5 Business Strategies From a Top Strategic Planner

Your goal: to be a strategic powerhouse.

But how do you make it happen? According to our Campaign US AOY Strategic Planner award nominee Nick Gaudio, you should focus on these five themes: business planning strategy workshops, digital transformation, cookie deprecation, measurement, and new business. For each theme, identify the pain points, break down the whys for the issues at hand and develop a solid process to address them.

Digital media strategic planning is cyclical and never done, but try to enjoy the process and let your past insights fuel your future plans. Read on to learn about the fresh business strategies pulled right from Nick’s playbook you can implement for success now.

1. Conduct Business Planning Strategy Workshops.

Like Nick has done here at Goodway Group, use business planning strategy workshops as a tool for clients and internal teams to rally around central business issues and develop goals and action plans to resolve them. These three-day intensive workshops can be done flexibly – fully remote or adapted to in-person meetings for clients.

On the workshop’s first day, encourage participants to tackle identity exercises to determine client needs, market position and perceived issues.

On the second day, ask the team to outline goals to address each identified issue (ensuring the goals are achievable within the determined time frame).

Finally, on the last day, help the team develop detailed action plans, set KPIs and assign an owner to each step in the process.

These business strategy workshops can result in tangible outcomes for your account teams and help your client see you as an extraordinary digital partner.

For example, out of its strategy workshop, our major automotive client developed three new products – including a connected TV solution, a video unit with an omnipresent overlay and an audience discovery tool – all which enticed dealership groups and boosted sales.

Another business strategy workshop Goodway recently conducted led to high-leverage and business-critical action steps for our farm equipment client and was instrumental in our taking on the role as the client’s agency of record.

Nick also recently led a business planning workshop for our custom engagement jeweler client. The strategy workshop’s results led the jeweler’s corporate suite to adopt a transformative two-year cross-tier business plan.

Business planning strategy workshops have led to exciting breakthroughs for our clients but also for Goodway as well. In fact, Nick helped Goodway’s creative team develop a three-phased strategy to expand our creative services to include content strategy, email marketing, motion graphics and advanced personalized creatives and websites.

2. Make Your Digital Data Transformation.

The clock is ticking. With third-party cookies soon going away, getting your data in order is even more important than before. Nick’s best advice? Examine how you’re buying digital media, solidify your overall digital marketing strategies and ramp up your first-party data foundation.

To ramp up our farm equipment client’s data hygiene, Nick worked with lead data engineer, Experian, and legal teams across the client’s organization to develop a transformation road map: This map included insights for greater upselling and cross-selling, more impactful email campaigns and customer journey analyses.

Late last year, Nick also consulted on our fitness client’s business. He worked closely with the company’s upper management to diagnose the existing data strategy –  including process, porting and usage – to provide a project plan and help prepare the brand for cookie deprecation. The multi-stage project plan has already kicked off and will continue over the next few years and includes mapping, privacy compliance, use cases and goals, operationalizing data to other platforms, maintenance and ongoing upkeep and organizational development.

Put Nick’s project plan in place yourself by doing the following:

— Map: Connect existing warehouse and data from media vendors.

— Adhere to Privacy Compliance: Assess the opt-in data validity and whether it needs to be enriched.

— Gather Insights and Set Goals: Evaluate the customer journey to establish data hygiene goals.

— Port Data to Other Platforms: Streamline existing ports and identify gaps in data platforms.

— Think Through Maintenance: Determine which resources will be allocated for upkeep.

— Focus on Organizational Development: Structure and promote data literacy.

Taking on these digital data transformation projects now can help you prepare for a world focused on first-party data.

Cookie deprecation is top of mind for marketers and has been for the last couple of years, and Nick’s significant contributions have helped Goodway better prepare for a cookieless future. Here’s how to prepare too.

Assess Data Clean Rooms.

Assess data clean rooms and test how they work with client first-party data. For helpful pointers, see Nick’s data clean room guide, which makes this technical topic easy to understand. The resource will walk you through what data clean rooms are, why they’re essential and on the rise, who the key providers are and what steps to take next.

data clean rooms guide cover

Explore Contextual Targeting.

Nick worked with Oracle to develop contextual targeting segments for some of Goodway’s largest clients. These segments allowed our clients to reach in-market shoppers and individuals who may have opted out of cookie pools or were not yet included within in-market audience segments.

The contextual segment project Nick worked on with Oracle was a big win for Goodway clients. Oracle Data Cloud’s context conversion rates exceeded standard conversion benchmarks for Goodway by 60%. Additionally, our custom Predicts segments (meaning segments that Goodway developed) exceeded standard contextual conversion rates by 12%. Due to these results, contextual revenue for our major automotive client increased 194%! Goodway even won the Context Award for Best Application of Positive Contextual Targeting at the Oracle Markie Awards.

Focus on the Road to Deprecation.

Nick has established a three-step customizable sublimation process for Goodway’s existing clients that he calls the “Road to Deprecation.” Take on the digital frontier and embrace your cookieless future by following his three steps:

— Diagnose and look at what breaks when cookies go away.

— Look at data transposition and what solutions are available and the technical and personnel requirements needed within each of those options.

— Translate measurement. Figure out how you can coalesce around measurement not reliant upon cookie-dependent solutions from the digital media industry’s existing digital KPIs.

4. Boost Your Measurement Capabilities.

Smart measurement is essential, and now’s the time to explore audience testing, clean rooms and incrementality. Focus on matching first-party data to campaign data first.

Nick co-created a proprietary new data analysis tool called Real Audience that matches first-party client data to Goodway’s campaign data to identify affinity audiences. These audiences drive test-and-learn road maps that are applied to accounts and recapped in monthly reporting and quarterly business reviews. The tool can also implement champion-challenger tests as part of Goodway’s optimization process.

The Real Audience data analysis tool has already led to some interesting discoveries for our clients. Our branded payment solution client found its audience has an affinity for blogs and social media consumption, which prompted a new influencer campaign.

Our weekend apparel brand used Real Audience outputs to create dynamic messaging tailored across a newly discovered audience for a robust Black Friday campaign.

Finally, a Goodway internal client team used Real Audience to discuss audience-centric insights and performance with our major automotive client, which we weren’t allowed to do previously.

5. Drive New Business.

Use your strategic planning and consulting skill set to develop go-to-market strategies and drive new business.

When a vehicle records company began working with Goodway to develop a go-to-market strategy, Nick used indicators such as CarFax and used vehicle searches across metropolitan areas to create a push-pull recommendation to help build the company’s brand awareness. Our vehicle record client’s strategy bolstered its reach, increasing its dealer partner network by 82%, and the client is excited about the strength of the strategy and the insights and opportunities to come.

Ready to bring your brand vision and plan to life? To receive insights and clear action steps of your own? Connect with us now for a no-obligation complimentary assessment to see where you stand and how far you can go – and how to make your innovative business strategies count to grow your brand and find greater success this year.