What Google’s Privacy Controls and Chrome Changes Mean for Advertisers

At their annual I/O developer conference in May, Google announced two new initiatives for its Chrome browser set to launch later this year. Google’s privacy controls and new cookie requirements previewed at the event are expected to increase user control over their data and prevent fingerprinting without user consent. This is great for consumer privacy, but how will these upcoming changes impact your advertising campaigns?

What’s Changed?

The first initiative tackles cookies and will require website owners to specify which kind of cookie they want to install on a user’s Chrome browser – a first-party single domain cookie (the kind that preserves user logins and settings) or a third-party cookie (which enables websites and advertisers to collect data on user preferences). To be clear, third-party cookies are not going away or getting banned by Google. Websites just have to identify the cookie category moving forward. However, unlike Safari’s recent ITP efforts, Google’s privacy controls are putting users at the helm, including giving users the ability to turn off or delete different types of cookies. In a blog post from Ben Galbraith, director of Chrome product management, and Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering, they explain, “This change will enable users to clear all [cross-site] cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies so users can make informed choices about how their data is used.” The second initiative addresses fingerprinting, which is a way for websites to collect information about users’ browsers, plugins, devices, and more. Because fingerprinting doesn’t use cookies, websites can access a user’s browser fingerprint without a user’s consent. As part of the preview, Google shared plans to more aggressively restrict these kinds of tracking technologies. While these announcements were made in May with the expectation of rolling out changes by the end of 2019, details surrounding the implementation for Google’s privacy controls have not been made public yet.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

While Chrome represents over two-thirds of desktop browser market share and 63% of mobile browser market share globally according to eMarketer, it’s difficult to precisely say how much Google’s changes will impact advertisers until we see how Google plans to promote the new features to consumers. If the capability to turn off cross-site cookies is user-friendly and prominently displayed, it may prompt some consumers to act. However, if the functions are hidden or buried in a settings menu like Chrome’s current functionality to erase all cookies from a user account, then the impact to advertisers will be minimal. Certain ad-supported businesses, like online publications who rely on cookies to learn information about their readers and sell advertising space, may have a hard time adjusting to Google’s privacy controls at first. This puts the onus on businesses to rely more heavily on first-party data and to ensure their compliance with privacy regulations to maintain those strong data sets.

How Is Goodway Responding?

No changes have gone into effect yet, and while this may result in the deletion of some data-tracking cookies, we aren’t expecting a significant impact at Goodway Group. However, our team is working closely with demand, supply and data partners to monitor this news and set up our clients and their campaigns for success throughout 2019. As any digital media buyer will tell you, data on the websites people visit and how they behave on different sites is critical to building a long-term successful campaign. Fortunately, we’re one step ahead to ensure your campaigns stay on track. Moreover, we support steps that the digital ecosystem takes to increase consumer consent and control, knowing these improve the overall online experience and trust between publishers, advertisers and consumers. The industry has been moving away from third-party cookies for some time now, but it takes time to develop a more efficient, privacy-friendly model. Besides Google’s new privacy controls, several other efforts are already underway to move the industry in the right direction, including The Trade Desk’s unified ID solution, The Advertising ID Consortium and the IAB’s DigiTrust ID. Continue to be among the first to hear about what’s trending in the industry and get expert advice on what it means for advertisers. Subscribe to our blog and keep up with the latest topics and changes in programmatic media.

Five Ad Tech Gifs That Will Have You Nodding (and Laughing)

Since ad tech practitioners bring together the perfect combination of a “get it done” attitude and a “let the creativity flow” mindset, we naturally fell in love with the Gif trend. (That’s pronounced Gif, not Jif …. Fight us!) But as much as we enjoy cute cats and Ryan Gosling, we’ve had a hard time finding clever ad tech Gifs to add to our presentations, social media, and afternoon email threads when the boss isn’t looking. So being the trailblazers we are, we decided to make a few of our own.

Targetingdog trying to catch a Frisbee

What makes your audience tick? Without mining crucial intel from the data you own, your targeting could miss the mark.

Measurement

Google Analytics can give you a good picture of how you’re doing but can’t give you the whole story. We can give you the customized and precise data insights you need to succeed.

Reporting

If only you could bottle the bliss you feel after pressing “Send” on your client report, knowing you only have good news to share.

Media Costs

Connected TV at that price? Is that too good to be true? Yup, pure fantasy, it only lives in your imagination.

Attribution

What it feels like when you find out you’re a winner … and then realize you’re not the only one.

3 Digital Marketing Trends That Top Our 2019 Predictions

In 2018, digital marketing trends dominated headlines inside and outside of the industry as Facebook faced the Cambridge Analytica scandal, GDPR went live, and AT&T, SiriusXM and Adobe all made major acquisitions. But as the year comes to a close, I’m already looking forward to seeing what new innovations and changes you can expect in 2019. From this vantage point, there seems to be plenty to watch on the horizon. Some digital marketing trends expected to rise up are just more mature versions of their counterparts already in play and others are born of new game-changing technologies currently in development. So, take a break from your daily task list and take a look at the 2019 predictions you’ll want to know about before you build next year’s strategy: 1. This will be the year that advertisers get serious about audio. The renaissance of digital audio – streaming radio, podcasts, voice assistants – has created one of the most anticipated opportunities of the coming year. And we’re not the only ones seeing that audio is primed for takeoff. From Pandora’s acquisition of AdsWizz to SiriusXM’s play to buy Pandora, recent signals have many in the industry believing that programmatic audio is finally reaching marketplace maturity. It’s no secret that mobile is driving digital media usage, with U.S. users devoting nearly 3.6 hours to a mobile device each day, according to eMarketer. But how are consumers spending that time on their devices? Listening. Audio takes up the biggest chunk of mobile usage at 52 minutes. But today, audio isn’t 100% synonymous with streaming music. People are sharing celebrity-curated playlists, downloading branded podcasts, and getting daily news briefs from their digital assistants. What this means is a variety of formats and niche audiences for advertisers to tap in 2019. Compared to other ad formats, audio has been slow to catch on in the past, but rising adoption rates among voice-activated speakers and audio subscription services have marketers eager to apply it to next year’s strategy. Sarah Scherer, media product manager at Goodway Group, sums it up simply, “More money will flow into programmatic audio in the coming years as advertisers recognize the cost efficiencies and optimization benefits compared to linear radio.” With near limitless opportunities to target your audience and expand reach, there has never been a better time to take advantage of the power of audio. 2. Advertisers will simplify their media buying and reduce their risk of fraud by re-evaluating the number of SSPs they work with. One thing came through loud and clear in 2018. Advertisers want to know exactly where their ads are running. This call for transparency isn’t just about the cost or impression numbers; it’s also closely linked to brand safety and the desire to avoid fraud. Marketers focused on simplifying their media buying in 2018 started by reducing the number of DSPs they work with from 7.1 in 2016 to 3.9 this year, according to eMarketer. So, it’s not a big surprise that our 2019 predictions include the natural next step – limiting their SSP relationships too. Our mission has always been to demystify digital marketing trends for our partners. So, let’s get clear right now on why the number of SSPs you work with matters. There are so many SSPs out there – too many actually. A lot of it is the same redundant technology, so you aren’t getting any extra value out of using 10 SSPs versus three. Instead, every SSP you add into your media mix adds on another layer of unnecessary complexity and increases your risk of encountering fraud or domain spoofing. While expecting all those SSPs to agree and close up shop isn’t realistic, our president Jay Friedman suggests that marketers significantly reduce the number of SSPs with which they spend. He believes this will accelerate SSP consolidation faster than any other force. If you consolidated your buying to a handful of SSPs, you could potentially leverage the aggregated buying volume to negotiate lower SSP take rates and trim ad tech fees from bid duplication. If nothing else, working with fewer SSPs means a lower risk for shenanigans, like bid caching. At Goodway, we know more isn’t always better. That’s why we’ve already scoured the SSP landscape and the open exchange to build a custom-curated programmatic exchange using only the SSPs that offer the cleanest, safest, highly viewable sites, apps and other digital inventory. I could geek out on our exclusive HSD marketplace all afternoon, but I’ll save those thoughts for another blog … 3. Many states will pass new data protection laws and regulations similar to GDPR. Online marketing has been around for more than 25 years, and programmatic for more than 10. It’s simply time for everyone – advertisers, ad tech providers, and consumers – to unite behind higher standards. GDPR was the first step in that direction for the EU, and I expect U.S. regulations will quickly follow. Already several states have introduced legislation to expand data privacy for their residents, giving them more control over how their personal data is collected and used. California’s Consumer Privacy Act goes a step further, requiring companies to make significant changes to their data handling and processing procedures. In Vermont, new legislation also requires data brokers to register with the state, better inform consumers about their options, and notify authorities of any security breaches. While U.S. regulations will mirror many of GDPR’s protections, it is doubtful that states will deem data privacy a civil right, as it is in the EU. Instead, most states are looking to give consumers the right to demand that companies disclose what information they collect, to block that data from being sold, and to sue noncompliant companies. However, even if lawmakers in every state set the stage for these regulations, the laws and enforcement likely won’t go into effect for several years. For instance, Vermont’s changes for data brokers don’t kick off until 2019, and California’s Consumer Privacy Act doesn’t take effect until 2020. In the meantime, if you’re looking for the most effective ways to reach your target audience in a post-GDPR world, you may want to start by auditing your data management program. Review your data protection policies with your legal and compliance teams. Then, develop a real-time process for handling customer requests and opt outs. As we enter another new year in just a few short weeks, I’d like to impart one more piece of advice: Remember that these changes aren’t silver bullets. Innovation can be exciting, but there are a number of hurdles to overcome first if we’re to truly see a digital transformation in the coming months. To keep up to date on what else is happening in ad tech in 2019, stay tuned to our blog.

Expert Interview: What Recent Changes Mean for Pandora Advertising

Will 2019 be the year for programmatic audio? If you’ve been watching the headlines, it just might be. From Pandora’s acquisition of AdsWizz to SiriusXM’s play to buy Pandora, recent signals have many in the industry believing that programmatic audio is finally reaching marketplace maturity. We talked with Sarah Scherer, Media Product Manager at Goodway Group, about how these changes will impact Pandora advertising and the digital audio landscape. Earlier this year, Pandora purchased the programmatic audio platform AdsWizz. What has this acquisition meant for Pandora advertising? AdsWizz is a supply-side platform specializing in programmatic audio inventory, like iHeartRadio, podcasts and other audio sources. By purchasing AdsWizz, Pandora gained access to the pipes needed to sell their own audio inventory programmatically. Being full stack means Pandora doesn’t have to rely on third-party SSP tech anymore, like most other publishers. What are the benefits of Pandora going programmatic for advertisers? Of all the recent changes at Pandora, going programmatic brings the most significant benefits for advertisers: 1.      Enhanced targeting. The targeting capabilities through a DSP are typically much more robust than what’s available through a publisher direct buy. Now, Pandora’s advertisers have the ability to layer on sophisticated geotargeting, to seamlessly integrate first-party data, to access thousands of third-party audience segments, to apply enhanced optimization, and more to customize their campaigns. 2.      Expanded reach. Typically, each household only uses one audio platform, be it Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, or something else. It’s similar to selecting a cable provider. You choose one and then access the account across all of your devices. Advertisers who purchased audio exclusively through programmatic pipes in the past weren’t reaching the majority of Pandora households. Now, they can tap into Pandora households through the same programmatic platforms that they use to buy their other audio inventory. 3.      Holistic reporting. Previously, advertisers buying Pandora inventory had to get it direct from Pandora. This meant that after the campaign, advertises needed to pull any reports from Pandora and manually integrate them with other media reports to compare how each channel performed. Being able to buy Pandora advertising on programmatic pipes gives advertisers all their reporting in one place. Compared to other ad formats, audio has been slow to catch on programmatically. What is holding audio back? A variety of factors have held back programmatic audio, but none more than the creative assets required. Most brands have messaging and images they can pull together with limited effort for a display campaign. And some even have video that they can quickly edit for a 15- or 30-second online ad. But audio creatives are a totally different beast. Advertisers must tailor their audio ads to a channel where the audience almost always has eyes elsewhere. I don’t think that most advertisers have historically had high-quality audio assets readily available to activate campaigns. However, I do think more money will flow into programmatic audio in the coming years as advertisers recognize the cost efficiencies and optimization benefits compared to linear radio. These benefits will drive the creation and execution of programmatic audio ads well beyond what we’ve seen in recent years. Last month, Liberty Media, the parent company of SiriusXM, made moves to acquire Pandora. How does this impact the digital audio landscape? The potential combination of SiriusXM with Pandora is game-changing. SiriusXM’s business model was built on leveraging automobiles to sell their subscription service. Joining with Pandora would allow SiriusXM to expand their footprint across devices, making their exclusive sports, radio and celebrity content available on phones, tablets, in-home assistants and more. What does all this change mean for advertisers already in digital audio or those looking to get in? There aren’t any immediate changes for advertisers already running digital audio. But remember that Pandora advertising still requires certain minimums, even if you run programmatically. While it is important to ensure you have a presence across all audio inventory that aligns with your target audience, make sure you can meet the requirements to run on Pandora inventory. And for those looking to get into programmatic audio, the future has never looked brighter. Heading into 2019, advertisers can plan their media buys – inclusive of digital audio – to achieve a holistic, omnichannel approach for maximum impact. Plus, the audio space is one of the safest environments, with most buys transacted via low-fraud private marketplace deals. If you are looking for a high-quality, proven upper-funnel or brand-awareness tactic, programmatic audio might be right for you. To learn more about where programmatic audio is headed in 2019 and beyond, talk to us. We’re listening.

Real Advice for Advertisers From ATS London 2018

In September, I visited London for ExchangeWire’s 2018 ATS conference, an annual event for the online ad industry drawing in top-level executives from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad tech providers. With any event this large, the amount of information and discussion can be overwhelming. That’s why after listening to debates on some of the biggest developments in ad tech, attending macro-focused workshops to reimagine the future of programmatic, and networking with peers as well as new connections, I’ve returned from ATS London with a few key pieces of advice for advertisers. If you didn’t go, this is what you missed; and if you did go, this is what you shouldn’t have missed. STANDARDIZING DATA UNDER A UNIVERSAL ID In today’s data-driven world, advertisers are overwhelmed with complexity. New channels to explore. New metrics to follow. A new generation coming of age. The excitement around the industry getting that much closer to marketing nirvana is overshadowed by frustration and confusion. The primary pain for most advertisers centers on the inability to match individuals to devices across independent ecosystems. Without a universal user ID, brands are left to make sense of the data coming in from different platforms on their own. A panel of C-suite leaders from Beeswax, PubMatic, Captify, and TripleLift agreed with and amplified this concern. In their view, GDPR and ads.txt have brought independent providers together, but normalizing user data under a universal ID may prove to be a much bigger struggle. The reality is ad tech providers are going up against walled garden giants as well as their industry counterparts, so providers believe they need every advantage they can get to stay marketable. Being part of a shared universal ID goes against this dog-eat-dog mindset. My Advice for Advertisers: The old saying, “Money makes the world go round,” rings true here. The best way to put pressure on providers to band together behind a universal ID is to try to partner with those already working to make this happen. Know if your partners are part of the Advertising ID Consortium or involved in other initiatives to solve for a universal ID. And stay up to date on how their efforts translate to practical applications. TRANSITIONING TO A MORE TRANSPARENT MODEL It should come as no surprise that one of the overarching messages throughout ATS London was the need for increased transparency. Advertisers want more pricing transparency, inventory transparency, value-chain participation, and so on. At the conference, we saw an interesting panel discussion on in-housing, where key figures at Spark Foundry, Electronic Arts (EA), and Infinitive debated the hurdles and benefits of achieving complete transparency. While taking programmatic buying in-house might seem like an easy solution to get full transparency, unless you’re a powerhouse brand, it may not actually help control costs. Building out a team and tech to manage the entire process in-house can get expensive – surging well beyond the expense of working with a partner. For 90% of brands out there, reaching the tipping point where internal control saves long-term dollars isn’t realistic. Instead, pushing for a more transparent model is what advertisers need to rally behind if they want to really maximize media value. You can’t wait for the industry to define the standards of trust; you need to define them yourself and use them to guide who you choose to work with. My Advice for Advertisers: If you don’t know what you are paying for, then you shouldn’t be buying it. Advertisers need to dictate the rules of engagement up front and ask the right questions to understand what they are paying for. Then, let ad tech providers explain the value and expertise they bring to the table. If what you’re getting from a provider is worth it, then you shouldn’t have a problem paying for it. APPLYING BLOCKCHAIN PROCESSES TO AD TECH Aside from the usual suspects, there was one other topic that dominated conversations at ATS London: blockchain. We all crave simplicity. It’s why the Staples “Easy Button” campaign was such a success. But implementing blockchain in the ad tech ecosystem isn’t that simple. At the show, Ken Brook of MetaX, Shailley Singh from IAB Tech Lab, and Charles Manning with Kochava led an interesting debate on “The Application of Blockchain in a Digital Media Environment.” But overall, I was pleased to have the reality of the blockchain situation laid to bare candidly by so many leaders at the conference – there is no doubt that 2019 will be an incredibly important year for blockchain’s development, but a marketable product for our industry is still two to three years away. Everyone is eager to apply blockchain processes to the ad industry, but so many business practices need to get in line before blockchain has a chance of improving things for marketers. For example, all players in the supply chain have to agree to the same ledger (no easy sell) before blockchain can ever be a value creator in preventing fraud or ensuring transparency. My Advice for Advertisers: Don’t worry; you aren’t missing the boat on blockchain. Listen to leading voices from the industry and keep a pulse on how blockchain shapes up in 2019. And don’t get fooled into buying products promising practical blockchain applications – the tech isn’t there yet, so they’re either selling you an oversimplified solution or smoke and mirrors. Overall, the 2018 ATS London event lived up to its reputation. There were so many interesting sessions and insightful keynotes that I could go on and on. But in a world where distractions are at an all-time high and people are busier than ever, I’ll save those thoughts for another blog – or reach out to me anytime if you want to go down the rabbit hole together. What will happen next year, next month, or next week? In this industry, it’s anyone’s guess, but if you want to stay up to date on what’s happening at can’t-miss industry events – like Advertising Week New York happening this week – stay tuned to our blog.

Clicks Are Dead

This is not news. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Clicks have been dead for quite some time. Many of the clicks are fraudulent, and studies have shown that clicks are not a reliable source of performance. And yet, some advertisers persist in looking at CTR for digital advertising campaigns as a key performance metric. The realm of performance indicators has moved forward, and we can now track several other types of metrics to measure advertising success. Before we look forward, let’s look back for a minute. Where did the intense focus on clicks come from? There are two main reasons clicks were a proxy for display advertising success. First, clicks were and still are the prominent metric for search ads, and this was carried over to display and all other digital channels. We now also have other ways of measuring the effectiveness of search ads, like phone calls, in-store visits and purchases among other KPIs, but given that we purchase search ads on a cost-per-click basis, clicks will always be important to search. Secondly, while there are several differences between web analytics and ad servers, both initially focused on clicks as the main form of website or advertising engagement. These days, web analytics programs also use time on site and visual heat maps in addition to clicks to measure website engagement and are meant to track website activities. Ad servers now focus more on activities, particularly post-impression activities. Website activities track from ad servers and can be used as KPIs on their own, but they also can be tied to purchases and in-store visits to calculate your true advertising campaign ROI. You can use this information to create a buy-through rate or visit rate and compare the number of total exposed customers to exposed customers who visited a store or purchased a product. It’s now possible to know the real impact your advertising has on your bottom line. Regardless of the metrics you use to track success on your campaigns, you should always focus on using data from your ad server to measure your advertising campaigns, whether you serve your ads directly from a DSP, like AppNexus or The Trade Desk, or use an ad server like Google Campaign Manager (formerly DoubleClick Campaign Manager) or AdRoll. You should combine this data with website activity data from your web analytics programs to get a full picture of your customers’ engagement with your brand.

Facebook Fallout: What Smart Marketers Are Doing Now

Unsafe content. Fake news. Russian meddling. Privacy breaches. With the flurry of recent Facebook scandals and changes, is it business as usual for Facebook marketers? In the eMarketer report, Changes to Facebook Advertising After Cambridge Analytica, researchers decided to find out and discovered four things smart marketers are doing now:

  1. Reducing reliance on third-party data

Though Facebook directly handled third-party data and relationships, it won’t any longer, and now this responsibility will fall directly on marketers’ shoulders. For instance, marketers who used Facebook’s Partner Categories third-party data still can, but it’s going to be much harder. Since the data won’t be available through Facebook anymore, they will have to work out deals of their own with third-party data vendors.

Our paid social director Christy Clarke, one of the industry leaders featured in eMarketer’s report, said due to Facebook’s third-party data changes, “we will have to pay third-party partners and create custom audiences for the same segments that today we’re getting for free. That’s a little frustrating.”

More responsibility, more work and more expenses may be a little frustrating to marketers but even more so is having to vet and assume the risks that come with negotiating and managing their own third-party partners and data, especially since they haven’t had to before. Naturally, to avoid all these potential pitfalls, marketers want to use less third-party data, if they can.

  1.  Expanding first-party data

One way to use less third-party data is to gather richer and more comprehensive first-party data, especially since it has many advantages. It’s cost-effective and less risky for marketers regarding privacy concerns, and owning it comes with peace of mind: You get to control it, keep more customer data and insights in-house and don’t have to worry about it suddenly becoming restricted or having less of it.

At Goodway, growing our first-party data is a big focus. Christy told eMarketer we’re “getting smarter with our first-party data and prioritizing the segmentation of that data.” She also said we’re “using our first-party segments for look-alike targeting for prospecting so that we’re not relying heavily on third-party data.”

  1. Closely monitoring Facebook user activity

When the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, marketers became nervous. They feared Facebook users would scale back their activity or delete their profiles altogether. And according to the latest eMarketer research, that fear is understandable:

But Christy said she doesn’t see that happening now, “Users have maintained how they use the platform and how frequently they [access] it. What’s most important to us as marketers is the targeted reach conversation, and that those [capabilities] have not been impacted by any data misuse.”

Since usage and Facebook’s targeted reach capabilities don’t appear to be impacted for now and users are still actively seeking out brands and interacting with them on the platform, marketers’ spending levels will likely hold firm.

But that doesn’t mean marketers aren’t keeping a careful eye on Facebook metrics. If they must re-evaluate their Facebook budget and consider scaling it back, they will.

Facebook changes, like the scandals, are particularly a concern to marketers because they can suddenly put their paid social media efforts in peril. Take this example: Facebook just made changes to its ad targeting program by giving users the ability to delete their browsing history and have more control over their privacy settings.

If all users took advantage, it could negatively affect marketers and their ability to measure traffic to and from Facebook. But, in the report, Christy said she doesn’t think this particular change will have much impact, “The misuse of data is going to drive some users to lock down their privacy, but I think the majority will likely only clear their history once when the features roll out, if at all.”

  1. Diversifying paid social media strategy

Marketers are confident Facebook is still an efficient platform to connect and interact with their audiences, but they will be closely monitoring the second half of 2018 and preparing a fallback plan just in case, one that incorporates a mix of other social and non-social platforms. Though these platforms don’t offer the reach Facebook does, they are currently more well-regarded, so diversifying the plan and adding a mix of Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram or Amazon could be beneficial.

It is difficult to keep up with social media when it is continually changing. But we can expertly guide you, help you reduce your third-party data and expand your first-party data, help you monitor your social media and diversify, all with the right recommendations and smart solutions to put your paid social media strategy ahead.

Elevate Your Customer Experience With This 6-Step Action Plan

You have your demographic and behavioral data, the right targeting tools, your omnichannel digital media strategy and eye-catching creative. But in eMarketer’s Customer Experience 2018 report, researchers discovered one thing you may be missing to truly personalize your digital marketing campaigns and elevate your customer experience: customer intent. Our COO Jay Friedman, one of the industry experts featured in the report, said: “Creating the content at scale is not the problem. The problem is, what are we creating? Who’s going to think about the psychology behind how the image or the copy will move someone?” Who? Not many. eMarketer found only 11% of senior marketers in North America said they currently use intent analysis in their audience segmentation strategy: But beyond knowing search history and past purchases, you need to know your customers and prospects psychological motivations and emotional triggers behind why they want to buy (or not) from you – only then can you anticipate their needs and be right there with them at every touch point along their buying journey. Though discovering customer intent can be elusive, follow this 6-step action plan, and with some old-fashioned legwork and organizational housekeeping, you’ll learn what makes your customers tick and how to craft messaging for them that will truly resonate:

  1. Get some field experience: Depending on your industry, spend more time at your brick-and-mortar stores or auto dealerships. Being around consumers, observing both their spoken and non-spoken behaviors, during the buying process is a good way to learn how to improve and tie together your digital and offline marketing efforts.
  2.  Increase consumer communication: Talk to a variety of customers, non-customers and prospects face-to-face, over the phone and through surveys on a regular basis to learn about their interests and priorities, their wants and fears, their pressures and obstacles, their dreams and aspirations. Consider even embedding surveys in the buying process to get instant feedback at every stage of the buying journey. If these sound like tough tasks, consider offering people an incentive in exchange for their feedback and time. These methods will give you a more well-rounded view of your audience and teach you how to position your product or service as the cure they need.
  3. Build customer relationships: Offer customer-service channels so you can dialogue with and make meaningful connections with your customers. And listen closely to what they have to say on social media. What’s your community talking about? What’s important to them? What are the trends and themes? Take note of it all, and even how they speak. Doing this will give you a well of ideas on what to address in your content marketing and what wording to use to make your audience feel you’re talking directly to them.
  4. Get back to the basics: Have a clear plan to reach and engage your customers and make customer service a priority by responding and resolving issues quickly. Create an effective, professional website, with an equally nice desktop and mobile experience, which positions you as an expert in your field. Let your audience take the lead and guide your business decisions. These business basics sound simple but can go a long way in making happy customers who are enthusiastic about opening up to you.
  5. Put your business in order: Are your systems and software fragmented? Are your corporate departments and outside partners always on the same page?  If not, you could encounter this scenario: “You’ve got separate creative and media agencies, and that right there is a total killer,” said our COO Jay Friedman. “How you set up a campaign, just from an operational media standpoint, is going to vary dramatically based on the creative.” To align campaign media and creative, or successfully meet any other goal you’re striving for, ensure your customer data is accessible and all in one place, not siloed and scattered across your organization.
  6. Gather more data: Lastly, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect, third-party data may become more restricted and expensive. As a result, gathering your own first-party data and acting on it are even more important now. If you offer your customers and prospects the right messaging, incentives and experiences they want to see and need, they’ll likely continually offer more insights to enrich your business.

Now go forth – it’s time to work the plan. But know along the way, we’re here for you and happy to help you learn more about and smartly target your audience.

2018 Programmatic Predictions: How Will Your Bidding Turn Out?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” type=”legacy”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”true” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_sizes_top=”” border_sizes_bottom=”” border_sizes_left=”” border_sizes_right=”” type=”1_1″ first=”true”][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=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]woman on computer looking at 2018 programmatic predictions It’s been a fast-paced year for digital marketers. 2017 brought the Snapchat IPO in March, reports that digital ad revenues surpassed traditional TV for the first time, and numerous, impactful acquisitions as the industry continues to consolidate. And it looks like the programmatic industry is headed for another banner year in 2018. In a recent forecast, eMarketer estimated four out of every five US digital display dollars will transact programmatically next year, totaling nearly $40 billion. With this kind of staggering growth, new innovations and changes in the marketplace can’t be far behind. The question is, what can you realistically expect to see in 2018? At Goodway, we’ve studied shifts in auction dynamics and new machine learning technologies to better understand which factors will have the biggest impact on your media in the coming months. Before you download our second annual programmatic pricing guide, here’s a sneak peek at our 2018 programmatic predictions: Notice a reoccurring theme in our 2018 programmatic predictions? The key to getting ahead and staying ahead in the future will be leveraging the latest advances in data science. Machine learning technology, combinatorial bidding algorithms and supply path optimization are just the start. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real data science that delivers over a 20% increase in campaign performance. And in 2018, it will determine how your media investment turns out. Each year, we bring you more than just an annual forecast. We research the newest digital trends and share advice on how to get the most value from your media dollars. And our latest guidebook is no exception. To learn more about what your programmatic is worth and how to value your media investment in the coming months, download our second annual programmatic pricing guide below. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

3 Ways AI Marketing Will Revolutionize Your Ad Campaigns

3 Ways AI Marketing Is Going to Revolutionize Your Ad Campaigns As consumers, artificial intelligence (AI) is an everyday part of our lives – whether we realize it or not. AI technology powers our Google Maps, Siri, Tesla self-driving cars, and Netflix. Even as artificial intelligence automates more and more of the world around us, its most anticipated applications for marketers and advertisers are just emerging. According to a 2017 Economist Intelligence Unit report, 79% believe AI will make their jobs easier and more efficient. So, it’s no surprise that by 2025, the artificial intelligence market is expected to surpass $100 billion. AI marketing is finally a reality, and everyone in the industry is clamoring to discover the possibilities…

What AI Is and What AI Isn’t

Artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept. Over the years, it has become synonymous with everything from the Terminator to Alexa. At its core, artificial intelligence refers to the branch of computer science focused on creating intelligent machines that act like humans. But AI isn’t meant to replace humans (or our jobs). In today’s ad tech world, artificial intelligence represents a way for marketers to sift through big data in milliseconds and find insights about customers that will enhance the user experience. No longer a dream of sci-fi pop culture, AI systems and technologies have already begun to proliferate in the marketing industry. AI technology is quickly becoming an important factor in marketing success, so how can you take advantage in the coming years?

  1. Say goodbye to media planning as you know it. Instead of reaching females in their 30s on mobile devices who like cooking, you can target Sally on the device she uses most when she looks up recipes. Hours spent strategizing audiences will be a thing of the past — AI tech can tell you exactly who to target based on data from consumers’ browser histories, chatbot conversations, and more.
  2. Save money with smarter bidding. Targeting truck lovers using Chrome on NFL.com isn’t worth the same price at 8 a.m. on Wednesday as it is at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Machine-learning algorithms account for these differences and vary your bid based on the context in which the ad is served, which means you’ll win more impressions at the value they are actually worth.
  3. Get closer to your customers. When you watch Netflix recommended shows, an artificial intelligence uses real-time data to predict your mood in that moment and make the right movie suggestion. The same predictive technology can be used to bring back the human touch in your ads. For instance, pairing a “chance to win” incentive with spirited users who just set their fantasy team lineup.

Ready or not, artificial intelligence is here. It’s no longer a question of if you will use AI technology but when you’ll start maximizing its potential on your campaigns. Will you be investing in AI marketing this year? Reach out to us to learn more.