords have lower quality scores for non-brand owners. ·       Ensure your ad copy text doesn’t use a competitor’s name, though you can include it in a display URL. ·       Avoid Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). Social ·       Take advantage of your social platform’s targeting capabilities, including brand-type interest and competitive brand name interests/following audience groups. ·       Tap into purchase behaviors and detailed competitive segments using our partnership with Oracle and import them into Facebook for targeting. ·       Target similar or competitors’ brand apps with our access to app-based audiences. ·       Consider using awareness campaigns to deliver ads and optimize toward ad recall lift. ·       Use reach and frequency objective to daypart ad serving and regulate high-intent times based on competitive engagement research. ·       Make automatic or manual bid adjustments to ensure competitive impression share. Programmatic ·       Establish audience segments based on brand interest, intent or affinity toward competitors’ brands. ·       Target keywords found in URL strings to purchase a unique brand, product or category and layer them on top of shopping reviews or vertical targeting to align with your identified competitors. ·       Reach frequent purchasers and those loyal to your brand through app ownership audiences. ·       Uncover real-world behavioral data by creating proximity retargeting to target users by previous in-store visitation and frequency. ·       Provide an opportunity for in-store comparison shopping by creating geofences surrounding competitors’ physical store locations. ·       Get the same level of targeting options as programmatic and extend your reach to household level with advanced TV. ·       Discover which broadcast channels your competitors are buying the most media from and average frequency and heavy up hours of ad exposure leading to in-store visits. ·       Organize audiences based on ad exposure and layer that with recency to deliver messaging that closely aligns with what competitors are saying. Step 3: Fine-Tune Your Messaging Your messaging matters most in a time of crisis. While your media strategy should center around competitive conquesting efforts, your messaging strategy should center on creating an emotional connection with consumers. To show empathy and provide support while keeping your brand top of mind, polish your messaging like this: ·       Evaluate current competitive messaging. Do your homework and understand your competitors’ current (and past) focus. Determine what distinct advantage you have over them and communicate that appropriately and effectively. ·       Know what consumers are saying. Discover what consumers think about your competitors and your brand. For example, if you read significant content about the poor customer service your competitor is providing, tailor your own messaging to address this issue. ·       Find the right story and tone. Ensure your messaging fits within each media environment to appeal to and interest consumers. Although you want to take advantage of competitors’ closures and win over abandoned customers, maintain your brand authenticity and purpose through it all. ·       Establish a human connection. Power brand loyalty and longer customer lifetime value by understanding the emotional connection you currently have with your customers and displaying it to potential customers. ·       Act and do before telling. Plan and implement proper health-related precautions to make customers feel safe and secure. Then build a messaging strategy showcasing all the careful planning you’ve done and continue to do behind the scenes to ensure consumer wellness and safety. Step 4: Measure Well Now that you’ve finalized your media plan, set up a solid measurement plan to find out if your conquesting strategy and campaigns are working. Use this handy campaign dashboard outline to track your media tactics, goals, KPIs and more so you have everything in one place to easily evaluate success. conquesting blog chart Though the world is facing a challenge we’ve never seen before, now’s the time to not shrink back. Multiple studies, going back as far as 100 years ago, show advertising throughout a weak economy, even increasing ad spend, can lead to increased sales and market share during and after a recession. So do your research, make your plan, fine-tune your messaging and measure well. And as you put your conquesting strategy in play, if you think your paid media efforts are underperforming or you’re concerned about the current state of your paid media accounts, our account teams have specialists on hand from research, strategy and analytics ready to review and discuss your specific business needs. Let us know how we can help you rise to the challenge and thrive and grow during COVID-19 and beyond.

Fast-Track Your Pharmaceutical Advertising With 5 Digital Tips

You know your heart rate, the steps you’ve taken and the calories you’ve burned. You know your doctor’s bio, reviews and what to expect before you even visit. Today, most any question you have has a fast answer, thanks to the gadget on your wrist and in the palm of your hand. Digital technology has enriched people’s lives, and now you can harness its power to also help them lead healthier lives by creating effective, highly targeted pharmaceutical advertising campaigns with these 5 digital tips: 1. Go Beyond TV With Pre-Roll Repurpose your traditional :30 TV spots and turn them into :15 pre-roll videos. Think of this digital video format as compelling mini TV commercials viewers must watch before their desired content, such as a YouTube video, loads. How can you make your own :15 pre-roll videos user-friendly, memorable and engaging? Keep them brief, simple and clear. Include a voiceover and a strong call-to-action to keep viewers wanting to watch, and wanting to share. Don’t forget to design a polished post-click landing page to effectively capture your leads. Curious about what effective pre-roll ads look like? Fuel your imagination with HubSpot’s pre-roll picks and see the impact you can have in just six seconds! 2. Capture the Moment With Trigger Marketing Automate your pharmaceutical advertising campaigns with trigger marketing. Whenever your audience takes a specific action – spends a certain amount of time on a website, signs up for a newsletter, downloads an app and such – be right there with pre-planned automated personalized messages, ready  to connect one-on-one with any potential customer at the perfect time. Or counteract your competitor’s TV commercial by going digital. Set up digital ads with special offers and coupons to run across your prospects’ range of devices at the same time your competitor’s commercial airs to get all eyes on you and to maximize your brand presence. 3. Boost Your Brand With Cross-Device Targeting Reach your audience across all their devices – phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, even gaming consoles and connected TV – with unified and personalized pharmaceutical advertising that appears in the right place, at the right time and at the right frequency. Cross-device targeting can help you analyze and map the ideal customer journey: spot patterns, learn which ads perform well (and on what devices and browsing environments) and get credit for all the conversions you drive. Cross-device targeting helps marketers see the big picture and know just how they’re doing. “With cross-device technology, marketers no longer miss a specific target audience or their activities on particular marketing channels,” our president Jay Friedman said. “The cross-device methodology allows marketers to cover all their targeting bases, while attributing both behavioral impressions and conversions.” 4. Elevate Your Search Ads With Click-to-Call Extensions Want to easily connect with prospective customers and save them time and effort? Include your clickable phone number in your text ads so anxious people eager to learn more can quickly and easily contact you. Doing this will help make your text ads stand out in search results, increase click-through rates and generate more leads and sales quickly. 5. Find Your Ideal Customers With HIPAA-Compliant Audience Targeting Due to HIPAA and patient privacy concerns, targeting prospects and their caregivers is tricky: You have to target generally, not based on specific ailments or conditions. But smart audience targeting tactics can still help you segment your audience and reach everyone with relevant messages to great result. Use behavioral targeting to reach people based on their past web behavior: what sites they’ve frequented, what pages they’ve viewed, what purchases they’ve made, and so on. Or try real-time category contextual targeting and keyword contextual targeting so your pharmaceutical advertising appears when prospects are searching for topics and keywords that match up with what you offer. This no-waste targeting can save you time and money and increase your campaign ROI since you are only talking to interested people. Lastly, use search retargeting to build brand awareness and engagement. If your prospects searched the web for keywords related to what you offer over the past few days but haven’t visited your site, you can use search retargeting to advertise to them days later across the web in hopes of gaining their attention and winning their business. Staying up on the latest pharmaceutical best practices, tools and trends can be daunting. But connect with us, and we can help you keep on top of it all. We have the digital expertise, industry knowledge and pharmaceutical digital strategies you need to get on the fast track, accelerate results and keep that momentum going to stay well ahead of the competition.

5 Destination Marketing Digital Strategies to Go From Zero to Hero

A Styrofoam replica of Stonehenge? Going! A house made of paper? Gotta see that! The Clown Motel? Staying the night! Whether it’s a weird roadside attraction like one of these or more traditional travel destinations like amusement parks and museums – if you build it, people will come. But the challenge for most owners is getting new visitors and loyal customers coming through their doors in droves, day after day, year after year. To continually build your business and drive steady foot traffic to your location, try our top 5 destination marketing digital strategies: 1. Reach Current Visitors and Prospects With Your First-Party Data First-party data is a rich resource you should value above all other data. To take advantage of your first-party data, start by segmenting interested prospects and past visitors based on their individual motivations, interests and intentions. Create custom messaging and offers to appeal to each segment in your list. For instance, add exclusive new benefits to a premier sales package or subscription to make loyal customers want to claim VIP status. Or send a “Welcome Back! We’ve Missed You! Here’s What’s New!” message to those people on your list who visited during the past year but have not returned since. Regularly target all different people on your list – prospects, visitors, loyal customers and super fans – by developing exclusive content made just for them, such as tailored quizzes and polls, challenges and contests, and special promotions and coupons. This will give you plenty of opportunities to connect with your audience in personal and engaging ways while helping you enhance your first-party data profiles too. 2. Reach Tourists and Locals With Mobile Marketing When tourists and locals are on the go and on their phones, reach them with mobile marketing. Use mobile geofencing to target tourists or locals based on their GPS coordinates, zip code, city, county or DMA. When your digital advertising appears on mobile sites or apps they’re viewing and they’re close by, they may be more apt to visit. Or use mobile conquesting to target your competitors’ audiences. Consumers visiting a popular or competing attraction may make a special trip to stop off at your locale if they know about it. Another way to achieve good destination marketing results is to use mobile retargeting to advertise special promotions or discounts to those people who have visited your attraction in the past or already researched you online. 3. Reach Everyone in the Family With Digital Advertising Parents? Kids? Teens? Sometimes, it’s hard to know who in the family will have the final say in the destination decision. Here’s how to get your brand and message out to every family member: Reach parents with behavioral targeting segments or by advertising on parenting websites. To reach kids and teens, advertise across a range of children’s TV websites, YouTube channels, free music platforms or popular social networks. But be careful how you advertise to minors. Know what you can and can’t do according to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act [COPPA]. (These rules prevent most forms of data collection on children younger than 13.) To speak to everyone in the family at once, try household extension targeting, which lets you advertise simultaneously across all desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones in the same household. 4. Reach Ideal Customers With Search Campaigns To get in front of ideal customers still out there, launch a destination marketing search campaign. Consumers who are actively searching for similar destinations online, may reconsider their plans if your search ad pops up in time. Targeting in-market searchers specifically with countdown ads can increase urgency and spur action. For instance, you can show searchers how many days are left before an exhibit closes or how much time is left before a promotion expires. To make the process easier, set up automatic advertising updates based on day or time. 5. Reach Indecisive Prospects With a Polished Website Will they or won’t they? Sometimes, it’s a tossup. Prospects can be fickle. To make it more likely they WILL visit, put all the details they need to decide on a polished and easy-to-navigate website. Include videos, customer testimonials, thorough Q&A, ticket prices and packages, coupon codes, hours, parking, driving directions, etc. Then people know what to expect before they choose to make the journey. As you implement these 5 destination marketing strategies, reach out to us. We can give you the latest industry insights to grow your digital knowledge and provide the right ad tech tools and expert advice to revolutionize your business and turn your steady foot traffic into constant crowds.

Tackle Supply Path Optimization Like a Pro

Five years ago, media buyers were running on every ad exchange possible without much control over where and who bids and impressions were going out to, meaning the exchange picked the best supply path. Today, buyers are ready to have greater control over the supply chain, and many are demanding a solution. Enter ad tech’s latest buzzword: supply path optimization.

What Is Supply Path Optimization?

Supply path optimization (SPO) identifies the right path to bid and win inventory at the best price, empowering you to take ownership and accountability for your supply chain. SPO’s goal is to help buyers access quality inventory and minimize wasted impressions.

What Does Supply Path Optimization Do?

Adweek says it well: SPO cuts the clutter between media buyers and publishers hungry to sell inventory. By clutter, they mean extraneous sellers, URLs and companies who demand their own fees along the ad supply path and stand between the buyer and a publisher. Think of SPO as Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method for the ad tech industry. In the same way you might banish clutter from your closet and only keep clothing and items that bring you joy, media buyers can banish clutter and tidy up the ad tech industry to receive higher quality inventory, lower fees and more transparency in programmatic advertising.

How Do You Create a Solid Supply Path Optimization Strategy?

Root Out Ad Fraud Continually

Ad fraud includes non-human traffic that is intentionally misrepresented or is never seen. Detect, analyze and eliminate fraud by working with a partner who uses pre-bid anti-fraud controls to block fraudulent users, sites and suspicious inventory. Also, ensure your partner has experts who can complete post-bid analysis and work to manually catch what algorithms can’t. For example, our RealValue® Platform has two industry-first algorithms that allow advertisers to algorithmically optimize their supply paths as well as root out and avoid fraudulent sites and users. With a full suite of pre- and post-bid technology that supports campaign success from beginning to end plus post-bid analysis reporting and analytics capabilities, our RealValue Platform can support complex optimizations, beyond what humans can achieve, and improve your average campaign lift 26% over control!

Go Direct

Our VP of enterprise partnerships Amanda Martin believes to be successful in our field, you have to understand the path a bid takes via an auction. It’s an important part of making informed decisions about ad buys. You need to value how much working media gets to the publisher and recognize who in the middle improves what you’re trying to buy and has supply path elements that benefit you and the client from a performance standpoint.

  • Digging in to understand those supply path elements and how they affect your campaign performance is a good plan of attack, but how do you go about it? Use ads.txt to your advantage. Ads.txt is an IAB-backed tool that places a text file on publishers’ web servers that lists all the companies authorized to sell a publisher’s inventory. This is a good starting point to ensure you’re buying from approved SSPs and sellers.
  • You can also use ads.txt tools, such as Sellers.json and OpenRTB Supply Chain Object, that provide additional verification to fully understand who on the sell side are inventory direct sellers or resellers down to the bid request.

Working with publishers directly and with fewer suppliers can also help you avoid buying resold inventory, or the same site through multiple suppliers. As a bonus, this better protects you from unnecessary ad tech fees too.

Nurture Valuable Relationships

To be successful with SPO and improve the ad tech industry, our president Jay Friedman agrees you should first remove SSPs that aren’t making the cut: “Everyone can shut off 60 of those 75 exchanges and not lose an ounce of scale,” Jay said. “If all major marketing companies or holding companies get on board, we can consolidate spend around the real exchanges and SSPs that deliver value.” He went on, “We want choice in the market, but we aren’t going to get rid of noise if we don’t consolidate.” How do you consolidate and be selective about the SSPs you keep? Treat these valuable supplier relationships just as you would client relationships. Connect and collaborate with only a few SSPs for more transparency. Because you’re working closely with a few hand-picked partners, you can feel comfortable asking your SSPs for log-level data to analyze bids and see the fees across the inventory you’re buying. This will help you understand how SSPs measure quality inventory and be sure it aligns with your goals. Another option is to determine the supply path strategy that shows the best performance for you and your clients and tailor your supply path strategy to that SSP/site combination. Lastly, remember to stay proactive. Continue to add and remove SSPs based on how their inventory performs.

Keep Innovating

With the industry always changing, learn the latest SPO techniques and experiment with them. Focus on volume control, programmatic-guaranteed structures and new products to stay one step ahead of ad fraud. Also, use your buying power to negotiate partnership terms, lower fees and better tools. For instance, we recently partnered with PubMatic to foster SPO in the digital advertising industry. Jay said this about our industry-first partnership, “The level of effort required to be the first mover was pretty significant on both sides.” But he thinks this innovation and major effort were well worth it, especially if they convince more buyers across the industry to also consider consolidating spend with one of the top exchanges. “If one of the largest holding companies in the world does a deal like this, it will carry more industry weight and momentum, and all SSPs and exchanges will need to look at building something like this.”

What Are the Benefits of Supply Path Optimization?

This is the answer you’re probably most interested in. SPO efforts and hard work can lead to positive results that will ripple across your media campaigns and across the entire ad tech industry:

Benefit #1: The Ad Tech Industry Will Consolidate

Fewer industry players means you’ll pay a lower ad tech tax so more of your budget will go to working media. This will optimize your performance potential and boost your buying power. Adweek explains ad tech tax is the part of your budget that advertising middlemen take for their services rather than direct premium publishers, and it estimates these middlemen take 60 cents of every programmatic dollar!

Benefit #2: The Ad Tech Industry Will Raise Its Standards

Behavior, transparency and inventory quality across the ad tech industry will improve. Media buyers will have more inventory control (know who is sourcing direct and indirect inventory) and can purchase inventory more efficiently and effectively.

Benefit #3: The Ad Tech Industry’s Programmatic Advertising Auctions Will Be Cleaner

Ad buying will become simpler and less redundant, with fewer bid requests and queries per second. Brand-safe inventory will be more available and ad fraud opportunities, such as domain spoofing (when a fraudster makes it appear they’re a premium publisher), will diminish. Now that you understand SPO and how to reap the benefits, you can improve your own campaign performance and media efficiency while also improving the ad tech industry. We can help you tackle SPO right from the start or guide you with our expertise and insights along the way. To find out more about working with our team, reach out to us!

Creating Smarter Goals and Digital Marketing KPIs

It’s exhilarating having all the digital marketing metrics you could ever need at your fingertips, but all that data can get overwhelming when planning how to measure your projects or campaign performance. To help you get out from under your data overload, read on to learn about creating smarter goals and digital marketing KPIs.

What Is a Metric?

Metrics are numbers or ratios that track the status of business processes. They provide insights but aren’t as relevant to measuring your performance related to your business objective. Need some inspiration on what metrics you should consider measuring? See what eMarketer now says are the top metrics most important to worldwide companies when measuring their own digital marketing success.

What Is a KPI?

KPI stands for key performance indicator. Think of a KPI as a compass: It can tell you if you’re headed in the right direction toward your goal and also how you’re doing along the way – whether you’re on track, falling short or exceeding it. KPIs

  • are actionable,
  • give you a baseline to measure performance,
  • and tell you where to focus your team’s time, energy, expertise and talent to accomplish your objective – whether that’s to increase revenue, grow new customers, send more traffic to your website, get more social media followers or something else entirely.

Metrics vs. KPIs: How Are They Different?

Metrics only become KPIs when you apply and compare data to your goals. So KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. KPIs are the relevant and insightful metrics you select, monitor and track to help you make informed decisions about your marketing initiatives.

A 5-Point Checklist for Creating Smarter Goals and Digital Marketing KPIs

After that quick refresher, here’s a 5-point checklist to setting goals and KPIs for any upcoming marketing project or campaign:

  • #1: Ask the Right Questions.

    • What do you want to do and why? This can help you easily generate the right goals for your team.
    • When writing goals, remember to make them clear (don’t use jargon), short (one line if possible), and SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound).
  • #2: Find Your Target.

    • Every goal needs a target – that numeric value that shows what you hope to achieve and by when. A target shows you what to aim for and whether you’ve hit the mark. It’s what gives KPIs the power to gauge your goal’s performance.
      • Take this example: Say you achieved a sales volume of 5,000 widgets by a set date. That seems good, but how can you be sure? You don’t have any reference point. But if you know your target was 3,500 widgets by that set date, then you know you significantly surpassed your goal.
  • #3: Be Careful What You Measure.

    • Before tying KPIs to any goal, ask yourself these questions:
      • How do you envision success?
      • Which metrics align with your particular goal and support what you’re trying to accomplish?
    • Digital marketing KPIs – such as ROI, website page views, cost per lead, customer lifetime value, to name a few – abound, but our data insights analysts suggest having two to five logical and relevant KPIs at a time per goal that are actionable as well as easy to measure and quantify.
    • To put together what you’ve learned, let’s look at this digital marketing initiative example:
      • Objective: Grow B2B sales leads
      • Goal: Grow company’s subscriber list by 50% this year
      • Marketing Initiative: Develop and post 5 engaging and evergreen lead magnets on website landing pages, all free to download in exchange for contact info
      • Potential KPIs: % increase in website’s subscriber conversion rate; % change in landing page views; % change in lead magnet downloads
      • Owner: Marketing Manager
      • Frequency Check: Monthly
  • #4: Keep Tabs on Your Results.

    • Assign a point person to analyze each of your goals and KPI performance regularly, whether that be daily, weekly, monthly or at another interval. The specific timing you can select is flexible and should depend on what you’re tracking.
    • To analyze results, either take a manual approach and piece together the data for review into a report, spreadsheet or slides or set up an automated dashboard that can do the work for you and can always give you an at-a-glance view of where you stand.
  • #5: Be Willing to Change.

    • Goals and KPIs are fluid so will change over time. If something isn’t working and needs shifting, switch up your strategy and experiment. Retiring old KPIs in favor of introducing new ones is natural. Keep only those that serve you best and can best gauge your performance over time.

Interested in learning more ways to tie your digital advertising efforts back to measurable results? Check out our president Jay Friedman’s latest book, Prove Your Advertising Works (no need to get it from Amazon; download it here for free!). Or let’s connect to discuss your specific digital advertising needs and challenges. We can give you the knowledge and guidance you need to harness your data, set the right strategy, and confidently make the right data-driven decisions to move the needle on your next digital marketing campaign.

New Book Helps CMOs Share Digital Marketing Results

Companies of all industries and sizes are experiencing a groundbreaking shift: New direct-to-consumer brands that have been around less than a year are challenging 100-year-old brands. Dollar Shave Club, BarkBox, Casper, and the list could go on and on. Driven by the success of online marketing, digital advertising has become the front line and a pivotal factor in determining a brand’s future. So, it’s not surprising that marketers worldwide will spend over $515 billion on digital advertising by 2024. With total advertising investment in five years projected to be around $800 billion, we’re seeing the digitization of advertising budgets achieve meaningful scale. And yet, many CMOs are still struggling to communicate their digital marketing results in a way that gets leadership buy-in. In fact, recent research shows that over 80% of CMOs say aligning their marketing strategy with corporate goals keeps them up at night. Released last week, our president Jay Friedman’s newest book Prove Your Advertising Works is specifically designed to flip the script and showcase marketing as a growth engine within a company. The book reveals the challenges CMOs face in harnessing, communicating and acting on digital marketing results and offers powerful tools for CMOs on how to discuss marketing’s results confidently and in terms that leadership values. It’s a quick read but packed with plenty of powerful tips and tools. We’ve rounded up a handful our favorite insights here to inspire you. CMOs have spoken: The most important metrics to demonstrating the value of marketing and advertising to the enterprise are ROI, customer loyalty and retention, sales revenue, customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. Viewability, paid search click-through rates, social likes and shares, and even cost per outcome have their place in marketing campaign conversations but aren’t what you take to the C-suite table. Instead, use metrics that clearly connect ad spend to business outcomes. There are three common traits of successful in-housing – technology, data strategy, and meaningful spend levels to justify the time, effort and costs necessary. However, most brands are far better off partnering with a sophisticated agency that can keep their brand ahead of the market or choosing a hybrid approach. If a brand personalizes content, one in three consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase and almost half will become loyal to the brand. Balancing privacy and personalization is important, but CMOs must remind apprehensive executives that ads are better for everyone when we know more about our customers and tailor the experience to the individual. One out of three companies who reward test and learn practices achieves successful digital transformations. Machine learning and advanced algorithms can speed up this process, but even if your organization isn’t at this level yet, you can begin the practice now with some easy steps designed to ensure decisions are backed by proven results rather than guesswork. [/fusion_text][fusion_imageframe image_id=”4857086809|full” max_width=”” style_type=”” blur=”” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”center” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” lightbox_image_id=”” alt=”digital marketing testing and learning infographic” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://goodwaygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PYAW_Book_Test_Learn_Infographic.svg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_image_id=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” border_radius=”” box_shadow=”no” dimension_box_shadow=”” box_shadow_blur=”0″ box_shadow_spread=”0″ box_shadow_color=”” box_shadow_style=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””]To get more insights like these, download your copy of Prove Your Advertising Works now.

Launch an Audience-First Data Strategy in 3 Simple Steps

The number of cord-cutters, adults who abandon pay TV in favor of streaming services, is accelerating rapidly according to eMarketer and is expected to be more than one-fifth of the U.S. population by the end of 2022. But, when a telecommunications company offering fiber optic services, including fiber internet, fiber phone, and fiber IPTV asked us to help them expand their footprint and improve their online sales, we were up for the challenge. To appeal to the cord-cutting crowd, we chose to promote our client’s reliable high-speed internet connections that power consumers’ streaming entertainment with an audience-first data strategy. “Audience first” simply means before you ever think about creating your digital media campaign, you first should think about and understand your prospects well. What advertising creative, format, messaging and channels will most appeal to them and engage them enough to convert? Let your target audience shape and guide everything you do and how you do it.

How Our Audience-First Data Strategy Performed

For this programmatic campaign, we set out to drive new client signups and prove our client’s ad investment was worth it. So, we matched our media results throughout the campaign back to our client’s sales data to track and measure the return on ad spend (ROAS). How did our campaign ultimately perform?

  • We saw an average increase of 215% in signups for our client’s high-speed internet year over year and a 534% increase in overall average ROAS.
  • Because our team provided real-time analytics and attribution insights, the telecommunications company could truly start to make key business decisions based on data and maximize their results.
  • Our client also saw a halo effect, in which signups from other mediums, such as call centers, Salesforce, and programmatic, increased due to customers first seeing our digital advertising.

Want to generate amazing results like this for yourself? Follow these steps to make our audience-first data strategy work for you:

Audience-First Data Strategy Step #1: Gather and analyze relevant data.

Examine your first-party data, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) data and site data. This will tell you where your customers and leads go online, how they behave, what they’re interested in, and what they need. Knowing your prospects’ preferences and thoroughly understanding their online and offline behaviors can help you streamline your advertising efforts and minimize wasteful spending. Then, tap into third-party data to widen your prospect net and amplify your message beyond the leads you already have. This will help you find new people who resemble your ideal customer and who could be most receptive to your message and likely to buy.

Audience-First Data Strategy Step #2: Combine display and search to reach potential customers throughout the sales funnel.

Why Display?

  • targeted, personalized, and measurable
  • diverse sizes, novel formats and interactive features
  • visually appealing and attention-grabbing way to introduce your brand to prospects as they browse the web
  • supports brand awareness and brand recall at the top of the funnel

Why Search?

  • cost-effective way to compete with rivals and complement digital media efforts
  • gets eyeballs on your business: your URL, company description, at times even ad extensions, such as your address, map or click-to-call button
  • visible to shoppers at the bottom of the funnel who are actively searching, considering and looking to buy now
  • sends high-qualified traffic to your website and provides robust analytics to help improve your campaign results

Why Are They Better Together?

Integrating display and search so they work together makes your overarching campaign more cohesive. Combining the two lets you target your prospects from different angles – when they are and when they aren’t searching for you – and can improve your ROAS.

Audience-First Data Strategy Step #3: Use Display and Search Targeting to Your Advantage

Audience targeting can get your advertising in front of the right group of people who exhibit the traits, interests and behaviors that are most valuable to your business. Whether running a display or search campaign, here are some targeting methods to try.

Display Targeting

Use Your CRM data to find eligible users through data matching with IP address targeting. IP address targeting can reach people who work at a certain business or who are a part of the same household. You can run any name, physical address or zip code you know through an IP mapping system, and it will match up with an IP address so you can then target a person on a specific device. For our client’s display campaign, we did just that. We looked at their first-party data and matched physical addresses within their serviceable areas to IP addresses. This allowed us to cost-effectively deliver personalized display advertising to eligible users. Focus on site data to find and advertise again to users you want to convert with retargeting. Track prospects who visited your site while they are browsing online. Re-advertise to them within a certain amount of time to encourage them to act, whether that’s to take a specific action or purchase your product or service. Typically, retargeting is done within a few minutes or up to a few hours after a prospect leaves your website to be most effective. We implemented a layered pixel strategy on our client’s website for our display campaign to capture users at every stage of the sales funnel. This allowed us to segment our best prospects who didn’t complete the signup process and then retarget them with specifically tailored display advertising later to nudge them one more time to convert. (Of course, we excluded those users who had already signed up.)

Search Targeting

Optimize your campaign on your sales goal and focus on keywords that show intent to purchase (or intent to switch providers in this case) with zip code targeting. Zip code targeting lets you home in on prospects based in a specific location, like in a residential area or across a few city blocks. For our client’s search campaign, we used zip code targeting to concentrate on serviceable areas and leveraged the same pixels as the display campaign. We strived to target in-market users by optimizing on signups (not clicks) and focused on keywords that showed intent to switch providers so we could drive more orders. When you follow these three steps – gather and analyze relevant data, combine the power of display and search, and include the right display and search targeting methods to reach your prospects – you’ll have the necessary components to start your own successful audience-first data strategy. But, remember, you don’t have to strategize alone. Looking to build a solid new partnership? Look no further. We can stand by you no matter your goal and can offer you unmatched digital media expertise plus the best-in-class technology and tools you need to significantly improve your sales performance and growth. Reach out to us to learn more!

8 Digital Healthcare Marketing Best Practices to Try Today

Hospitals face a unique challenge in digital advertising since they need to reach patients who need medical services but must do so in a way that doesn’t feel invasive. As a marketing and advertising partner to healthcare clients across the U.S. for over 90 years, we know how to promote patient-centric and privacy-compliant messages while still helping our clients reach new patients. Since 2013, we’ve successfully partnered with a leading hospital group in New Jersey on over 300 digital healthcare marketing initiatives, helping them promote a variety of their medical group practice areas while also enabling patients to get access to new services and the latest treatments in their area. To take advantage of all we have learned in the process and to emulate our recent medical marketing digital strategy results, follow these healthcare marketing best practices to prep, act and improve your next digital ad campaign:

Healthcare Marketing Campaign Best Practices

Prep

Determine the Right Keyword Combinations. Look back and see what keywords were the most successful for you on similar branding or geo-focused campaigns in the past. Then, use those for your current healthcare digital advertising initiative. Include Ad Extensions. Add a click-to-call extension or other ad extensions to your advertising to automatically improve your ad value, add urgency to your message, and encourage prospects to act at the same moment they see an ad. This is one easy way to get high-value prospects to reach out when they’re curious and most likely to make contact. When we added a click-to-call extension to our client’s digital advertising, interested prospects could connect with the hospital’s call center directly and quickly learn more about how to set up an appointment. We also included a site link extension on their digital ads that directed prospects to a customized mobile-friendly webpage where they could fill out a form on the go to receive more info. Use a Whitelist. Target only the top-performing sites for your brand. For every campaign you run, continually refine this list to make it more and more effective over time. Make Private Marketplace Buys (PMPs). Connect with premium preferred publishers so your display advertising can appear on well-known sites – WebMD, Healthline or AARP and the like – that resonate the most with your audience.

Act

Search First. Then Display. Start your search campaign first to ramp up and achieve better quality scores. Over time as quality scores improve, your message will move up in the search results, which will have a positive impact on your results as you launch your display campaign. Test Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. To be as successful as you can be with your advertising initiative, A/B test different elements of your campaign on small audience segments before scaling to the wider group. This gives you the opportunity to try out and evaluate different strategies then easily adjust as needed for maximum impact upon full rollout. Also, this beta test approach can give you a quick bump in results, meaning you can increase your site traffic, campaign activities, and patient leads early on, all with less risk, time and money spent. Work Your Healthcare Digital Ad Plan. Once you test your campaign, apply the lessons you learned to your real campaign. Then, you can move forward with audience targeting that is on point and with media that is pre-optimized to achieve results most effectively.

Improve

Optimize Your Search and Display Campaigns. Once you get your search and display campaigns underway, carefully analyze results – your reporting, human insight and machine learning – to make incremental improvements to your campaigns. On all our campaigns, we optimize with our RealValue® machine-learning algorithm. It automatically reviews browser and ad size data then bids higher on the best-performing combinations of both variables. This algorithm’s findings paired with our media buyers’ expertise is the winning combination to helping us know what audience and media inventory will best impact campaign results. Using these eight tried-and-true best practices can give your healthcare digital advertising campaigns a boost: build better brand awareness, help you stand out from increasing competition, and generate new patient leads. For more expertise and support, let us share more about all the latest healthcare marketing strategies and tools you need to differentiate your services and achieve your campaign goals.

3 Medical Marketing Digital Strategies for More Patient Leads

According to Google, one in 20 search results are healthcare-related. While many people are actively searching for healthcare advice online, determining how you should advertise your healthcare services, treatments and solutions to prospective patients can be tricky to navigate: You must carefully follow patient privacy rules and medical sensitivity best practices.

Since 2013, we’ve partnered with a leading hospital group to run over 300 digital advertising initiatives for all their healthcare specialties, ranging from maternity to oncology to bariatrics and more. This medical marketing experience has given us insight into what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to executing healthcare digital media campaigns successfully. If you’re looking for new ways to improve your own medical marketing – how to engage your own audience, drive more site traffic and gather more patient leads – here are our top three healthcare digital strategies to try when setting up your next digital campaign:

Take Patient Privacy Seriously

Get HIPAA-certified

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was enacted in 1996 and strictly governs how patient records are handled and shared in the United States. Having this certification gives those who work with you the confidence and peace of mind that you fully understand current HIPAA privacy laws and how to keep patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) safe.

At Goodway, we are all currently HIPAA-certified and are recertified every two years. This ensures we have a firm understanding of patient privacy and can diligently follow all regulations. We keep patient data secure and anonymous because we use a secure hashing process to anonymize hospital customer relationship management (CRM) data before targeting it, then delete that data when a campaign is over.

Advertise to Prospects While They Search

To not intrude on prospects’ privacy, never retarget prospects from medical webpages. You never want to appear insensitive by reminding patients of their medical condition or make them feel tracked.

To be most respectful of their privacy, let prospects conduct their own search for medical information; then, have your advertising appear at the top of search results so they can discover on their own what you have to offer.

Produce Patient-Centric Ad Creative

When it comes to your healthcare digital advertising creative, make your messaging patient-focused. Keep it upbeat and positive and focused on healthcare services and solutions. This isn’t the place to get heavy or to mention illnesses or treatments.

Determine the Right Targeting to Find Your Audience

Take Advantage of First- and Third-Party Data

Use your first-party data, the customer relationship management (CRM) data you have already gathered and own. Marketing to your own prospects who are already open to and interested in what you have to say is valuable and could just be the key to generating more patient leads.

But, what if you don’t have enough first-party data for your campaign? If you need more data to work with, you can supplement it with third-party data. Third-party lifestyle data segments can offer similar prospects to your existing patients who are just as receptive to your message.

Or, take another approach: Go after those third-party segments beyond patients that include caregivers, those who help patients day to day and who are likely to have a say in their medical decisions.

Make Site, Search and Cross-Device Targeting Work for You

Once you’ve made the most of first- and third-party data, try these targeting types:

Use site targeting to find those sites that over-index for your audience so you can get in front of the right people at the right time with your message.

Since you can’t target by a specific ailment when running a medical digital marketing campaign, use category and keyword contextual targeting to reach prospective patients effectively with your ads at the precise moment they are reviewing relevant content online. Don’t forget to conduct daily keyword-level performance reviews and adjust the keywords as needed across all the channels of your healthcare campaign so all channels can benefit from your keyword optimizations.

Or, try cross-device targeting and reach patients on all their devices to reinforce your message, no matter what digital device they may be on – their desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.

Develop a Multi-Channel Digital Media Campaign

At Goodway, we followed a multi-channel digital strategy for our hospital client’s oncology medical specialty area. When we did, their site traffic saw a 196% increase and their display activities (defined as visits to their custom landing page, which you could only get to through search or clicking on an ad) saw a 252% increase throughout the campaign, which led to high-quality patient leads. Using search and display digital channels together helped us surpass our patient lead goal for our campaign by 114%, from two leads a month to an average of 4.3 leads a month.

It can be tough to know where to start and how to go about healthcare digital advertising, especially when patient-privacy rules are daunting and healthcare advertising best practices seem to keep changing all the time.

If you need guidance, a helping hand or want access to the latest available digital tools and healthcare advertising strategies, connect with us. We can show you how to make the most of your medical marketing: how to achieve highly targeted healthcare campaigns that will appeal to and engage your prospects and turn them into patient leads.

3 Ways to More Effectively Reach Black Audiences

We’ve all seen the headlines, tweets and social backlash when brands have failed at reaching this audience. Yet, despite the cautionary tales from skin care faux pas to clothing line missteps, brands still find it challenging to connect with black consumers in the right ways. But, it doesn’t have to be hard. It can be much easier if you simply follow this one key to success: Be authentic. To learn how you can be and to hear about a few brands I feel are doing it right, read my recent Adweek article. Or, check out these highlights – my three quick tips to becoming a more authentic brand:

Do Your Research

Marketers should truly understand how their messaging will be received by black consumers before going to market with campaigns. Research and data are paramount. Simply put, do your homework. Who’s your customer base? What demographic factors are you targeting besides race? Will your campaign messaging interest and engage your customers and prospects? Alienate and repel them? Of course, you should know this well before you finalize your campaign. If you can’t see your creative from all angles internally, hire focus groups to gain new valuable opinions and perspectives. That way, you can see what you’re missing and catch any negative stereotypes or offensive content early on — most importantly, before your campaign launches into the world then nosedives into a massive mistake.

Know Your Audience

Be where your audience is, learn their likes and dislikes, find out what they truly want and need, and know what they expect from you. To best engage with them, don’t talk at them; truly listen to them. Hear what they have to say and authentically engage with them. When you make building rapport and trust high priorities, you can further strengthen connections and encourage deeper, enduring relationships.

Respect and Empower Black Culture

According to a 2018 Nielsen study, African Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually, which makes them a valuable trend-setting audience with considerable buying power. It’s vital you don’t miss the  mark when building a relationship with this audience. Ensure your creative, messaging and overall campaign has an authentic voice. That way, what you say can resonate and  make more of an impact. Two brands I believe understand the power of black spending and influence of black culture are Nike and P&G. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign communicated a message of support and alliance in an authentic way that audiences could connect with. There was also a larger universal message of bravery, overcoming obstacles and standing up for what you believe in. And P&G’s My Black is Beautiful campaign aimed to inspire 1 million black girls to believe in their beauty, which later led to their Imagine a Future program, creating opportunities for young black girls across the country. Creating these types of successful meaningful advertising campaigns that truly support social causes, connect with black audiences and make a difference takes a lot of time, effort and care. But, more advertisers can do it – can tell authentic brand stories black audiences can get behind – if only they’re willing to do the research, know their audience, respect and empower black culture, and above all, do one big thing: Have ample black representation at the decision-making level. If you would like a hand on your journey to becoming a more authentic brand, need help combing  through your research and data, finding and learning about your core audience, and developing the right digital campaign strategy, we can provide the firm direction you need.