Interview with Goodway Group Managing Director / COO Jay Friedman


In our running series of blog posts featuring influential members of the digital media industry, we’re proud to feature Jay Friedman’s comments in today’s blog post.

Name: Jay Friendman

Position: Managing Director / COO

Company: Goodway Group

What is the most difficult piece of your digital media operation to explain to a potential client? How do you overcome this obstacle?

Ad serving without a doubt because it is the central nervous system of all display/mobile/video.  Ad serving drives bidding, auctions, RTB, creative testing, dynamic creative, and a whole host of other elements of digital media that make digital media so malleable and successful.

So many people I€™ve spoken to simply can€™t get their head around the fact that 1,000 bids can pour into a system to decision bids and creative in .12 seconds and that within .4 seconds all the decisioning is done and the ad is on its way to serving €“ all without the user realizing what is being done as the page loads.

But, to understand digital media outside of SEM and affiliate this is required knowledge.  I€™ll also say that any time I€™ve taken the time to explain how this works I€™ve never had anyone walk away confused.  It€™s not that hard once it€™s put into layman€™s terms.

What€™s the biggest problem with the media industry today? How is your company addressing it?

I won€™t speak to media overall but I€™ll respond to the digital ecosystem within all media.  I honestly believe one of the biggest problems in digital media is the notion that it is actually a good thing to bash our industry publicly by leaders within our industry.  Not one week passes without seeing an article or quote from a speech from an industry thought leader that details all of the €œproblems€ with our industry and why they don€™t blame clients for not spending more in digital.  This is ridiculous.  Who does this?

First, pointing out problems while providing solutions is a good thing.  Pointing out problems without solutions is awful.

Second, most of these comments are wrong anyway.  Take the notion of €œbanner blindness€.  Really? People don€™t see banners anymore?  Then why does brand study after brand study show improvements in all major brand metrics throughout a campaign?

More examples are available via our blog.

Where do you see digital media going in the next year? 5 years? 10 years?

This one is easy.  Programmatic buying (real time decisioning/bidding on an impression by impression, user by user basis) is the biggest and most radical change to happen to the media agency business since computers were put on buyers€™ desktops.

Those who master programmatic buying will win the digital game and ultimately the TV game.  TV will ultimately become programmatically buyable and insertable.  It€™s the current holy grail.  Right now content creators and delivery companies (cable/ATS/fiber) are scared to death of it.

Just like the transition away from physical media to digital within the music industry, the industry will go this way.  As iTunes did for digital music, someone else will do for programmatic TV buying.  And the agencies who are already masters will have a big advantage.

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