Goal Prioritization Is Paramount for Programmatic

Contributed by Noah Everist, Director Account Strategy, at Goodway Group

What if you thought you were playing soccer? You got on your shin guards, kicked the ball around, and showed up to play but instead EVERYONE else is playing a different sport? Pretty hard to play the game to the best of your ability without knowing the ground rules, right? And if no one knows what the rules should be, it would be complete chaos. Kicking. Tackling. Ugly. Goals help crystallize what your priorities should be in order to reach them. This process makes us more productive. It keeps us on track. It keeps us accountable.


Goals are especially important in the programmatic landscape:

  • Programmatic works quickly. The buying process takes tenths of a second, making it challenging to adjust on the fly.
  • Computers are binary. Having empirical data to input is imperative. That is what they relentlessly optimize toward.
  • Traders need to know what a “win” is to also work toward the stated goal.


  • Determine what your business model needs to be successful in programmatic.
  • If you don’t know, discuss this with your programmatic partner.
  • Be clear about your goal definitions.
    • What does a lead mean?
      • Is it a website activity or phone call?


  • Lead and awareness goals will use different tactics and optimize toward different metrics: viewability vs. eCPA, for example.
  • You may start with the same budget and timing, but you’ll have two different results based on your different goals.
  • Be sure your anticipated results are backed up by appropriate goals.


  • Pick one goal and stick to it.
  • If you change it during the campaign, you essentially have to start over.
  • Every campaign element is optimized to hit your goal—ad size, frequency, time of day, etc.
  • If you have multiple goals, prioritize them and ensure they are congruent with each other—leads to sales—or you’ll set up your campaign for failure.


Understanding your goals and what they mean to your organization are critical to a campaign’s success. We will ask you key questions and then ask them again to ensure we are aligned with your vision. We will encourage you to delve deep into the sales funnel so your marketing dollars are invested as efficiently as possible. When we are one team working toward the same goals . . . then, press start.

Noah is a 15-year agency veteran who brings his deep cross-channel and cross-vertical media experience to the digital table. He co-created an agency trading desk, leading a trading team into the real-time-bidding environment before it was an industry-accepted practice. As a member of the sales-enablement team, he lives on the front lines of the digital world providing our clients holistic strategy recommendations, insightful research, and in-depth analysis and evangelizing all things programmatic. You can find him in an airport near you on his way to a client meeting.