Suffolk University Partners with Boston Celtics, Hosts Hackathon with Provalytics CEO

Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School recently announced a new partnership with the Boston Celtics, launching an interdisciplinary Sports Management program in Fall 2023.  As part of this collaboration, the university hosted a ‘hackathon’ event on March 3 during its annual Bridging the Gap Marketing Conference, powered by VistaPrint. Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics and a member of the Marketing Advisory Council for Suffolk University, participated as a judge in this event.

The hackathon was aimed at helping the Celtics grow awareness and increase the number of applicants for black and minority-owned businesses in New England. Participating students were tasked with forming teams to address this challenge, demonstrating the real-world application of sports business to solve pressing issues.

Greenfield played a pivotal role in the hackathon event by lending his expertise and providing valuable feedback to the participants. His involvement not only elevated the competition but also showcased the strength of the university’s relationships with industry leaders.

The partnership between Suffolk University and the Boston Celtics is designed to offer students unique learning opportunities, including yearly projects from the Celtics and regular visits from their executives and management. Ted Dalton, Chief Partnership Officer for the Boston Celtics, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “We’re honored to be able to team up with Suffolk University to support a comprehensive and contemporary program that helps develop the next generation of sports business leaders.”

The new Sports Management program, directed by marketing professor Skip Perham, brings together existing sports-related courses from both the School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students can now major or minor in the subject and gain a holistic understanding of the business side of sports.

Perham emphasized the value of the program’s location, citing its proximity to the TD Garden and Fenway Park, as well as the numerous sports corporations headquartered in Boston, such as New Balance and DraftKings. While internships are not guaranteed, students in the program will have a competitive advantage when applying for positions with these organizations, thanks to the strong relationship between the university and the Celtics.

Suffolk University’s partnership with the Boston Celtics marks a significant milestone as the first AACSB-accredited business school in Boston to offer a Sports Management program. Dean of the Sawyer Business School, Amy Zeng, highlighted the importance of this collaboration, stating that it “exemplifies how we utilize our distinctive downtown Boston location and our multidisciplinary programs to create transformational and immersive educational experiences.”

The successful hackathon event, featuring the participation of industry leaders like Jeff Greenfield, further cements Suffolk University’s commitment to providing its students with exceptional educational opportunities. As the university moves forward with its new Sports Management program, students can look forward to even more hands-on experiences, fostering the growth of future sports business leaders.

The Suffolk University Boston Celtics partnership is a collaboration between Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School and the Boston Celtics NBA team. This partnership focuses on launching an interdisciplinary Sports Management program for students, offering unique learning opportunities, such as yearly projects from the Celtics, regular visits from Celtics executives, and access to industry leaders.

The Sports Management program at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School is set to begin in Fall 2023. It will offer both a major and minor in Sports Management, providing students with a holistic understanding of the business side of sports.

Suffolk University’s Sports Management program is unique due to its partnership with the Boston Celtics, its downtown Boston location, and its connections with various sports corporations headquartered in the city. Students in the program will have access to yearly projects from the Celtics, visits from their executives, and a competitive advantage when applying for internships with sports-related businesses in the area.

The hackathon event, held during the annual Bridging the Gap Marketing Conference at Suffolk University, was an initiative powered by VistaPrint and supported by the Boston Celtics. Students formed teams to address a challenge related to growing awareness and increasing the number of applicants for black and minority-owned businesses in New England. Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics and a member of the Marketing Advisory Council for Suffolk University, participated as a judge in the event, providing valuable insights and feedback to the participants.

How Should Brands Adapt During a Crisis? An interview with Bill Harvey

During times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, brands changed their messaging and advertising. Instead of avoiding coronavirus-related content, Bill Harvey, founder of Research Measurement Technologies, contends that brands could use the resonance score – the level of similarity between the RMT DriverTags in branding and content consumed by viewers – to create impactful ads. Brands can take advantage of the opportunity to introduce new uplifting and inspiring messaging, recognizing and honoring the work of frontline workers and heroes who played critical roles during the pandemic.

During uncertain times, marketers often face the temptation to cut marketing budgets. But according to Bill Harvey, a marketing analytics pioneer and CEO of Research Measurement Technologies (RMT), this could be a big mistake.

Bill Havey

Bill Harvey

In an interview with Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics, Harvey discussed the importance of marketing during times of contraction, emphasizing that brands should not pull back, but instead find new ways to connect with their audience.

One way brands can do this is through what Harvey calls “quality of life advertising.” Instead of focusing solely on product differences, brands should create inspiring, entertaining, useful, informative, educational, and uplifting messaging.

By doing so, they can bring value to consumers during difficult times and build brand loyalty. Harvey also emphasized the importance of understanding DriverTags.


Driver Tags

According to Harvey, RMT DriverTags are the scientifically proven behavior driving motivators which connect an ad and a brand to a person’s most important underlying subconscious motivations in life. They include emotional benefits, core values, mindsets, need states, character, and personality types. A DriverTag is an empirically derived variable identified by machine deep learning to cause behavioral change. There are 265 DriverTags.

For example, if a brand is promoting a new luxury car, the DriverTags might include the Motivations (macro clusters of DriverTags) Status/Prestige, Power, and Leadership. At a more nuanced level, an ad might include Need States (micro clusters of DriverTags) of Glamour and Perfectly Made. The more the DriverTags in an ad align with the audience’s interests and needs, the more effective the ad is likely to be. The same is true of the alignment between the DriverTags in the ad and the DriverTags in the media context (program, website, app, publication, etc.).

Harvey emphasizes that DriverTags were identified through data analysis, not mere creative intuition. By analyzing the performance of previous ads and identifying the key concepts that drove engagement, brands can hone in on their most effective DriverTags and use them to guide their marketing strategy.

Ultimately, the goal is to create ads that are as relevant and engaging as possible for the target audience, and that require a deep understanding of what drives their decision-making. By identifying and leveraging DriverTags, brands can increase their chances of resonating with their target audience and driving sales.

A recent analysis by the ARF Cognition Council found that Driver Tags explain 48% of sales.

Crisis Marketing

Harvey believes that there is an enormous opportunity for brands to connect with their audience during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than immediately blocking their ads from coronavirus-related content, brands should find ways to pick up on the DriverTags in the content and create creative messaging that aligns with the current situation. This could include highlighting the heroes who are doing frontline research and caring for the ill, creating ads that inspire courage, and messaging that uplifts the spirits of those who are struggling.

Mind Magic

In addition to his expertise in marketing and media, Bill Harvey is also an author of a book titled “Mind Magic: Techniques for Transforming Your Life.”  The book is a compilation of techniques and mind tricks that Harvey has collected and refined throughout his life.

Harvey began working on the book in his thirties when his friends suggested that he should publish his collection of tricks that had been tested and proven to work.

The book is 12 chapters, each focusing on a specific trick, such as avoiding hasty closure, breaking assumptions, and changing perspective.

The techniques presented in the book are practical and can be applied to various aspects of one’s life, from improving decision-making to enhancing creativity.

The book has been well-received and has been used as a course text at universities such as NYU, UCLA, West Point, the Naval War College, and more.

Brand Marketing

Brands must be strategic and creative in how they adapt to the rapidly changing world during a crisis. According to Harvey, brands must use data to understand the consumer mindset and to ensure that the message is both relevant and resonant with the audience. By incorporating DriverTags, brands can drive home their message and create a more powerful impact.

Moreover, it is equally important for brands to understand the value of branded content that isn’t solely focused on selling a product. This strategy of quality-of-life advertising, as Harvey calls it, can be incredibly effective in communicating the brand’s values and creating an emotional connection with the audience. Finally, the importance of maintaining a consistent presence in the market, even during a crisis, cannot be overstated. Brands that pull back risk losing market share and their connection with the audience. Brands must rise to the challenge and adapt creatively to remain relevant and connected to consumers during a crisis.


Bill Harvey is a highly accomplished marketing and advertising research expert with over 50 years of experience in the industry. He is the co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of TRA, Inc., a consumer behavior data and analytics company. He is also the founder of his consulting firm, Bill Harvey Consulting, which advises clients on research and marketing strategies.

Throughout his career, Harvey has contributed significantly to the advertising industry, publishing numerous articles, white papers, and research studies on advertising and consumer behavior. He is also the author of several books, including “The Art of the Media Age,” “How to Prevent Your Advertising from Sucking,” and “Mind Magic,” which provides readers with 12 techniques for tapping into their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Harvey has received numerous awards and recognition for his contributions to the industry, including the Media Research Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ (4A’s) highest honor, the Advertising Person of the Year Award. He has also been recognized as one of Advertising Age’s 100 most influential media professionals and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences. Harvey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

RMT DriverTags are the scientifically proven behavior driving motivators which connect an ad and a brand to a person’s most important underlying subconscious motivations in life. They include emotional benefits, core values, mindsets, need states, character, and personality types. A DriverTag is an empirically derived variable identified by machine deep learning to cause behavioral change. There are 265 DriverTags.

For example, if a brand is promoting a new luxury car, the DriverTags might include the Motivations (macro clusters of DriverTags) Status/Prestige, Power, and Leadership. At a more nuanced level, an ad might include Need States (micro clusters of DriverTags) of Glamour and Perfectly Made. The more the DriverTags in an ad align with the audience’s interests and needs, the more effective the ad is likely to be. The same is true of the alignment between the DriverTags in the ad and the DriverTags in the media context (program, website, app, publication, etc.).

Harvey emphasizes that DriverTags were identified through data analysis, not mere creative intuition. By analyzing the performance of previous ads and identifying the key concepts that drove engagement, brands can hone in on their most effective DriverTags and use them to guide their marketing strategy.

Ultimately, the goal is to create ads that are as relevant and engaging as possible for the target audience, and that require a deep understanding of what drives their decision-making. By identifying and leveraging DriverTags, brands can increase their chances of resonating with their target audience and driving sales.



Provalytics CEO Advocates Health & Fitness for Business Success

The CEO of Provalytics spoke about the importance of prioritizing physical health in order to run a successful business. He discussed how investing in personal fitness can positively impact leadership abilities, mental clarity, and decision-making skills. The CEO also emphasized the need for companies to create a culture that values health and wellness in the workplace, and shared some of the initiatives that Provalytics has implemented to promote a healthy work-life balance for its employees.

We’re constantly trying to find that equilibrium in life where it feels like we’re doing a great job in our business and we’re doing a great job in our personal life.

But why does it still feel unachievable?

In this episode, I talk to Provalytics CEO Jeff Greenfield about practices he’s put in place to ensure quality time with his family, intense focus on his business, and the type of wellbeing that allows you to sleep 12 hours straight.


James Johnson
Jeff, welcome to Future Fit Founder. When are we going back to?

Jeff Greenfield
We’re going back to early 2022 let’s say March, February, March, 2022.

James Johnson
That’s amazing. What’s happening for you in March, February 22?

Jeff Greenfield
I’m at a transition time in my life whereI had built a company up from 2008. I exited in 2019 and spent a year running around some startup ideas. Nothing really took off. And then I ended up taking a job at 55.  And I’d never worked for anyone else my entire life. So it was a whole new experience. I didn’t want to do it at first, but my wife said why don’t you try it?  You’re always used to building teams. This will flex a different muscle for you. So I thought, okay I’ll give it a shot. Why not? Right? And did that, enjoyed it. But I enjoyed it maybe a little too much because some of the things about it were so different from a startup.

Friday night would come normally when you have your own company, you’re working until nine, 10 o’clock at night. You work all day Saturday, all day Sunday. Maybe you’re doing other responsibilities and other things, but the reality is that you’re really hyper-focused on the business. Well, Friday night would roll around and, and I’d shut down my computer and I wouldn’t look again until Monday morning. And I was like this is wild. I had never relaxed so much in my life ever. So that was a great kind of takeaway for me. But what I didn’t like about the job is the number of meetings where I wasn’t doing something. And as a founder, you’re constantly doing things. You’re wearing multiple hats. And when you’re part of a very large team, you’ve got to kind of stay in your own lane.  And, I guess you could say I’m a bit of a crazy driver, which all of us founders are because you, you’re shifting constantly.

And so, spending greater than 50% of my time in meetings was driving me crazy. So when I left in, in earlier part of 2022, I knew I wanted to do something new, but I was a little concerned because I hadn’t started a company since 2008. So, that’s a long time. And it’s a completely different muscle that you have when you’re starting something from scratch versus when you’re scaling it up versus when you’re up to like 50 or 55 employees, completely different muscles. So those startup muscles hadn’t been utilized in a long time, and I was afraid that they were getting a little weak, if you will. And so, I went to start this, but, I definitely had my doubts… was this the right direction? Should I look for another job? Dare I say or should I look for other opportunities?


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James Johnson
So 2008, you started your own business, you grew it successfully, you act, and then you are taking another job. And the elements of it that you’re loving, possibly too much , and now you’re doing your own thing again. But faced with this thought of, well, can I remember how to do this?

Jeff Greenfield
Because, the world has changed.  In 2008, things were completely different, especially in my business of advertising technology. It was the beginning of things. Facebook a new thing that had just started. Google was the most dominant player. There was no Amazon ads, there were no ads to buy on Walmart or Target. There’s CTV (connected television), the digitization of TV wasn’t even around now. The level of complications and the number of channels and things that have to be measured and accounted for, this is a whole new different world that we’re living in. So I definitely had had my doubts and I actually had a series of conversations with my wife, and I said to her, I feel like I’m starting from like zero.  And she said to me that’s not the case because I’ve been in this space since 2008, and I’m really starting from the point at which I left. And I’m going get to where I want to be so much faster because I know the business, I know the players. I know what the needs and the wants of the customers are. So all of those early discoveries that you have to go through when you’re building a product and building a business, I don’t have to go through.  I already know what they are. I haven’t lost touch with the industry. So that helped to set me straight. But I was definitely concerned.

James Johnson
Okay. So you’ve clearly got a very good advisor in your wife / coach . So that bedrock is in place. Does that fully address that thought of, I haven’t done this since 2008?

Jeff Greenfield
No, it definitely does not. There’s still doubts because everyday I’m doing things that are to lead to a response to get potential customers or take current customers and get them to sign the contract and move things forward. And that you always get frustrated because as a founder, we’re very positive about things because this is like a baby. I know it’s going to grow up. I know it’s going to be great, it’s going to be incredibly successful. But then there’s those other voices in your head that say, you haven’t done this in a number of years.  So there’s always those seeds of doubt that are there that you have to overcome. And I don’t care how successful a founder is and how big the business is everyone has doubts there, those are always there and they never go away. Sometimes they get a lot louder. And the key is to try to keep them under control.

James Johnson
So it’s not when things are going, when you just start now, even when things are going really well, there’s still, there’s still the capacity for doubt.

Jeff Greenfield
Oh, of course. Because one of the other things is that when you start out with a new business, you’ve got probably 20 or 25 things that you could do. And so you start to look at each one of them, and eventually you go through a process where you say, okay, this one I’m going to go forward with. But those other ones, they don’t go away because there’s a part of you that liked it and you’ve just killed it. But those little parts of you are still inside of you. And those are the ones who are saying, Hey, you know, maybe this was a better idea. So anytime you, you hit a roadblock and you hit roadblocks every single day, I always say the only way out is through. You can’t really go around it. You have to just push through. But those doubts are always there without a doubt.

James Johnson
And it sounds like the doubts are there, but the ideas, it’s quite the idea that you start with all these ideas and it’s so true. I mean, when, as a founder, ever short of ideas, , but you don’t try and kill them, but they’re still lurking in the background somewhere. And the moment of sort of weakness or doubt or everything that kind of in the back going, what about me? Pick me , try me.

Jeff Greenfield
That’s exactly right. And sometimes you say, people always talk about, do you have a plan B? And it’s like, as a founder, no, there’s no plan B, I’m just going to going to push through and make it work. But in the back of your head, you still have this idea that you’re going to do when you get done with this, this one, when this one is a huge, incredible success, this is the next thing I’m going to do. Because you have to have an outlet for that kind of stuff. And it’s important to write down and also go back and evaluate yourself later on.

James Johnson
That’s really nice. So this idea that actually just get ’em out of your head and get ’em on paper and just kind of check in on them occasionally, but on your terms.

Jeff Greenfield
That exactly right. If you don’t, they’re going to keep grazing in your brain and come up. But this way you can go and check on them every now and then, make sure they’re okay, and then leave them there. But what’s fascinating is that with time, a lot of ideas that you come up with don’t look so good. Years ago I would tell my wife every idea that I had and I literally drove her crazy.  I would tell her 20, 30 ideas a day and she would be like, okay, these sound great.  I come back 20 minutes later with another idea, completely different. She’s like, well, what about that one? Well, now I like this one. So I drove her crazy. So that’s where I started writing things down because I figured I’d write them down and then when I read them, they tend to look a little different. And I had to edit myself a bit with her, so I didn’t drive her so crazy.

James Johnson
I can only imagine. So let’s say if you started your previous business in 2008 and then you worked somewhere else by the time it came round to starting your current business, there must have been a lot of ideas to choose from in your head, both in the books in your head as you’re going through. How did you narrow it down to the one you went with?

Jeff Greenfield
When I started the former company in 2008, I had a bunch of different gigs that I was working on. I thought this was going to be like a part-time thing. And then as I became more engrossed in it and started scaling the team, those other things I had to let go of, because this really was a full-time 24/7 effort. When I left there I felt mentally drained.  The product was built, I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish, and I felt like creatively I was kind of sapped. So having two and a half years, and part of that was at a job, it let me start thinking about things. And I think that’s an important thing is that you can’t force this stuff.  Because when I left there in 2019, I had a couple ideas, but I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. And what I ended up doing was I spent two or three months just relearning how to code PHP which I found to be very relaxing and enjoyable because when you’re doing computer coding, you want to get from point A to point B, you want the machine to do something, but you get to decide as the programmer how it gets there.  And there’s a a million different ways and sometimes the hardest work is not in the coding, it’s figuring out the path. And that I found to be very creative. And that kind of sparked me thinking about possibilities and ideas.

When I left the job, I didn’t want to necessarily go back into my former field, which was measurement / advertising effectiveness.  I had been hearing about a bunch of other newer startups that were out there, and I was very excited. So I got demos of these companies with the idea that when I found one that was incredible, I was going to back it, maybe invest in it and help them out however I could because I’d been out of the space for about a year and a half. Well it turns out that in my time away, the industry had been rocked with all of these changes kind of an apocalypse of signals for digital advertising.  And out of the mist was a backwards look at measurement that didn’t account for things appropriately. And I felt like it was doing a bit of a disservice to marketers and brands.

I saw that an opportunity.  And there’s another pivot point that’s happening, which is Google Analytics, which everyone uses to measure their website traffic. You have to switch it over to a new version as of July of next year. And what that means for marketers is that there’s now going to be a new source of truth and it’s going to cause a lot of questioning.  So I saw this as a really good market opportunity where people are going to be scratching their heads. So the big players in the field are not looking at things properly, at least from my perspective and the biggest player in the field (Google), everyone has to now spend a lot of time and look at the data and it’s going to look different. So whenever people are questioning something that’s a necessity for their business, they look around and see, well, is there something else out there?

And so that to me, created an opportunity. And also, the way I wanted to build this business was to build it at my own speed. I wanted something that I could take the time to do. I could work with my first set of customers and treat them as partners because they’re going to help me understand what their wants and needs are, more so than what I even understand. And at a speed that I can also keep my relaxing skills that I took for my job on my weekends and not stress out too much. Because once you start hiring a team and building that up… to me, my team was always part of my family. I cared so much for my team. I remember one Valentine’s Day, my wife and I are out to dinner and, in my household, Valentine’s Day is like a religious holiday.  I mean, it’s a big deal. And we’re out dressed up to the nines and I get a text from one of my employees who has the same dog that you have, James and his dog was sick and he was at the emergency vet and they needed $600 in order to treat him, and he didn’t have the money. So I got up from the table, called them and gave them my credit card because I knew he would pay me back. I wasn’t worried about that. But I also knew that if his dog didn’t get healthy, his ability to continue to work, he was going to be constantly worried about his dog. And if there was something I could do to help, then that meant the world for me. So I was always on call 24/7 for my team. So I’m not anxious to get back there again. I’m enjoying the relaxing and the slow movement of building a startup. Those factors led me to say this feels like the right idea. I can leverage my experience, I can move at my own speed, and then when it gets to a point where I need to scale, then I have a decision that I have to make whether I want to do it again or not.

James Johnson
So actually, despite these doubts that you alluded to, actually, the previous experiences your wife identified allowed you to spot a market gap quite quickly. You were quite clear around the type of business you wanted to build initially, that you wanted to rather than shoot for scale. And it was about building something carefully with some key clients, partners, not building a team, really being focused on the quality of the work and quality of life. And take some of those, it would take some of the lessons you’ve learned around work life balance from, from from working that feels quite having that played back to you. Does that, how does that sound?

Jeff Greenfield
Yeah, you’re spot on in terms of that.  I remember one time when I was running my other company, I always had my phone on me anytime away. I was always working and I had made a decision that we were going to go away. I think it was for my birthday. We were going up to Maine and I let everyone know that my phone was going to be off for 48 hours. Now, everyone who needed me, they all had my wife’s phone number. So if there was an emergency, I would know about it. But I’ll never forget, I got in the car and as we’re getting on the highway, I grab my phone and I turn it off. This was terrifying for me. Absolutely terrifying.  But I turned my phone off and then throughout the two and a half hour drive up to Maine, I must have yawned a thousand times. My wife said that as soon as I turned that phone off, I started yawning like crazy. We went to this amazing little inn on the ocean, and that day when I went to sleep, I slept for 14 hours. And so I realized this concept that you have to have that balance and being able to, to shut off and know that things are going to be okay. I mean, this is where, as a founder, all of these tools are awesome, but they’re also somewhat bad as well too, because it’s so easy for you to be in touch with what’s going on, which means you don’t get to take a break. And we need those breaks. And that work life balance, the aspect of your overall health is incredibly important, especially when it comes to dealing with doubts that you have about your business.

James Johnson
See, that’s, and that’s a really interesting point. So what is it about, dealing with the doubts you have about your business and that combination with like, looking after yourself, how do those two play together?

Jeff Greenfield
Well, if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not healthy physically and mentally, it’s easy for those doubts to kind of jump in.  It’s just a natural thing when you’re strong, think about it, it’s kind of like a cold, when you’re eating, right.  You’re sleeping properly, you’re doing all the things that you should be doing, you’re taking time to relax. The chances of you getting sick, yes, can you get sick, but you have done everything in your power to ensure that it won’t happen. So I always kind of look at your body as it’s a gas tank when it comes to food and alcohol. And if you were to put water in your gas tank, none of us would be surprised if your car wouldn’t run.  It’s not made to run on water. And yet we’re constantly putting stuff into our body that we know is not good for it. We don’t eat enough vegetables, we eat food that’s not great. We consume too much alcohol, especially when we’re stressed out. All of those things make your engine kind of sluggish. Now, what’s incredible about the human body, unlike a car engine, is that we can do so much damage to our body and there’s all these filtration systems in it, but as you get older, your ability to filter out all that stuff and function is not there. So that’s one aspect is is having a healthy diet. The other aspect is sleep. Sleep is probably one of the most important things. And I know a lot of founders that don’t sleep a lot at all.
They’ll sleep like five hours. And there was a time where sleeping for a short period of time at night, hat was a sign that you were strong. But the reality is that’s a sign that you’re weak. And now I think people are starting to understand that there’s a lot of movements with, some of the mattresses that have the cool water that go through them. I’ve got one of them. And sleeping in a very cool environment is very relaxing, helps you go into a deeper sleep. So making certain that you get that seven to eight and sometimes 12 hours of sleep that you need. I think one of the other things that is important as well is that ideas and solutions for your business, they don’t always happen when you’re awake.
And once you start to eat better and sleep better, you’re going to notice that you’re going to dream more often. And it used to bother me that my wife and daughter used to talk about their dreams every day. And I was like, I don’t feel like I’m dreaming, but what it was is that I just wasn’t paying attention to them. So now I keep a notebook at my side table, and I’ll wake up at like three or four o’clock in the morning after a dream and I’ll write it down just like I write those other ideas down just so I have them to refer back to. Because it’s fascinating when you write down a dream and then you go back and you look at it and you’re able to find some meaning in it. And that’s the same place where business ideas come from.  It’s the same place where creativity comes from. It’s that other part of you, your unconscious mind that is always there, always watching, but it’s important to pay attention to that. I think the other thing that’s important as well is that, there’s no way that you can function throughout the day by working nine to five. You know, back before, in traditional work, people come to work at nine, they would go and they would leave and take an hour lunch to kind of chill down a little bit. And then on the way home from work, they’re driving home where they’re relaxing, they’re getting into that home zone. And now with people working remote, it’s very difficult to kind of power down, if you will. So I take an hour every day in the middle part of my day to do what I call a power down, which is I’ll go in, I’ll lay down on a couch or lay down on my bed, I’ll shut my eyes, cover myself with a blanket and just go and I’ll find that within like a couple of minutes, I’m, I’m zoned out.  I’m not sleeping, but my mind is relaxing and unwinding. And, when I wake up from that, I’m recharged, I’m ready to take on the rest of the afternoon. And I took that from years ago in my first business. I would work in the morning from like eight to 11, go out and have lunch, and then work again from four to seven. And after I would have lunch, I would go and I’d lay down and I’d go to sleep for a couple hours, wake up, take a shower again, like it was a new day. So I’ve kind of borrowed from that with that power down. So eating right, powering down, making certain you’re sleeping enough and, and writing down these ideas that come to you, especially in dreams are so important.

James Johnson
So here there’s two things. One is this idea that we equip ourselves better as founders by being in a better state. So that’s a natural things going to go wrong, all this stuff. But actually if we’re feeling better, we’re going to be much strongest deal with it. And second is the idea of just leaving space for ourselves for our creativity, for our recovery. And it’s not just a case of charge, charge, charge, charge, charge. Is that right?

Jeff Greenfield
You’re absolutely right. I always say to folks that your calendar should never be more than 50% full. Because you need time to recharge, you need time to relax. You sometimes need time just to think a little bit about a call or an email. You can’t move forward at lightning speed. And this idea that you can multitask, it doesn’t work. Now as a founder, you have to wear multiple hats. But it’s really important that when you put on that hat that you’re all in on that hat versus trying to do that and three other things at the same time. Because what ends up happening is you go back and you evaluate the quality of the work and you’re going to get disappointed. It’s not going to be up to what you want it to be and what you would expect.

James Johnson
So nice. It’s acknowledging there are lots of hats, but it’s been quite disciplined about when you are wearing one hat, wear that one hat.

Jeff Greenfield
Yeah. And you have to be in that mindset. And it’s very tough as well because for a lot of us, let’s say you’re scaling a team and you’re the CEO, but they need help in account management. Well, you’re not the CEO right now. You have to take that hat off and get in the mindset of account management, because if you want to help them, you have to think like them. You have to be them. And so you have to take yourself back to the early days of the company and rely on the foundations that you’ve established. Usually what ends up happening is when there’s problems in the business, it’s because there’s been so many new people that have come in and the foundations aren’t being followed that you set. So you have to kind of go back and remember what are those foundational ideas and concepts because those that you start are what builds a company when you have really strong ideas about how you want your business to run. And as new people come on board, they’re either not onboarded properly. So you have to take the CEO hat off and go back to your foundations so that you can help them.

James Johnson
So it feels, Jeff, like you’ve got a very clear idea around looking after yourself, creating that space. A lot of the pods I talked to my clients around from sort of being future fit. And you’re coming at this with a lot of experience, but you still have these doubts. When you start, what do you think’s going on there?

Jeff Greenfield
I think it’s part of what all founders fear, which is the fear of failure. You don’t want to fail because you’re all in on something. And that’s a natural fear that we all all have. And again, it’s those voices or a singular voice in your head that says, Hey, maybe you should do something that’s a little safer that’s a little more guaranteed, like the job.   But I’ll go back to that. The thing I did like about the job is that I got to see the inside of how big businesses run that I’ve always seen from the outside. And I saw it firsthand where most people, half the time, the decisions they made were in the best interest of the company.  And the other half of the time they were in their own best interest to ensure that they kept their job. And I found that a lot of people would build moats around themselves. And I started feeling that way. I started feeling like, this is so good that I want to build a moat around this. And I’m like, what am I doing? This is because to me, from a creativity place, that’s death. Because now it’s all about, maintaining where you’re at, and you’re in stasis, which is not good. Founders are like sharks. We have to always keep moving in order to breathe. So the failure aspect is always there. It’s always looming because we’re taking huge risk. And even though there is a risk, there is a risk that the partners you work with won’t like the product.  The folks you’re working with decide, Hey, I don’t want to work with you anymore. I want to work with someone else. And there’s always the human aspect of it. Every relationship, there’s different personalities. So there’s like, you know, the personalities can clash and then that can kill it right there. And also, I’m bootstrapping this instead of raising money and I’m moving at a slower pace than I would if, if I had raised money. And the disadvantage is the speed, because in a startup, you always, you know, you get the money so that you can move at a faster, faster speed and gain some market share. And this, so there’s a risk there. So there’s a lot of risk in order for me to maintain my, my work-life balance, or I should say my sanity in that case. And so that, to me, maintaining that work-life balance is, is my primary thing that has to be there in order for this to be a success. Otherwise, it, it won’t be successful because at the end of the day, I won’t be healthy enough to enjoy it.xxxx

James Johnson
Hmm. I talked to my clients a lot about, I actually quite, I don’t particularly like the phrase worklife balance cause I feel it sets you up to fail. It’s kind of kind like work life integration, just how, how, how you make the two work together. And actually the irony is I think when we get told, oh, well you think, I mean, I said myself earlier, like, it feels very sequential. Like you sort out your work and then you exit or you do whatever, and then you sort out your personal life. That feels very logical,

Jeff Greenfield

James Johnson
But actually ignoring your personal life, ignoring yourself actually makes you less likely to achieve your work objective. And so making sure the two work together, like you can go have Valentine’s Day with your wife and go traveling. She’s clearly a big part of what you do. Same thing, my wife is, my family’s everything. If your work goal, if they don’t work together, it’s not going to, it’s, it’s not going to work. Cause it’ll, you’ll break on the journey as as, as what, as what I see a lot. Does, does that resonate?

Jeff Greenfield
It totally does. And I, I talked to a founder yesterday who’s built an incredibly successful company. He’s raised a lot of money. And we reconnected because we hadn’t talked in like 12 years, maybe 14, 14 years now. And I was one of his first 20 customers when he started the company, and it’s now massive. So we talked about the growth that he’s been through, and I asked him about how, because they were hybrid before, but he would go into the office every day. But since Covid, they’re a hundred percent remote. And I asked him, how is that working in terms of integrating his, his home and his work life? And he, he said, it’s, it, it’s so much better. Because when he was at the office and it was a Friday night and he knew he should leave by five o’clock, but he had work to do, he would stay there till seven, eight o’clock at night and miss bedtime for the kids.
And when he is working from his home office, regardless of what’s going on at five 15, he, he shuts down his computer, he’s there for bedtime, he can hang out with his young kids and then if there’s something that would’ve kept them, he can then go back later on and work on it. So there’s no stress. And so this way, because he’s working remote, it enables him to, to spend that time with his kids that he wouldn’t normally get. So it, it, it, you’re right. It’s, it, it’s really about integrating it. And I, and I think for some, like, like this friend of mine, the, the remote is helping him. For a lot of others it’s having that addiction and having it right there it can, can make it very difficult for someone like me. It, it is very difficult. I mean, I have it in a, my computer’s in a different room, but most of what I do is on my phone.
So it’s very tough to, to not check things. And I actually, I had to take Slack off of my phone because I found I was checking it constantly. It became the thing, I’m sitting on the toilet and I’m checking my phone to, to look at Slack and I’m like, what am I doing? Okay, there, there’s, there’s nothing here that is more important than what I’m doing right now, . So I, and, and, and so I, I, I realized okay, I cannot trust myself, so take it off the phone. So I took it off the phone and it has cut my stress level down dramatically. So I, I know with my personality, I’m if it’s available for me. And that’s why in, in the instance of the story I told you earlier, I had actually turned my phone off. Cause cuz I, I can’t trust myself.

James Johnson
I think it, there’s one of the habits that I think we all like email, LinkedIn, slack. There are so many ways that we can get pulled into the business and that take us out of, out of whatever we’re meant to be focusing on that. And it’s some, someone will come with a good solution at some stage. Cause I, I have the same thing as you. I delete periodically, I delete email off my phone and it comes back on. I delete LinkedIn off my phone, it comes back on. I, I, I really like people who try and say, oh, I, I won’t look at my phone before a certain time in the morning. I think these are all really good habits, just really hard to stick to

Jeff Greenfield
It. Well, and the tough thing is that most of these were designed to addict us. I mean, we know that they, all of these programs with the exception of email, have been really gamified. And so they, they were designed to, to get our brains to constantly look at them. And it’s almost impossible. If you look at your phone and you see LinkedIn has got 25 notifications and, and there’s that whole, what do they call it? The brain reward Cascade theory. And, you know, and, and this, these are, you know, the, you know, clicking on that 25 number is like, you know, getting a shot of dopamine. It’s, it’s, it’s like, it’s like a hit on the crack pipe if you will. Hmm. so I turned off all my notifications except for text. Those are the only sounds that I hear. I actually have my phone, the sound always turned off, so it just vibrates. But I look at my phone when I looked at LinkedIn and my email, it doesn’t show me how many. So I actually have to take that extra step to click it to see which I do more frequently than I should . But if the number was there, it would probably be 10 x what it is. You know, ,

James Johnson
I, I went to a, a really interesting talk for about 15 years ago talk, talked about designing for laziness. Yeah. And the idea was to design your life for your house ever. So that the example gave couple is set example, like if you have any chocolate biscuits, put them on the top shelf so they’re not easy to get to and put like healthy snacks on the counter. Easy to get to. They suggested you had a tv, actually unplug your TV and put it in a cupboard . And then if you want to watch tv, and you had to basically put it on, put it on the wall and then plug it in. And that made it, I mean, now with Netflix and iPads and everything, and it’s all, it’s all gone. But,

Jeff Greenfield
Well with the, with the food example that you gave, what I found is that it doesn’t matter where the snacks are in the house, I will eat them, so will my wife. So we found that the best thing is not to have them in the house. Those is like no snacks in the house. And when, like the holidays come around for like Thanksgiving and people bring us pies and things like that, we will cut a slice that night and then it goes right in the bin. We get rid of it because it, my wife always taught me, she’s like, there’s no difference whether it’s in the trash or your stomach. So just throw it out. And so again, I can’t trust myself, you know, if there’s nice brownies in the house or chocolate or cookies, like the black and white cookies, I, I mean, they’re going to be gone. So I might as well just not have them in the house. That way I’m not tempted. I mean, if I want them, I can get, I’m making it more difficult. I have to get in the car and drive to the store.

James Johnson
, fair way to say it. I, I get, I’ll get, go out the house and g the bin

Jeff Greenfield
. That’s right. Yeah. No, I haven’t, I haven’t done that except for maybe in college. But I haven’t done that as an adult. Definitely not.

James Johnson
But I, I think what’s really nice about this is like you, you’re carrying this with like, so you’ve got these doubts in the business, you’ve got these habits, but it’s just acknowledging like there are situations where we can’t trust ourselves. Whether that’s small things like eating a bag of biscuits or whether it’s a bigger thing, like listening to ideas that are sitting in the back of our head. There are things that we can do by sound things to help us, like leave invitation out, have good habits, bright ideas down. There’s lots of practical things we’ve talked about. But that with all those things, it’s still okay to go, okay, maybe we can’t trust ourselves. And that’s noble

Jeff Greenfield
It, it, it’s totally normal. Cuz at the end of the day, you know, as a founder, these, these ideas, they come in and, and you know it like the back of your hand that it’s going to work. But you can’t forget one important thing. W we’re human. And, and there’s, you know, wherever there’s good, there’s going to be bad. So when things work out really well, there’s always a balance in life that yin and yang, if you will. So always, always be looking always be prepared, but also understand that, you know, you’re going to get to your goal, but the way you get there may not be the way you anticipated. It may be a zigzaggy type course. And not to be too hard on yourself about it and understand we’re, we’re human. At the end of the day, we’re, we’re going to make mistakes. And just like, it’s, it’s okay to have doubts. That’s a, that’s a human quality.

James Johnson
Hmm. I really like that. It’s, it’s

Jeff Greenfield
That we’re not infallible. We’re not perfect. And you know, even if you, but, and, and here’s, here’s the greatest thing about that is that if you’re a founder and you have an idea and you execute on it and everything works and you have this massive exit, I would argue that from a financial sense, that may be great. But for you as a person, it’s, it’s not great because we only learn by making mistakes. We only learn by failing a little bit. And it’s our failures and it’s our mistakes that we make that, that make us stronger and make us better overall humans, if you will. So you, you wanna, you wanna fail? I, I’ve all of, all of my failures, you know, I, I always say to my wife that, you know, if, if God or someone came down and said, Jeff, I can, I can make those failures go away and it, it will be as though they never happened. I would say, well, but I would lose the knowledge that I gained with that. And so I, I I, I love my mistakes. They’re, they’re part of me. And they make me who I am today. And it, it makes, it makes living life so much more enjoyable because every time you fail a little bit, every time you make a mistake, your perspective and your view on other people and, and other businesses has, has been expanded and shaped. And that’s, that’s a wonderful thing.

James Johnson
Actually. It was one of the driving forces he’s podcast actually was just that you always in the press or when you go to conferences or you go speak, it’s always a narrative of success. And it’s always a narrative. Oh, I set up to do this. I did these three things and hey, presto, I’ve done this. And even though we know that’s not how it worked, and they set out to do why? And so it went horribly wrong. We end up like, that’s not the narrow people tell telling these things. And so I think having a space where people can actually really hear what’s gone wrong and what’s going right allows us to realize that we’re all, we’re all the same. We’re all human. There’s no such thing as this kind of uber mench founder story. There are some, there are some founders who say, get incredibly lucky and just everything works, but they’re not very many of them. And actually we’re better, we’re better off for this journey as, as humans and, and for future businesses as well. We, we, cause it’s repeatable,

Jeff Greenfield
Right? And, and, you know, you can’t take it with you. We’re all, we’re all here to get along with each other and, and kind of make our way in life. And it, it’s been proven time and time again that having more stuff it does isn’t a road to happiness. I, I think, I think the road to happiness is, is you know, having a, gaining a good understanding of yourself and, and you know, being able to, to love when you messed up because of the lessons that you learned. And, and, you know, is that going to lead to a successful business following that? Maybe, maybe not. But I think following that leads to a more successful and happy human at the end of the day. And that’s, that’s really what this is about for me at least.

James Johnson
It’s about what’s going to lead to a successful founder, even more than as more successful business. So I think that’s, that’s great. Thank you so much.

Jeff Greenfield
My pleasure, James. It’s been a pleasure.

James Johnson
As you heard today, coaching opens up a whole range of insights and areas to explore. If you have a potential moment to revisit and the podcast or just want to learn more about coaching, book in for a 30 minute chat with [email protected]

2022 ANA Genius Awards – How Brands Optimize Data Analytics

The 2022 ANA Genius Awards recognized brands for their exceptional use of data and analytics in driving business growth. In this article, we examine the winning campaigns and explore the key strategies and tactics used by these brands to optimize their data analytics efforts for maximum impact.

Marketing Analytics is finally making its mark on big business.

On December 15th, join experts from Hilton, Sanofi, Pepsico and Prudential at the ANA’s 2022 Genius Awards, presented by Neustar.

Mission critical to any marketing campaign, Marketing Analytics provides a sophisticated GPS to drive data driven strategies.

This year, the ANA Genius Awards continue to showcase the best in data driven strategies from companies across industry sectors and revenue, including brands, media platforms, and nonprofits.

Selected by the expert panel of judges, these winning companies have leveraged analytic thinking to fuel bottom-line revenue growth, all while managing to address some of the greatest challenges.

The four winners include:

  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Adoption: Hilton
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Storytelling: Sanofi
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Innovation: Pepsico
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Growth: Prudential


The ANA Genius Awards showcases the best in data driven strategies from companies across industry sectors and revenue, including brands, media platforms, and nonprofits. Selected by the expert panel of judges, these winning companies have leveraged analytic thinking to fuel bottom-line revenue growth, all while managing to address some of the greatest challenges.

The ANA Genius Awards winners for 2022 are as follows:

  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Adoption: Hilton
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Storytelling: Sanofi
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Innovation: Pepsico
  • Winner for Marketing Analytics Growth: Prudential

Provalytics Co-Founder Presents At The ARF’s Attribution & Analytics Accelerator

The ARF’s Attribution Analytics Accelerator recently welcomed Provalytics Co-Founder for a presentation on the latest advancements in attribution technology. In this article, we highlight the key takeaways from the presentation and delve into the importance of attribution in modern-day marketing and advertising efforts.

Todd Kirk, Co-Founder & Lead Architect of Provalytics and Founder of Middlegame presented at the ARF’s 7th annual 2022 Attribution & Analytics Accelerator with Sameer Kothari, Global Media Measurement and Real Time Optimization Director at PepsiCo.

As the Lead Architect of the Provalytics AIM platform, Todd Kirk has again demonstrated the flexibility of Bayesian Seemingly Unrelated Regressions (BSUR) to drive business results for complicated, disconnected consumer journeys.

“Harnessing the Full Potential of Marketing Mix Models: How Attention, Creative and Audience Personalization can Drive ROI”, focused on how PepsiCo has reinvented the use of marketing mix modeling and developed a proprietary system called the “ROI Engine.”  The “ROI Engine” measures the ROI of full funnel marketing campaigns and informs annual plans with its channel level predictive engine.

At the same time, online media allows for even more comprehensive and granular measurement of the underlying factors associated with media execution and response. This is the “WHY” behind the digital media ROI results.

Working with Todd’s Middlegame, PepsiCo developed a leading indicator system to predict the ROI outcomes of digital campaigns based on attention, creative, and audience mix.

This allows the PepsiCo team to further dissect campaign-level incrementality into the underlying components of WHY.

Now in its seventh year, the 2022 ARF Attribution & Analytics Accelerator is the only event focused exclusively on attribution, marketing mix models, in-market testing, and the science of marketing performance measurement.

The boldest and brightest minds presented at the Attribution & Analytics Accelerator 2022—the only event focused exclusively on attribution, marketing mix models, in-market testing, and the science of marketing performance measurement. Experts led discussions to answer some of the industry’s most pressing questions and shared new innovations that can bring growth to your organization.

Analyze Google Ads Performance for Maximum ROI with Provalytics

Maximize your return on investment with Provalytics’ expert Tips on Effective Google Ads Performance Analysis. Learn how to analyze data, identify trends and make data-driven decisions to drive success for your business.

In this episode, we’re joined by Jeff Greenfield, founder of Provalytics. Jeff joins us to share his thoughts on how marketers can more effectively measure Google Ads performance.  In the episode we discuss:

  • What really is forecasting in marketing?
  • Why do you need to look outside of Google Ads to find the data you need to produce better advertising?
  • Is the AIDA marketing model still relevant?
  • What is incrementality?
  • The importance of upper-funnel marketing

Scott Colenut
Hello and welcome to the Internet Marketing Podcast, brought to you by Site Visibility. I’m your host Scott Colnutt.  And with me today is Jeff Greenfield, CEO at Provalytics, and we are gonna be discussing how to more effectively analyze Google ads performance. Welcome to the podcast, Jeff.

Jeff Greenfield
Thank you so much, Scott. It’s a real pleasure to be here today.

Scott Colenut
Would you mind taking a moment to introduce yourself to me and our listeners describing a little bit more about what you do at Provalytics?

Jeff Greenfield
Yeah, Provalytics and the reason it’s Provalytics is because it’s about proof and ‘prova’ is an Italian word for proof. And one of the things that has been lacking since the beginning of the digital era in terms of for marketers for planning is to figure out what is actually gonna work. It’s very easy to look back and say, okay, this worked in the past, is it gonna continue to work? But what Provalytics goes really full, full forward on is this concept of forecasting and people understand forecasting, because you know it for the weather, for earthquakes and things like that. And forecasting is never exact, but it’s pretty close. And that’s what this is all about, is being able to see, if you do this, you would’ve gotten this, and then you go and do that, and then it turns out you actually got that. That’s what Provalytics is all about.

Scott Colenut
It’s interesting about forecasting and marketing particularly because in my experience, I find that the description of forecasting is used interchangeably between people. Some people when they talk about forecasting, they’re talking about science and data backed forecasting, and some people use forecasting as a word to describe a best guess scenario. Do you find that there’s some confusion just with what forecasting actually is?

Jeff Greenfield
Yes, but both of those different sides are both accurate because what’s important here is that when we’re talking about forecasting a marketing response, uh, we don’t actually know because we can’t. And even back in my early days of my career with C3 metrics, when we were able to collect deterministically every single digital touchpoint, we still don’t know what was inside the person’s head before they saw that first ad. So we still don’t understand, we know how humans react advertising, but we, we can’t look at it from that aspect. So that’s why forecasting is all about the math and the models. And there’s a, a famous saying about models that all models are wrong, some are useful, and the reality is, is that no forecast is going to be a hundred percent or even 90% accurate. But the idea is, is that if it can just give you a little leg up and and point you in the right direction, that’s so much better than what most people are using, which is a best guess.

Now what’s important about this is that your best guess is a marketer because you understand your business better than anyone else. A lot of those assumptions and understandings also need to be brought into a model because there’s seasonality that’s involved with business. There’s trends and there’s also the competitive pressure as well too. So I, I would say that a forecast is a best guess, but it’s a best guess That is utilizing advanced machine learning and in some cases ai so that it’s a guess that would take, let’s say a couple of hundred humans to sit down in a week and come up with the machines and the math can do it in less than an hour.

Scott Colenut
What you’ve just said is music to my ears. I’m sitting here smiling because we talk about this concept, everything you’ve just described in our agency quite a lot. And what I find is that, um, particularly creative marketers can be often fearful of the data aspects of what we’ve just described. And really, as you said, the data is used to guide you. It’s not an exact science and there’s so much other context to overlay and factor into your model. So if you manage to get to the point where you marry data with ambition, experience and all that other context, that’s when the model becomes really, really useful, at least in my experience. Is that similar to you?

Jeff Greenfield
No, you’re absolutely right Scott. And, and sometimes though the model’s results will be somewhat counterintuitive, so you also have to be open to the idea that it may point you in a direction that you think is a waste of time. I’ll give you an example. A brand goes and they advertise, let’s say on the WWE (the wrestling site) during wrestling season because they’re selling something that they think that demographic is really into. So they advertise, they get tons of impressions and you know, they’re in e-commerce and they’re looking and they got zero sales from it, none whatsoever. So, what do they do? It’s, it’s a month long buy, they canceled the buy.  All of a sudden, three to four months later sales start coming in out of nowhere or, and, and what it would show up in GA is organically, it would just show up as organic sales.

It came from nowhere. So all of a sudden you’re organic, the number of sales that you can’t attribute to anything starts to increase pretty substantially. Now, back in my days at C3 Metrics, since we were capturing deterministically, not only clicks, but every single impression, we were actually able to see precisely where these individuals found out about the site. And so for a lot of marketers when you say, Hey, you know, that ad buy you canceled three months ago, you need to go back and do more of that because you, your ROI on it is ridiculously high. So you have to be open to understand that the data is there as a guide, but you have to sometimes get out of your own little box a little bit to understand where it’s going to lead you to and, and also to be able to follow it.

And that’s one of the toughest things for folks is that when models give recommendations and they say, this is the best thing that you can do, a lot of marketers say, oh, you know, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, because I wouldn’t do that on my own. And you know, and I’m here to say that this data and these models are here to make you smarter on their own. They’re not that smart. The only way that they’re really super smart is when you, the marketer take the recommendations and put them into the market and into play.

Scott Colenut
It’s a test of your ambition, your bias, perhaps your ego at times to take all of this in information on board and be open-minded about what they’re telling you with these models. Speaking about getting outside of a box and taking this back to specifically in Google Ads. So I’m assuming that in some way perhaps you find Google Ads analytics may be restrictive and maybe they don’t give you the information that you really need to help form these models on their own. Is that correct? And maybe just talk me through how you reach the conclusion that maybe you need to look outside Google Ads analytics to get this wealth of information that you’re talking about.

Jeff Greenfield
Absolutely, Scott, when you look at Google Analytics, one of the things that’s important is to understand where did it come from? And Google Analytics was originally a company called Urchin. And that’s why the famous UTM codes, you know, UTM source, UTM stands for ‘urchin tracking module‘. Back in the early two thousands, anyone who had a web server, urchin came on there for free. It was an open source platform that Google acquired. And what’s important to understand is that urchin and Google Analytics today is a very good measurement of how people get to your website and what they do on your website. I would argue that there’s others out there that are better, because of the restrictions that are coming into play with GA 4, which we can talk about later. But it, it’s, it’s important to understand that it’s primarily to let you know how did someone get to your website?

Well, Google Analytics and anyone who’s dug into their data will see that the vast majority of traffic that comes to your site comes in either organically or it may come in through brand search. When you’re buying, you’re bidding on your own brand search term if you’re a large enough brand. But what you want to know as a marketer is not necessarily how people click through to your website, but I want to know that big 80 or 90% of organic, how did they find out about me? What is it that brought them to go and search for me? What is it that got them to click on my brand search ad? Because that’s where you should be spending the bulk of your marketing dollars. And because we know that marketing is a funnel. Now there’s a whole argument it’s not a funnel, it’s a circular motion because of social media and there’s a feedback loop.

But I’m a traditional guy, I go with this AIDA model, awareness, interest, desire, and action. And that top of the funnel is very wide at the top. And that’s where you’re throwing out, you’re throwing out food and breadcrumbs because you want to bring people to the top of the funnel. And at that point nobody is searching for you. You’re trying to get to new people who have no idea who you are. Now what’s happened since about 2006 is that folks have been spending money on lower funnel tactics like search. And we’ve seen that large brands have shifted dollars over to where they’re spending about the same amount of money on what we’re calling performance versus branding. And remember, branding is all upper funnel and there’s a great book out there by Orlando Wood, published by the IPA called Lemon, how the Advertising Brain Turned Sour.

Right on the third page, there’s two graphs there. Orlando’s company tracks the effectiveness of ads and they also track ads spend. And what they’ve seen is that as brands have started to build out performance divisions, their funnels are now smaller. And as a result, advertising effectiveness since 2006 has been on a massive decline. And what that means is your ads have to work much harder in order to get the same results they used to get. Now what’s the reason for all this, the reason for all of this is because most marketers are using metrics that only look at clicks and how someone came to their website, they’re not looking at the most important component, which is impressions or reach to see how many people you actually reached. That information doesn’t come into GA.

And GA is great if all you are is marketing on Google. And a couple of years ago that was actually possible, but now the search market is so fragmented because now you’ve got Amazon, you’ve got all the retail search like the Walmarts and the Targets of the world, and you’ve also got all these other platforms whose data doesn’t come into GA, like Facebook, Instagram, Snap. And then you’ve also got things that a lot of marketers are utilizing these days, which is OTT / digitized television. That data doesn’t come in there either at all. So the reality is this:  GA is great for understanding how people got to your website and that’s it. But in order to understand what is driving them to come to the website, you have to go elsewhere.

Scott Colenut
And where is elsewhere? That’s the burning question. Where is the elsewhere?

Jeff Greenfield
The elsewhere for me is in my background in Multi-touch attribution, where we collected everything. This is going back to 2008 when we built the company and we could collect every single touch. We even had our tags that were live on Facebook, we had tags on Amazon, we had tags everywhere. So what would happen is that we would start measuring a campaign and we would see all of these impressions and we could track them all the way through to a conversion event. So in some instances for some of our clients, six to nine months, even before the person showed up to the website, we would have that whole trail done. And then with machine learning, we could point them in the right direction in terms of where to spend those dollars. Now what happened though is that all of a sudden Facebook stopped allowing tags and that wasn’t a problem because we had years worth of information and Facebook was really just one of the mix.

And then all of a sudden YouTube came along and said, oh, with all the privacy stuff, no more tags on YouTube, we’re doing this ads data hub. And what that meant was we could no longer get user level data. It was only aggregated. And then now you’ve got things like TikTok and you’ve got all these other platforms where you cannot get impression based data, especially OTT and CTV.  I exited C3 in 2019 and thought I was done with the analytics space for a number of years and then I started looking around after about a year or so to see what was out there and what I saw really disturbed me. And all of a sudden out of the blue there is an explosion of new analytics platforms that are solely based on clicks. Essentially they’ve duplicated Google Analytics, but it’s all click based.

And they have a way to suck in data via public API’s, so that it provides a very nice dashboard for marketers and marketers think these things are the most amazing things in the world. When I saw that, I was like, oh my God, this is like what they’re describing in the book Lemon. But now it’s happening at even more of a scale. And I had always wanted to be able to take the things I really loved about multi-touch attribution and create a new type of model that borrowed from the world of marketing mix modeling. Now, marketing mix modeling has been around for many, many years and it’s what most large brands use to determine their budgets. Typically once a year it becomes a whole project where they gather three years worth of data, they do a whole analysis and then they fix the model up and then they come back to the marketer and they say, okay, spend this percentage of your budget and TV, radio, and then digital is just one big bucket and that’s it.

But the nice thing about marketing mix modeling is that you can also incorporate any type of media like out of home, billboards, tv, radio, and even podcast and digital. But it was always a project. It was always like this huge heavy lift for companies. So what I wanted to do was to take that basic understanding and merge it with multi-touch attribution, to have something that was always on and always running, wasn’t a project, was based in impressions and based in reach so that you really truly understand what is driving those clicks to your website. And then also add in things that Multitouch attribution doesn’t have. So the most important thing that you’re not going to get from GA or any MTA platform out there is what’s called incrementality. And that should be the driving force of all marketers, which is trying to figure out, if I spend $10,000 here, how many more sales will I get than if I hadn’t done it?

That’s what incrementality is about. MTA and Google Analytics don’t include incrementality. Historically, the way you do incrementality is you have to set up a multitude of A/B testing and it’s a lot of work and there’s companies out there like that have done a good job of building out a service around incrementality testing. But at the core of marketing mix modeling is this concept of contribution. How many sales would you have received if this specific tactic wasn’t there? And so that’s incrementality as well. So what I’ve done is, if you can imagine a Venn diagram, if you will, of both multitouch attribution and marketing mix modeling, and we call it AIM or Agile Impact Modeling because it’s agile, it’s not stuck and it focuses on impact.

And the cool thing is this, with all of our clients, like right now we’re getting a lot of last month’s data from clients.  Most clients send this data either weekly or monthly. We’ll go through and we’ll model it. But what we will do with this last month’s data is we will hold back the last 30 days of data. And what I mean by that is that we will only give to the model the impressions, the clicks, and how much we spend at a granular level. We will not give the sales or leads or any other KPIs. And for, we run multiple KPIs for our clients. And then what that will do is that will show our clients how well our model is able to predict because then we’ll output showing this is how many sales you got this day, or this is how many leads and the model showed this. So we’re predicting it around 85% and it’ll show that for every single day for every single tactic. And in addition to that, when the model is done with that, it will then create a forecast.

And the forecast is based on the requirements of the client at things like, how far out do you want to plan, do you want to plan 30, 60 or 90 days? I can tell you two months ago folks wanted to plan out 90 days. They wanted a Black Friday forecast. You know, based upon last year and what we’re seeing in the market what is the best place for me to get the biggest bang for our buck so we can forecast out? We set the forecast timeframe, we set the budget. How much do you want to spend? Do you want to spend how much you spent last month? Do you want the budget to go up 10%? Do you want it to go down 10%? Whatever it is. And then also what we call the risk quotient.

How much are you willing to decrease or increase a specific tactic? And most of our clients are like around 25, 30%. Everyone says, oh, if something’s working really well I’ll go up 50%. But I’ve never seen anybody do that just yet unless it’s a very small amount. So then what our platform will do is it will go off and do hundreds of thousands of simulations. This is the equivalent of having these like 20 or 30 data scientists working on just your marketing plan for an entire month. And it will come out with the perfect plan and and based upon those restraints and requirements. Now of course, that’s why we hold back the last 30 days of data because remember last month our forecast definitely included this current month. And so as a result, we want to be able to show them how well we would’ve done if we knew the exact amounts that were being spent.

And what that does is it gives marketers over a period of time, a certain level of confidence that says, Hey, I can trust this thing. I’m now willing to take a bet. And I’ll tell you my early days of this, I had this vision that the way to onboard someone into the world of data and marketing analytics was to go to their office and do like a half a day presentation. But we would start it at like four o’clock in the afternoon and I wanted to make sure that we were at a corner window because outside I was going to have someone digging up the dirt and preparing for a fire walk because that’s what this is like.

Scott Colenut
Is there a sweet spot for the amount of time it takes for your clients to start to notice the trust in from them in the process.

Jeff Greenfield
It’s about a full quarter, so three to four months and you figure it takes a month or so to get up and running. One advantage that we have at Provalytics versus any other type of attribution, most attribution, if we get started today, I can only look forward. I can’t go backwards. So just imagine if you get hooked up with GA today, you can’t ask it what happened last month. And all of its decisions are based only from their first day. The advantage with Provalytics is that since we’re not using user level data and we’re getting data directly from the platforms, like from Facebook and Google and we’re doing daily data for most of our clients the day that we start, we can then get the last year & sometimes two years worth of data for some of our larger clients that have agencies.

They’ve got all of that stuff already in dashboards. They can push it out to us in a series of Excel files within a day. And then what that allows us to do is get up and running very, very quickly and provide a forecast that’s very accurate. And what most clients will do is for the first month, they’ll just look at it and watch it. And then what they’re really curious about is, okay, when this month is over, how well would the model have predicted? And then what they’ll do is, is that when eventually around month three or so when we’ve provided this forecast, they’ll choose one or two things that they will do and and they’ll do those and they’ll watch those. And that’s usually what happens is, and the biggest place where people can save is what I call the low hanging fruit are tactics that you’re doing that appear to be showing incredible results, but they’re really not doing it.

There’s something else that’s, that’s that’s, that’s doing that heavy lifting. And a lot of times the model will come in and say, you know, cut it the maximum amount and folks get very nervous. So if I do that, I’m gonna, my leads will go down, my sales will go down. So then there’s a negotiation. This is where the human has to come in and I have to talk to them and say, if we were to cut it 10%, would it make a difference? Oh yeah, we would see a difference say are, do you feel okay doing 5% cut just so we can get a read on it? And you can see, so they’ll cut it like a 5% and the month will go on and sales and leads are not impacted so all of a sudden there’s a question in their mind about their original assumptions and then we’ll cut it again.

We’ll now cut it down to like 10 or 15%. And then when sales and leads are still the same, that’s when folks say, okay, wait a second, wait a second. There’s maybe more here than meets the eye. And that’s really what it comes down to is that you just have to realize as a marketer, people don’t just show up at your front door to your store and buy.  Someone either had to tell them about you or they read about you, or they have been studying the category because of a competitor. So your job as a marketer is to figure out how do people get to that front door? Because if all you’re doing is you’re focusing your dollars on that lower funnel, right where the sales happen, what’s going to happen is your next quarter, you’re going to have to work even harder to do that.

The advantage of doing some upper funnel work and and working on awareness is that it pays off one and a half times. So it pays off much more than way down at the lower funnel. You need both. Remember those people, awareness, interest, desire those people at that action part of the funnel when they’re ready to say, yeah, I’m ready to buy. And they go search, your competitors are there and they’re trying to steal them away. The same tactic that you’re doing to them, which is the famous Google money making machine. So you need to be in all parts of the funnel and you really have to think about, and there’s some good guidelines too, based upon your business. So for example, if you are a retailer, let’s say selling clothes, and you’re online, that’s a seasonal business. So if someone doesn’t get into your funnel this month, you have a chance to get them when the seasons change because they’ll be out looking for new clothes at that point.

So you’re not so concerned about that. So you don’t need to spend 80% of your dollars at the upper funnel for that type of business. You want to be spending like a quarter in the upper part of the funnel and the rest throughout the funnel. But if you’re in a business like you’re a mortgage broker or you’re a real estate person, people refinance here in the US on average every three to five years. Now I know sometimes it feels like it’s more frequent than that when rates were really low, but right now rates are high. So the rate of refinancing is almost nil these days. But even if the rate is once every three years, what that means is that if you don’t get someone into your funnel today, you’re not going to get another crack at them until three years from now. So for businesses like that, where what we call the market purchase frequency is measured in years, you need to be spending like 50% of your dollars in that upper funnel because you need to get people into your funnel.  If you don’t get them now, it’s going to be years until you get them again.

Scott Colenut
I’m really interested in this upper funnel part and the fact that you’ve referenced the A I D A framework a couple of times. For me personally, I still use that framework as well, but with the complexity and sophistication of marketing and how it’s developed, particularly over the last decade, sometimes I do say to myself and wonder, am I just stuck in like the old way of doing things? Like should I be adapting my process? But I think sometimes amongst all of the noise in marketing, it does help to have some of these simple models and ultimately they still work for me and give me clarity and confidence. I’m just curious because you have referenced A I D A a couple of times. Have you gone through that same process as me? Have you questioned yourself on the framework? Do you still find that you use that framework and refer to it quite frequently?

Jeff Greenfield
I do. My data scientist, he really likes the model that Google created with the zero moment of truth. But I look at that and at the end of the day, my job is to help guide marketers on a journey to making smarter decisions. And I find that graphic and that explanation counterintuitive and really confusing.  So if you work as part of a marketing team, or if you’re in an agency andyou put together a QBR for a client, you’ve got all of this data in a PowerPoint and you pass it on to the client, the VP of marketing looks at it and he takes out some of the data and he creates a two slide deck for his CMO.

CMO looks at it and she knows she now has to do a board presentation. And that deck that was originally 20, 30 pages worth of data becomes like a single line item in the CEO’s presentation to the board. So at the end of the day, you have to keep it really simple because us human beings we’re distracted more than ever before. And even us in the executive levels of companies, it’s has to be real basic, the whole idea of an elevator pitch and that zero moment of truth, to me, it’s just anything that takes more than like 10 seconds to explain, you lose 99% of your audience. Whereas A I D A is awesome. And it was in that great movie, Glengarry Glen Ross [NSFW] which had an amazing line and he showed AIDA and that’s where the line came in coffees is only for closers. I love that.

Scott Colenut
Funny. So I really like that film, but I don’t remember that part. That’s funny. I’m gonna have to go back and watch that.

Jeff Greenfield
Oh,  it’s absolutely amazing.  An incredible movie about sales people and how important it is to work the leads and stuff. And it’s just an absolutely incredible scene. But the idea of always be closing and you always have to focus on that upper part of the funnel regardless of what model you look at. But A I D A makes sense to me. I’m an older guy, but I think the simplicity of it makes sense to a lot of people when you start drawing these circles and how it’s a loop. It’s like, okay, I’m a marketer, I understand it’s a loop. I understand that returning customers, there’s a whole conversation that we’re going to have via email, and my customer service has to be up to snuff and all that stuff. I get all of that. But what I’m worried about as a CMO is sales. And I need to know how to get more sales. And even for retailers where 75-80% of their sales are from returning customers customer and CRM is incredibly important there is always a KPI for new customer acquisition because without new customers, you are always going to have churn, and then the business starts to go in the wrong direction.

Scott Colenut
So given everything that you’ve said in this podcast so far today, and given what you’ve just described there about upper funnel activity and the importance and the ability to track it and awareness, I suspect you must be really interested in what’s happened on TikTok over this last couple of years.

Jeff Greenfield
Oh, it’s absolutely incredible the way that trends are starting from there. It’s really amazing. I have some clients that are spending decent amounts there.  I’ve been impressed by it, but I also still like to remind marketers, at least in the US, that the majority of folks who are spending money are 50 and over. And some of them are on TikTok, they’re not quite there, but I urge marketers to become familiar with it because it is a force to be reckoned with. And as the population ages, TikTok is not going to go away. Like we know now, the folks who first got into Facebook, they’re still there, but the younger folks are not. And then Instagram came along. So there’s these divides based upon age groups but it’s depending upon your product, it can be a great place to be.

If you’re looking to target younger folks, it’s incredible. But if you’re looking to sell more high end items or more expensive items, you, you’ve got to look at the more traditional channels, the traditional digital channels. But direct mail still works incredibly well. I don’t see enough marketers doing it. And there was an interesting analysis that was done years ago where a company had a marketing plan put together by an agency in New York City and one in Minnesota. The one in Minnesota was, was filled out perfectly. It it had them spending on billboards and spending on direct mail TV and radio. The plan in New York City had no TV, no direct mail, and had no out of home.

And the reason for that is marketers tend to think that everyone who buys their product or their service is consuming the same media that they are. And one of the things that brand teams have kind of got away from is years ago, and it really wasn’t that long ago, marketing teams would say, our client is ‘Nicole’. She’s 32 years old, she’s married, she has a dog, she has two children, and she lives in this type of household and these are the things that are important to her. Our other customer is ‘Brandy’. She’s 22 years old. So they would have these personas of who their customers were, and they would really do a really good job of digging into their personalities. And that’s what drove the strategy of the media plan. And what’s happened is marketers have got away from that because most marketers that are running campaigns now are digital natives.

They don’t have a cable subscription, they stream. So they never watch live TV. So TV would be completely off. They don’t listen to radio, so why would you buy audio? But they do listen to podcasts, which are great, but they don’t do direct mail. That doesn’t mean anything to me. So I, I I’m not gonna recommend to buy direct mail. But the reality is, is that these channels kill. And the nice thing is, is that when you think about the distraction rate, when you think about someone scrolling real fast, uh, through any of the platforms where your ads are at, there’s a lot of competition. And one of the interesting things that I found myself doing is in the morning, I’ll sometimes pull up Facebook and I’ll scroll through it or Instagram, and then I said, wait a second, wait a second, second, I’m curious how many messages, not just marketing, but messages, did my brain consume that quickly? And then I’ll scroll back and I’ll count them and it, it blows me away. I’m like, this is just amazing that our brains can take in all of that data. One of the advantages of out of home and direct mail and CTV digitized television is you’re not competing with anyone else. When someone gets their mail, they have to look at that envelope. It’s, it’s very, very powerful. Same is true of out of home. These things work and they’re great at building upper funnel awareness.

Scott Colenut
Mm-hmm. , there’s a great parallel in my mind between why I raise TikTok in discussion and what you are discussing there in terms of out of home. And I was going through, it’s funny you mentioned scrolling through Facebook. I’m not really on social media too much. Like I don’t find it, uh, my natural place to be. I really enjoy podcasting. I really enjoy writing longer form stuff is typically where I’m kind of at my happiest and most comfortable. But when all of these platforms are released, I experiment. And over this last week or two, I’ve been experimenting more with TikTok. I found myself scrolling through and thinking this is actually just a really passive experience. So there are comments and there is like functionality, but typically people are scrolling from one TikTok to the other, and that’s just a continuous loop. So actually this ability to track upper funnel awareness, the impression levels on something like TikTok, and I’ve seen exactly the same happen on Instagram.

You know, Instagram now, I, I remember there was a report I read a couple of weeks back talking about how stories, and actually just passive watching of stories has become the primary interaction on Instagram as opposed to interacting with like, uh, actual photos and carousel that are posted. So every indication to me is showing that with the video platforms, the emergence, the, the time we’re spending on video, we have less actual click and engagement data to work with, which makes that impression data even more important. And I just think that there’s a parallel there between the out of home stuff where you wouldn’t necessarily want to disregard the awareness that TikTok can raise, but you’re not gonna get the last click data that maybe you are used to getting from social media platforms 10 years ago with some of the ones that are emerging. Now.

Jeff Greenfield
You’re absolutely right, Scott, that awareness is so incredibly important. And if you, if you don’t look at it, you’re doing a disservice to your brand or your, your clients that you’re running marketing for. You know, a lot of folks ask me and say, well, you know, I understand that, you know, there’s a lot of very sophisticated machine learning and AI that you’re utilizing at Proletics, but you know, I’m, I’m spending, you know, uh, you know, a hundred, $300,000 a year in marketing. How can I figure out, how can I take advantage of this impression concept? And the way to do it is that one of the most, and this is why we based the model on impressions, because it’s, it’s kind of future proof. Meaning that anytime you go and do an ad buy anywheres right now, you can always log in and see, you know, all your creatives that you ran.

You can see how much money you spent today and you can see your impressions. And that’s across every single platform that’s out there now. And it, and that’s how things will be in the future. But what you can do is you can go back, let’s say over the last year, go into each one of your platforms and, and get at a, you can do it first at a kind of a platform level or a campaign level’s pretty good for every day of the year. Write down in a spreadsheet, you know, the, the platform name, the campaign name, how many impressions, how much money you spent, and do that for everything that you spent on. And what I would say with Google search is, especially brand search, I would look at your impression volume, not, not what people clicked on, but how many total impressions there were, whether they clicked on you or not.

It doesn’t matter because really what you want is over time you want your, your brand search volume to go up. So you put all these in a spreadsheet and then on another spreadsheet or worksheet you put in your, your main kpi, sales, leads, visits, whatever it is. And then you run a very simple regression analysis. And what regression will show you is which things are strongly correlated. Now, in order to do it like this, you have to get enough data, you’re gonna need probably at least a year’s worth of data. But if anything, it will point you in a direction where you’ll say to yourself as a marketer, huh, I I didn’t even realize that. Maybe I should look at this a little differently. And that’s where you say, okay, if I’m a small marketer, I’m gonna run an experiment. And so an experiment you can run, let’s say Facebook turns out is highly correlated to your sales being up.

Well, then what you wanna do is look at your data that you have on sales, and if you’re lucky enough that you have sales based upon states, what you wanna do is pick a state in Facebook and turn your ads on just in that go only in that go and then sit back and wait. The nice thing about a test like that is that it, it doesn’t cost that much cuz your audience is so much smaller and let it run for a couple of months and then look at your sales data. There’s a, a high degree of likelihood that you will see that there’s a pop of sales, uh, in Ohio or Dayton, Ohio, if you wanna pick a city and, and see how that works. And that’s, that’s, you know, the concept of this ab testing and, and, and, and doing experiments at scale. I mean, really the way to do it is you pick a city like Dayton, Ohio and Jacksonville, Florida, and in Jacksonville you run PSA ads, ads that are not for you. And in, um, Dayton, you run your own ads and then you see which campaign had the highest lift. But this is a way you can do it using your own data without having to go to a company and it will, will give you some insight that you probably don’t already have.

Scott Colenut
Always be closing, always be testing.

Jeff Greenfield
That’s the whole thing. And, and I know you’re a big proponent of it, Scott, is having a testing budget always have to be, because here’s the thing, I mean, what’s gonna come out in the next year in terms of a new platform that starts to light, you light the world on fire, you wanna make certain, as a marketer that you have budgets set aside, uh, that you can devote to that you don’t wanna always have to go back to the CFO asking for more dollars. And, and the problem today is that we have, and this was recently the, uh, uh, association of National Advertisers here in the us which is all the big, big brands. They had their annual meeting. And at this meeting, marketers were talking about how they are under pressure more than any, any other time to prove that this money that they’re going to spend will get this X number of results. Uh, so there’s a lot of pressure on this, and I don’t care how small or large your company is or how small a large your marketing budget is, we’re all feeling it. And so doing a simple analysis like that, or if you’re a larger company and you wanna have a platform like Proletics or any of the others that are out there, you need something in your corner to be able to demonstrate in a spreadsheet y spending, X is going to get you y in sales.

Scott Colenut
Some key messages that I’ve taken from that. Uh, just the importance of testing and what that can reveal. But you said something really interesting when we were talking about the gaining client trust and how it might take three months until you reach that sweet spot, but then after that three months period, you still retain and build trust with clients by, by focusing on these experiments. So what you’re doing is you’re making small bets. And it reminds me of a book that I read, and I think it’s called Small Bets. I’m gonna, I’ll put it in the show note description, but it’s about these small experiments that you undertake to build confidence and learn. You don’t go from zero to a hundred, you don’t mentally overwhelm yourself and commit yourself to too much. You really just validate your ideas. And it just sounds like, and, and do correct me if I’m wrong, but the part of your process of achieving and retaining continuous buy in of clients, it’s just by making small experiments. So you said maybe you negotiate down from 10% of a budget to 5% of a budget. It sounds like that’s a really important part of your process.

Jeff Greenfield
It totally is because, you know, it’s only from making small bets, as you said, that you can build trust over time. And it, and it’s, I I look at all of our clients as it’s a partnership mm-hmm. , uh, because I, you know, just like with them, you know, you have a vision in your mind of, of where and how to spend and how, you know, with our data, we come in and challenge some of those assumptions and move them along. I have a vision based upon my experience and time in this industry of, of what folks want and what they need. Uh, but what I’ve learned throughout the years is that they’re not my customers or clients, they’re my partners because that relationship goes both ways. They’re teaching me what type of insights they need to pull out of it, and that enables me to make the product even better. So it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a two way there. What, what I give to them in terms of insight they give back to me.

Scott Colenut
Curious about one part of forecasting as well, because we’ve experienced this in our agency, and I know we have different models and different ways of approaching things, but it sounds like we broadly have the same principles. We found that there is much more volatility in the forecast we’re producing this year because the 2020 to 2022 pandemic related metrics, uh, data that we’re using, those data sets have, uh, a lot of volatility in them, which don’t, uh, track against previous years. So yeah, the forecasts that we are producing this year have much wider confidence intervals. I’m curious to know whether that’s something that you’ve seen and if you’ve adapted your

Jeff Greenfield
Approach. Yeah, absolutely. Covid through everyone and all models in a loop, it, it, it completely did because we’ve never experienced in modern history a time where, uh, all, all of everything was shut down. And one of the most important components of customer activity is what we call adl, activities of daily living. So we know that sales are gonna be different during certain times of the year because people’s activities of daily living have shifted. So like during vacation season and people go away, they’re not sitting at their computer as much, they’re not going into stores as often. Well, ADL got thrown for a major loop when Covid came around because everyone was now at home with their kids whether they wanted to be or not. And everyone was forced to this new world of remoteness that we had never experienced. What was fascinating to me is that we had all the tools that were always there, but we never really utilized them at the scale that we are utilizing them now.

And so all models that were done pre C you kinda had to throw them all out because we’re in the kind of this new world, if you will, of shopper habits and buying habits all around. Uh, so what it means is, is that you can use a lot of historical data for your forecast, but you really have to focus on recency the most recent data that you have. For a lot of models. That’s very tough, uh, for them to do that. Cause you need, the more data you have, the better. It’s the recency that really matters these days in this post covid era that we’re living in.

Scott Colenut
Jeff, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you. I can tell that you’re someone that I can speak to for hours on. We could have gone off on so many tangents in this episode. So, uh, before I let you go, do you want to let our listeners know where they can find out more about you and paralytics?

Jeff Greenfield
Absolutely. Just go to That’s And go there and check it out. You can also go to and learn a little bit more about my background and what’s put me on this crazy journey of marketing analytics. And I’ve got to say, I never thought that this business would be sexy, but it really is sexy. It really is. It’s exciting to help people learn more and focus them in the right direction. It’s really incredible.

Scott Colenut
I can hear. And I appreciate your enthusiasm. It inspires me too. So thanks so much, Jeff. But now I just say thank you so much for your time, Jeff. This has been the internet marketing podcast. Take care.

The Cookie Collapse: How Are Savvy Marketers Adjusting?

The cookie collapse has shaken up the world of digital advertising, forcing marketers to come up with new ways to gather data and reach their target audience. In this article, we take a closer look at how savvy marketers are adapting to the changes in privacy laws and finding innovative solutions to overcome the challenges posed by the cookie collapse. From alternative data sources to cutting-edge technology, we explore the ways in which marketers are ensuring they can continue to provide a personalized and relevant experience for their users while respecting privacy standards.

The “cookie apocalypse” will mean the end of an era for digital marketing as we know it. We’ll discuss with digital analytics expert & CEO of Provalytics Jeff Greenfield how savvy marketers are adjusting and what strategies and marketing technologies these organizations are implementing right now to thrive in the new normal.


Hugh Macken:
And good afternoon everyone. My name is Hugh Macken. I’m with VMR Communications and I’m joined by my co-host Danielle Milliken.

Danielle Milliken:

Hugh Macken:
And we are here with a very special guest who I’ll introduce momentarily. And our topic today is the Future of Digital Advertising in a Cookie-Less World. And we’ll be looking at what the future is going to look like and how digital marketers can and should adjust to what is really a rapidly changing landscape for digital advertising. As I said, we do have a special guest. His name is Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff is an expert in all things digital measurement and he is an acclaimed expert. He’s been featured in many, many mainstream news outlets for his expertise. I recently watched an interview, you did Jeff, on Bloomberg and was just really impressed. We’ve known each other for several years. Jeff is the CEO of Provalytics. And Jeff, if you wouldn’t mind, I mean your resume is so long, I think you’d be better at summarizing your background. Would you, first of all welcome, and please tell us more about yourself and your background in digital measurement and analytics?

Jeff Greenfield:
Thank you so much Hugh, and Danielle as well.  In terms of my background that’s applicable for the audience today is I started on the brand side specifically doing branded entertainment, these large scale programs for brands that really get the word out. But that was back in the early 2000s and back then there was no way to measure anything. The measurement was really lost. People started moving towards digital because you could actually measure clicks and that was really cool. But then digital advertising got so complicated and it was really tough to figure out what was working and what wasn’t working.  So in 2008 I started a company called C3 Metrics. C3 was the leading multi-touch attribution company for enterprise clients. So we’re talking folks like JP Morgan, US Bank, a ton of folks in the pharma and the financial services space who spend a substantial sum each year on marketing.

And for them it’s very difficult to figure out what was working and what wasn’t. And it was an interesting time because we were able to get the entire digital trail back then we had tags that were on Facebook, even on Amazon for a period of time, even YouTube, we could collect all of this data and it was really incredible. So we had a full deterministic methodology of figuring out where you should spend your next marketing dollar to get the biggest bang for your buck, if you will. And then all of a sudden things, the world changed and Facebook stopped allowing tags, YouTube stopped allowing tags and that wasn’t a big deal. But now we’re living in a world where there’s so many different channels that don’t allow you to measure, not clicks, but the impression, which is that when somebody gets exposed or sees an ad.  And so you don’t have independent ways of measuring that. So I exited C3 Metrics at the end of 2019 and started looking at the landscape to see what was going on out there. And that’s when I started Provalytics. And Provalytics is the next generation of attribution that works incredibly well and was designed for this new privacy centric cookie-less future that we have. And that’s part of the reason why cookie-less is coming up is it all revolves around privacy and stuff like that. So it’s coming… 2023 and 2024 are going to be very interesting years with all of the changes that are coming up. And I’ll leave it right there with that, Hugh.

Hugh Macken:
No, sounds good. So Jeff, if you wouldn’t mind just elaborate a little bit on at a very high level what some of those privacy changes are from a technical standpoint. And I want to look at the browser level at the OS level. Apple for example, with its privacy policies. So cookies, third party cookies being deprecated, identity solutions being proposed by the likes of the trade desk and being adopted, unified ID 2.0. So tell us a little bit more about what changes are going to be happening on the technical side. And then I’d love to talk about of ways that marketers can adjust on the technical side, but also ways that marketers can adjust on the strategic side. So how might marketers align more closely with media? But let’s just start off with what are all of the technical changes that are happening with, just give us a bird’s eye view.

Jeff Greenfield:
Sure. I’m going to give a little history with this and go back to something that was called GDPR, which was the start of all of this. And GDPR is the European version of privacy controls. And the way the whole internet has always worked is that the internet was free and the reason it was free was because of advertising and everyone was automatically opted in. And GDPR came out and said, “Guess what?” People are not automatically opted in. And if you have a list of people that have said, “Hey, I want to get your newsletter,” you have to assume that none of them are on your list and you have to email them and ask them for permission. So that caused a ripple effect because there were a lot of companies that had built businesses on identity stitching, meaning connecting someone who was at their work computer with their iPad at home and their mobile device.

And they had stitched together all of these different identities. So when GDPR came out, it ripple effect occurred where a bunch of companies that were operating internationally shut down their European operation because it was so stringent it would be starting brand new again even though they had been operating for a half a dozen years. So the next legislative thing that came about was in California, the CCPA. Now if you notice and if you have a website, you should already have this, there’s a button or a link down at the bottom that says, “Do not sell my personal information.” So California came out with this law that says you have to have a link at the bottom of your website for California residents where they can access their information, they can ask you to amend it or they can ask you to delete it.

And the regulation states that you have to have a form that people can fill out and also allow for an 800 number. So when this first came out, a lot of people thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, but California just recently fined a very large retailer for this. So they’re getting very serious about that. But shortly after that, Nevada came out with another law and Maryland came out with another one. So from an internet regulation standpoint of view, there’s pending legislation in at least 40 states for how you deal with people’s information. And that ties right in to how the internet has always operated. Now it and the operations have to do with cookies. Now if you notice when you go to Amazon, you log right into Amazon if you’re not using your phone and you go there, they know you, they know all your stuff.

That’s called a first party cookie. A first party cookie is the type of cookie that the site you’re on, the one that shows up in that URL bar where you type in whatever site that is, a first party cookie is written by them. So if you go to the New York Times and you log in, New York Times can read and write their own cookies. But the internet and all of advertising was built on third party cookies. And what that means is that when you’re on the New York Times, there’s a bunch of other vendors and ads that are there that are dropping cookies that are from different domains. And the reason they’re doing that is if I’m an advertising company and you’re on the New York Times and then you go to the Wall Street Journal, I want to know that you’re also at the Wall Street Journal.

If I show one of my ads so I can control things like reach and frequency. And that’s how the whole internet has always functioned. Now, Apple has always operated in their own ecosystem and privacy has been a very important component to the entire company. So in their Safari browser, they’ve shut off third party cookies for a very long time. They’ve been gone for a very long time. And to marketers, most marketers just said, “That’s okay,” because there’s more Android people than there are Safari, so it was no big deal. And that occurred both on the browser and on your cell phone as well too. Firefox, which is a small percentage of the browser community, they also shut off third party cookies. And then the big announcement is Chrome, was supposed to do it next year, but it’s being pushed to 2024, Chrome has about 65-70% of the market.

So what that means is that the way advertising has worked, the way you have targeted, the way you’ve measured is going to be completely different in the next year to year and a half. And we always talk about, and Hugh and I have talked about this for years, the concept of digital transformation. And most companies have gone through a digital transformation. Well guess what? I hate to say this. There’s another one coming and it involves how you target, but also how you measure. So the other bad news that goes along with this is that the number one metrics that everyone uses is Google Analytics. And everyone has years and years of data in there. And it’s great how you can go in and see your historical data. Well next July 1st, July 1st, 2023, Google has said that platform will stop taking in data. It will no longer accept new data and you have to use their new product, which is GA4.
Now, I don’t understand why a company the size of Google can’t just change the code and have it all secured in there, but they are unable to do that. So what that means is that you have to change a code on your website, which is no big deal for some people. But the other big issue is that the reports in GA4 look completely different. You don’t know where your conversion report is and all of these things. And so now there’s a learning curve. So if you have a small company or even a medium size or large company, not only do you have to pay to get the code change, but you also have to go through a whole new training. So the next year to year and a half is going to be a major transformation that’s going to have to go forward.

Hugh Macken:
And so Jeff, what I hear you talking about really are two different aspects in a way of digital marketing. On the one hand measurement. So how do we do measurement? The way we do measurement going forward is going to change. And then the issue of audience targeting. And really there’s the identity resolution issue that relates to both of those issues. So on the one hand, we want to be able to measure the effectiveness of our advertising and the ability to do identity resolution effectively has aided us in doing that. At the same time, audience targeting cookies, third party cookies have enabled that. So that too will be impacted. Is that fair to say that it’s really those two areas primarily that will be impacted? And really the challenge before us is putting forth technology infrastructure that will allow us to adjust to the changing environment and then also strategies that will help us to adjust as well.

I’m just struck by how many articles I read about how to solve the problem of audience targeting and reaching audiences. Do you think it makes sense in terms of adjusting to the changes from a strategy standpoint for organizations to be maybe asking a fundamentally different question, which is what are different ways in which, what are different models we can use to do more effective advertising? Because at the end of the day, what matters for the CMO say at an institution, say a higher ed institution or an e-commerce provider, isn’t the ability ultimately to target audiences? Ultimately it’s the effectiveness of their advertising that really matters. So are there other ways of going about that? And we’ve spoken quite a bit about the idea of aligning with media. What do you see as the future from a strategy standpoint and a modeling standpoint to adjust?

Jeff Greenfield:
Well, and that’s part of the big adjustment that’s going to go on Hugh, which is that most marketers today in the digital realm are addicted to the granularity of data that they’ve been brought up on. A great example is my daughter. My daughter ran marketing for a large auto dealer group. And I remember her telling me a couple years ago, “It’s pretty amazing. I can go into Facebook, I can target Ford F-150 leaseholders whose lease is going to expire in six months.” I’m like, “That’s pretty granular.” Well that’s all gone. And so for a lot of digital natives who have never done planning and large scale, both in traditional and digital media, a lot of them are feeling like they’re being choked a bit because it’s like, “How am I supposed to work with this broadness?” But the reality is that the research has shown that this level of granularity that we’ve gotten so addicted to, it’s like we’re in the middle of the forest and we can’t see the trees, that old analogy. We’re in too deep and we’re too addicted as marketers to this granularity of data.

Now remember, third party cookies are going away, first party are not. So what that means is, in the example I gave of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and there’s all sorts of other specialty publications out there, they have paywalls up that require people to sign up or people will sign up on the email. And what they’re doing is that they are mining that data and building up really great segments internally. So I think one of the things that’s going to happen is that when we had this explosion of ad tech, we had a move towards exchanges like the trade desk, but some of the earlier ones were all of the buys were done on these exchanges where if I’m the New York Times, I don’t have any people selling ads. What I’ve got is I’ve got ads that are all going through an exchange, but now we’re moving into a world where doing direct buys have a huge benefit because of the level of data that they have.

So for example, if you’re like a college or university and you’re focused on applications and enrollments, you can go and do a buy on Google and Facebook, but you start to dig into your data and you start to look at, you may have 20 different degree programs and there may be one on nursing that’s very, very popular. Well, there’s a lot of specialty publications out there that you can go to and do direct buys on that specialize in nursing and nursing careers. That would be great to flow into this strategy. So I think that’s part of it from the targeting aspect of where folks are going to have to start thinking because that granularity of data is, it’s not even available now and it’s going to be even less over the next year or so.

Danielle Milliken:
Yeah. So Jeff, you made a comment about direct buys and how that’s going to become the future of digital marketing. So can you speak a little bit more to that in the sense that how companies can maybe adjust what they’re doing? Like their team. How they might need to adjust their teams and their roles moving forward to make sure that they’re ready for this landscape change, whatever that might be.

Jeff Greenfield:
Well, I think one of the best things that a company can do is the difference between direct buys and the exchange buys all has to do when you’re negotiating. So sending your head buyer or the person who’s handling it out for a course on negotiation and researching online, what are the types of things that you can get with a direct buy? Because with a direct buy, you can negotiate a package where you’ve got ads on the site, they push out a couple of newsletters, maybe they do an advertorial for you as well, customized content.

And Hugh and I have talked before, and he’s even showed me examples of some of the work that you guys have done with really, really cool email capture that goes right into the client’s CRM, which is amazing and these types of deals are all out there. But I think the key is trying to figure out what’s available and then also negotiating the best deal because it’s a whole different world versus just buying ads and spending money. This you have to plan. That’s the other thing, is the time that’s involved too. And there’s a lot of work that goes into planning these types of campaigns.

Danielle Milliken:
For sure.

Hugh Macken:
For sure. Yeah, no, that makes sense. So Jeff, if you would speak a little bit about the key components of a marketing technology stack. So again, imagine you’re speaking to a CMO at a university say, and they’re trying to figure out, “Okay, what are the key components that we need marketing?” So I’m thinking like CDP, DMP, data warehouse, like Snowflake. What are a platform like Provalytics or there’s, I believe Oracle has a product in relation to measurement and analytics as well. So what are the key components that you would recommend to help marketers adjust to this new landscape?

Jeff Greenfield:
So the first thing is that I would set with the CMO, the understanding that Google Analytics, which 99% of marketers use, is an awesome web analytics platform. Meaning it does a really good job of once people end up at your site, you can see what they do on your site and you can see where they came from. Now anyone who’s dug into GA or even GA four, you will notice that 80% of the people come in, it’s called organic, they just show up. And the problem is from a marketer’s standpoint of view is that if you’re using Google Analytics to plan your media buys you’re doing the wrong thing. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Most marketers know that you have to fill the top of your funnel. There’s that AIDA, awareness, interest, desire, and action. And in order to fill that funnel, that awareness, you have to put messages out there, they can be targeted, but the broader, the better, as long as it’s within your target or your geo that you want to be at.

And what you really want to know is when you look in Google Analytics, what is driving, how did those people find out about my site to come directly in? Another way to look at it is that most larger brands will spend money in Google and what they call brand search so that when you type in the name of the company or the university, you’ll see them listed there first. Well how are people coming through brand search? Because Google Analytics will show you, “Hey, brand search is converting really well. Wow, you’re getting a lot of leads from brand search.” But it’s because brand search people already know about you in order to search. So you have to ask yourself, I really want to know who’s driving, what is driving brand search? What is behind that? And now for smaller marketers, one of the best ways to do it, so I’ll give a solution for smaller marketers first.

For smaller marketers, you want to do a little research into something called regression analysis. And regression is all about trying to figure out what’s the causation behind these things. And what you would do is you would take all of your channels that you’re spending on and you would look at how many impressions you’re producing and how many clicks each hour. And then you would run regression analysis between that and your brand search click. So you can see who’s actually driving brand search because that’s your top of the funnel drivers and that’s where you want to spend. Now for larger folks and larger players like a university, you need a platform that can automatically grab that impression data, not only analyze it, but have the proof behind it that it actually works. And you see this is a huge distinction. One of the biggest problems with most attribution and all of these platforms is they do a really good job of reporting about what happened last week, yesterday or last month.
But they don’t do a really good job of planning, which is what we’ve been talking about a lot. And planning is all about forecasting and saying, if you do this, you’re going to get this much money in return. And what’s really important with that is to be able to predict what the return will be on investment and then putting your money where your mouth is and showing confidence scores for that, which is what we do at Provalytics. And very few analytics platforms, if any, actually do that. And that’s important because remember at the end of the day you want to know how are people finding out about me?

That’s where you want to spend your dollars. It’s very easy to spend close to the bottom of the funnel. Google search is easy, Facebook retargeting is a great place to be. And then of course, as we talked about specialty publications that you can go to, these are great, but how do you fill that top of the funnel? In order to do that, you have to have a platform that can do it or you have to do a hand analysis to figure out what is driving your brand search, what is driving your organic traffic.

Hugh Macken:
Yeah, no makes sense. And I mean you’ve mentioned branding quite a bit and I wonder, are we going to see a pivot here on the digital side to where digital marketers start actually focusing on branding as opposed to just constantly focusing on direct response? I just read an interesting article recently on Airbnb and how they invested in branding and it really paid off with respect to direct response. So what’s your thought on that? Are we going to see more of a shift toward branding on the digital side?

Jeff Greenfield:
I sure hope so. And I’ve mentioned this book before, I’ll just hold it up right here. The book is called Lemon, It’s by Orlando Wood from the IPA in the UK. It’s available on Amazon, full color. It’s amazing. And what the author has done is he has researched the effectiveness of ads and what they’ve seen is they’ve seen an increase since 2006 in what they call short-termism. And short-termism is spending closer to where the transaction is. So it started, because in 2005, most brands, all they had was a brand. There was no performance divisions or anything like that. But when digital started coming out, they started testing and then they built up teams. And now there’s for large brands, they spent a lot on branding, but they spend even more on performance marketing. And look at like CPG, how close to the sale can you get?

Well now not only can I be on Amazon, but I can also be on Walmart. And if I’m tied when someone puts a competitive product in their basket, I can push out an ad that will compel them to buy mine as well or to switch it out for a discount. That’s a lot of money being spent almost at the point of purchase. And that’s what you call a rise in short-termism. And it’s directly correlated to a decrease in ad effectiveness since 2006. Brands definitely need to invest more money, especially now as they say the R word, the recession. And at the ANA masters a couple weeks ago down in Florida, the big thing that everyone was talking about is that marketers and CMOs are going to have more pressure than ever on their marketing budgets to prove to their CFO that if I do this, I’m going to get this. And to be able to plan effectively and forecast and then of course actually hit those numbers. That’s the other problem is that if you don’t execute, you’re definitely not going to hit your forecasts.

Hugh Macken:
For sure. Yeah. So you’ve talked about this model, Jeff, in terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of the advertising, this new model that is a hybrid between media mix modeling and multi-touch attribution. Would you mind just explaining that in simple terms in terms of, well first of all, what is multi-touch attribution? What’s media mix modeling or marketing mix modeling and what’s this hybrid that you’ve been talking that you’ve been talking with me about?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah, absolutely. So we’ll start with marketing mix modeling, MMM, because it’s been around since the sixties and seventies and M is typically uses regression modeling that I talked about earlier. And it looks at all of your channels. Now remember this was developed before digital. So companies would do an annual marketing mix modeling where they would look at their TV, radio, print, direct mail, out of home and they would do an analysis and regression towards sales numbers. And then the output of that MMA model was to say, here’s how much budget you should allocate to each of these channels for your sales to continue to move up. And that was great. Now of course what happened is that companies didn’t do them every year. They would skip a couple years and they would just focus on the budget allocations from years prior. And then digital marketing came along and when they integrated digital marketing as a channel into it, since they didn’t understand digital marketing, the output would say spend more on brand search and on affiliate.

Now of course we all know that as we talked about before, brand search is only from people who are already knowing about you. You can’t spend more on brand search to get more and you can’t spend more on affiliate. They all happen as a result of all the other activity. So multi-touch attribution started around 2007 because digital marketing had become, at that time somewhat complicated because you had display, you had search, you had search across multiple platforms and how do you figure things out? And Multitouch attribution said, we’re going to collect all of the data, every bit of granular touchpoints, whereas MMM only took in aggregated data, sometimes monthly, sometimes daily, but primarily large scale privacy centric data, whereas MTA was all user level data, it all model it instead of regression use machine learning. Because if you do regression with that amount of data, it will take forever, forever to get it done.

But machine learning, you can teach the machines and we’ve got great technology. One of them has been around for hundreds of years called Bayesian, which is just incredible because it thinks, and it works the same way that human beings think because we are constantly updating the way we think. So when you think about self-driving cars that aren’t here yet, self-driving cars are always getting smarter, the more obstacles that they face. And that’s the same way with machine learning for marketing attribution. So MTA would take all of that data, put it into a Bayesian model, and it would constantly be updated every single day, sometimes throughout the day with the most updated result of what was going on right at the moment and historical. And that worked great. And the greatest thing about MTA versus MMA is that you weren’t just limited to sales. You could have multiple KPIs at C3 metrics.
We had some clients with 25 or 30 different conversion events because there were different teams that were interested in different things. Some teams were interested in traffic to a particular site that was their KPI, other folks were leads, other folks were actual enrollments when talking about EDU clients here. So that was really great and also it did really well with digital. But since MTA was built on being a deterministic model, MTA fell flat with TV and radio and then podcasts as they started to explode, it was like there’s nothing for anyone to click on. How do you measure this?

Hugh Macken:
Right, right.

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. And that was the big problem. The other big issue with multi-touch attribution is that there was no incrementality, so there was no measurement of, it would tell you where to spend more, but it didn’t tell you how much more business you would get.
And marketers always had this question of, “Well, what happened if I didn’t do that? Wouldn’t I get those sales anyway?” And that’s the basis of incrementality. Luckily marketing mix modeling is all based about the contribution that each tactic, but an MMM word, it’s all about the channel. So there is incrementality in MMM, but it’s at a channel level. And so what I wanted to do is I wanted to merge these two together. I wanted to take something that was always on, used some of the MMM background so that you could incorporate not just digital media, but also TV, radio, CTV, podcast, print, direct mail, bring it all together, and not just to sales but to multiple KPIs. And so now what Provalytics is the Venn diagram, if you will, of MTA and MMM. The basis is MMM, but it’s a whole new way of modeling that uses machine learning at scale.

We’re able to take in aggregated daily data from Facebook and from the platforms down to a creative level. And we’re not limited to just pushing out channel level recommendations, but we’re pushing out granular recommendations so that channel managers will know exactly how to allocate based upon their goals. And the forecasting we’re doing is incredible. If I had a team of 500 statisticians running through, because our models, when clients will give us what are their goals for a forecast, how far out do you want to go? Do you want to go 30, 60, 90, 180 days out? What is your risk quotient? How much are you actually willing to increase or decrease a tactic? And what do you want your budget to be? Do you want it to be the same? Do you want to go up 10%, 25% or do you want to go down? And then what our platform will do is go through and run hundreds of thousands of simulations and we’ll export out the optimum plan, meaning, “Hey, this is the amount of money you’re spending, here’s the ultimate, ultimate, this is going to get your biggest bang for your buck.”

Now, in all the years of me doing this, I have never seen any marketer take on all recommendations. They never, ever do. So this forecast is based on a perfect scenario. And so what ends up happening is that clients will take one or two of them, but you don’t actually know what day they put it in at and what the spend is every day. So what Provalytics does, and right now we’re starting to get a lot of the October data from our clients. Most clients send us data monthly. We have a few that send it to us weekly. But what we’ll do is we’ll borrow from MMM and we’ll do a technique called a holdout. So we will hold out and remove all of the sales data and all of the KPI numbers for each day for the last 30 days. And all we will give to our model, to Provalytics is the impressions and the clicks and the spend.

That’s all we’ll give. And then what marketers are able to look at is see how well the model predicted the outcome. And all models I should say are wrong, some are useful. And what clients are seeing is it’s for certain KPIs, the model is spot on. For others it’s not because it’s not perfect. But what happens over time is that since it’s machine learning, it gets smarter and smarter over time. And that’s another thing I’ll mention is that traditionally marketing mix modeling, you need to have three years worth of data in order to build out a model. And this is one of the other problems with MMM is that it becomes a whole project. It’s a lot of work to put this whole thing together. And so that’s why folks don’t do it more than once a year and sometimes skip years.
With Provalytics since it was built on the basis of MMM, but we borrow from the world of MTA, we can start with as little as the last three months. The more data we have, the better. So for customers of ours right now that we’re moving forward, what are we? Eight or nine business days away from when the Black Friday sales start. When we have the historical data from last year, we’ve been able to give them plans for how to execute to get the biggest bang for their buck for this upcoming Black Friday. So the more data we have, the better, but we don’t need three years worth of data. That can be overkill for our models.

Hugh Macken:
Interesting. Wow. And just in the last couple of minutes that we have, Jeff, how would you say a CDP would tie into all of this? A CDP customer data platform, obviously very useful from the standpoint of audience targeting, but with respect to measurement, is there a role that a CDP can play? Does a platform like Provalytics integrate with CDPs? How does that factor into all this?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah, and you stated it, One of the best advantages of a CDP is that it allows you to leverage that first party data you have, your first party cookie data. So similar to Google Analytics, which looks at how people traverse your site, a CDP is taking that and putting it on steroids, and it allows you to create unique segments within them. Now the cool thing about segments is that obviously you have a segment of people who have purchased, you have people that are multiple purchasers. If you’re in retail and then you have people that show up, maybe fill out a popup, but don’t go all the way through, let’s say in the case of EDU, the lead process, they don’t want to just subscribe to a newsletter or you just have a ton of people who just show up and then leave.
And so one of the advantages with the CDP is you can create unique customer segments, and then what you can do is you can link those segments to your media buys so that you’re buying the multi shoppers, you’re buying the existing customers to bring them back for retargeting. You’re buying the folks who showed up but didn’t actually fill out a form or anything. And then you can do it on the conversion side to see how many of those people who showed up but didn’t fill out a form, who then were exposed to later advertising ended up purchasing. And what we do with those segments is that becomes a dimension within our model. So now when you think about multiple KPIs, you can look at, let’s say those folks who show up and don’t do anything, but let’s say the segment is they have to spend at least three and a half minutes on the site and you’ve tracked how they’ve converted.

Well, with Provalytics, we can track which media is driving them and what levers to push if you want to increase their conversion rate. So those segments are really important. The other type of dimension that’s also available in Provalytics is geo. So a lot of folks just like to look at the entire, let’s say the continental US, but there’s a lot of brands that target differently. The best one that comes to mind is Southwest Airlines. They are regionally based. All of their ads are regionally purchased. Even their television, they do not buy national TV. For them, they would want to look at things in a region by region basis, and Provalytics is built from the ground up to include that.

Hugh Macken:
Interesting. Wow. So lots to consider for those of us who are trying to make sense of all of this. And Jeff, your perspective definitely is invaluable. I’d love to have you back on again soon to talk.

Jeff Greenfield:
Oh, it’d be my pleasure. Hugh. Absolutely. Anytime.

Hugh Macken:
Yeah, for sure. Just to talk more about this new model that you still haven’t come up with a name for it. I’ve been going back and forth with different ideas.

Jeff Greenfield:
Well, the name that we’re using is, it’s Agile, so it’s not locked in like MMM. And I like the word impact versus incrementality and it’s modeling. So we’re going forward with the concept of AIM, “Agile Impact Modeling”. How do you like that?

Hugh Macken:
Agile Impact Modeling. All right, there you go.

Jeff Greenfield:
You like that, Hugh?

Hugh Macken:

Jeff Greenfield:

Hugh Macken:
I like it. Because honestly, I was going with something that was going to be MMM.

Jeff Greenfield:
It’s ad tech. We have to have an acronym, so we’ve got it now, AIM. AIM is the acronym.

Hugh Macken:
There you go. There you go. Oh my gosh, Jeff, it was just such a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us and definitely thank you Danielle as well for joining us. And I want to thank Elijah Medcore, our producer who’s in behind the scenes. Thank you Elijah. And thanks be to God that we were able to make this happen. This is great.

Danielle Milliken:

Jeff Greenfield:
Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me.

Hugh Macken:
Hopefully we’ll be able to do this again. Yeah, thanks so much. And so just final thoughts would be for those who are interested in learning more about you, Jeff or Provalytics, so your website and the website for Provalytics?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. So best website to go to is Provalytics, that’s P-R-O-V-A, prova, which is proof in Italian, lytics. So And you can go there, fill out some information and get in contact with us. And if you want to chat with me, just go to is my personal website,

Danielle Milliken:

Hugh Macken:
All right. Awesome. Great. All right, well thank you. Thank you so much again, Jeff.

Danielle Milliken:
Thanks Jeff.

Hugh Macken:
And have a great every week. Thanks everyone for joining us. Thank you.

Jeff Greenfield:
Thank you so much. Have a great day.

Danielle Milliken:

Hugh Macken:
You too.

Jeff Greenfield:

Adobe Attribution: AI-Powered Marketing Mix or Not?

“Adobe’s new tool likely will appeal to existing Adobe analytics users, but it’s not the only way to overcome the privacy restrictions hampering MTA or the speed and cost issues that long have hampered MMM, said Jeff Greenfield, a pioneer in MTA who now is CEO of Provalytics. His company takes an alternate approach, combining elements of attribution and marketing mix modeling to measure “incrementality,” or the incremental impact of changing spending across a variety of online and offline media.”

“AI, while it’s a hot buzzword in marketing, is probably a misnomer here, Greenfield said. Few if any systems in marketing analytics truly show signs of human cognition or original thinking that are hallmarks of AI, he said. “Machine learning” is likely a more accurate description, he said, of the series of algorithms that could go into automating a marketing mix modeling process.”

Process that takes months is reduced to weeks, becoming practical for more marketers and potentially helping prove their worth

Adobe is launching a marketing mix modeling service that uses artificial intelligence to assess return on investment in weeks rather than the months it typically takes for such analytics.

The upshot is that marketers can use the tool, which will be generally available as part of the Adobe Experience Cloud, to adjust media and marketing plans on the fly, or at least within a month or quarter, rather than taking a retrospective look at what happened in the past to adjust future spending.

The tool, powered by Adobe’s Sensei AI engine, also appears practical for smaller and mid-size marketers that don’t have teams of data scientists on staff and often can’t afford the price tag for an outside marketing mix modeling project. One early pilot user was AAA Northeast.

Adobe’s move comes as marketing mix modeling (MMM) enjoys a renaissance after years of losing ground to multi-touch attribution (MTA). Making the AI tool available across an already huge base of Adobe could fuel the growth of MMM further.

Attribution has taken a hit because it relies heavily on tracking the online behavior and purchases of individuals, which has grown more challenging amid the dwindling availability of cookies and digital identifiers and will become even harder once Google follows through on plans to eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome browser. Google has delayed the move multiple times, with plans to now eliminate cookies by the end of 2024.

MMM uses modeling based on a variety of data streams but doesn’t require individual identifiers. And the approach long has focused on offline media—where it had its roots—in addition to digital. But it also generally has been costly and time-consuming, requiring six- or seven-figure price tags and months or work.

Big impact in one month for AAA

An early pilot user of Adobe’s “AI as a service” approach is AAA Northeast, which used it in March to deliver a 28% increase in lead generation for its auto insurance business while reducing advertising spending 16% for the month.

“Our tech stack is primarily Adobe,” said Lisa Melton, senior VP of marketing at AAA Northeast. “And so when they came to us and asked if we wanted to be part of the pilot, we were like, absolutely. It’s every marketer’s goal to make sure your dollars are going where they have the biggest return.”

The AAA Northeast insurance business that was in the pilot uses digital display, search, connected TV, linear TV and a small amount of postcard direct mail, Melton said. Adobe’s AI MMM analysis led her to shift money out of linear TV into display and search.

Melton hopes to continue to testing the AI MMM tool on other lines of business, perhaps including membership acquisition, which has more direct mail in the mix. And she’s now incorporating the Adobe Experience Cloud into her tech stack.

Adobe previously had an AI attribution tool, but in conversations with marketers found that they wanted ROI analytics solutions that cover other media that attribution can’t, including offline cookieless media and social media walled gardens, said Monica Lay, principal product marketing manager for digital experience at Adobe.

Marketing mix modeling can analyze results from those media, but historically took six to 12 months to set up initially and three months to deliver reports on an ongoing basis after that, Lay said. That doesn’t help marketers who want to know how to spend incremental dollars—or cut budgets—within a current budget cycle, she said.

Pressure to deliver more for less

“We’re noticing in customer conversations pressure on senior leadership to deliver more for less,” she said. “We’re seeing budget cuts across marketing spend, but there’s still pressure to deliver the same revenue targets.”

Liz Miller, VP and principal analyst of Constellation Research, who’s tried the AI MMM tool, said she really likes it as “a way of accounting for all that data that can come in as a giant tsunami that no one can really manage. This starts to bring a new layer of what I refer to as decision velocity, which is about making not only good decisions, but making great decisions faster.”

Miller also believes the tool, as part of an Adobe service suite, could open marketing mix modeling to a much wider range of marketers who simply couldn’t afford it before. “Media mix modeling has been cost prohibitive for a lot of organizations,” she said.

Gerry Murray, research director for marketing and sales technologies at IDC, sees Adobe’s move as “an inflection point” for intuitiveness and simplifying how marketers can use models that drive decision-making.

‘Dawning of a new day’

“I think it’s a bit of a dawning of a new day for marketers to have a more holistic ability to show how they drive the revenue and customer lifetime value metrics that the C suite is really interested in, not just the clicks and engagement metrics,” Murray said.

Adobe’s new tool likely will appeal to existing Adobe analytics users, but it’s not the only way to overcome the privacy restrictions hampering MTA or the speed and cost issues that long have hampered MMM, said Jeff Greenfield, a pioneer in MTA who now is CEO of Provalytics. His company takes an alternate approach, combining elements of attribution and marketing mix modeling to measure “incrementality,” or the incremental impact of changing spending across a variety of online and offline media.

AI, while it’s a hot buzzword in marketing, is probably a misnomer here, Greenfield said. Few if any systems in marketing analytics truly show signs of human cognition or original thinking that are hallmarks of AI, he said. “Machine learning” is likely a more accurate description, he said, of the series of algorithms that could go into automating a marketing mix modeling process.

Read the original article here

Data-Driven Marketing Strategies: Insights from Provalytics CEO

In this episode of the Marketing X Analytics podcast, we sit down with Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics and a leading decision maker in the marketing industry to discuss the role of data and analytics in driving successful marketing strategies. Greenfield highlights the importance of utilizing data to inform and guide marketing decisions, rather than relying solely on intuition and past experiences. They also delve into the challenges of implementing a data-driven approach, such as overcoming organizational resistance and ensuring data quality. Throughout the conversation, Greenfield emphasizes the need for decision makers to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in marketing analytics, as technology continues to rapidly evolve.

Alexander Sofronas:
Hello, and welcome to the Marketing x Analytics podcast. I’m your host, Alex Sofronas. And today, I’m on with Jeff Greenfield. Jeff, would you like to introduce yourself?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. Hey everyone. And Alex, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics, formerly of C3 Metrics and formerly of a lot of other things that we may go into today, Alex.

Alexander Sofronas:
Very cool. So yeah. Talking about your career, how did you get started in the business world and what was your journey?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. I did not have a linear path to get to where I am today and to move into the analytics space. It’s definitely been an interesting one. I went to college and I studied biochemistry. I was a biochemistry major, and really enjoyed the sciences and made the decision early on that I wanted to become a chiropractor. And so I went to chiropractic college in Los Angeles. This is back in the mid ’80s. And when I was there, I was able to as well dig into one of my kind of childhood dreams, as a kid, I got involved with magic and really loved it and did some performing in college. And when I moved to LA, things really took off and I was able to perform and work at The Magic Castle.

And I was not only going to school full-time, but also working full-time as a magician as well. And it was great because the type of magic I did was close up magic. It used my hands. And that, in my mind, jibed really well with chiropractic, which was about using your hands. And it was a great time. And I finished up school there and moved back east to the Massachusetts area, opened up a practice, had a home office, so I lived and worked in the same place and it was great. And then in the mid ’90s, I was involved in a car accident that damaged a nerve in my arm that made it so that I couldn’t take care of patients anymore.
And didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was confused. You go to school for a long time and you’re good at something and you really love doing it because you’re helping people. And then all of a sudden, you can’t do it anymore. So I was a little bit lost, to be honest. And I decided that I needed to find myself, and magic was something that I had done before. So I took off about two years and traveled the country, doing magic at primarily colleges and a lot of businesses. If anyone listening was ever… When you went to college, if there were ever any activities that you went to that came from your student fee, those would go to pay someone like me to come on your campus. And it was through an organization called NACA that I was able to get exposed to all of the larger campuses around the country.

And I had a blast doing that. This was around the late ’90s. And when I started that, I realized that the internet had just really taken off, especially in college students. College students were really utilizing the internet in ’95, ’96. And so I was like, I need to get my own website. Now back then, very few people had websites. So I had no idea how to do this. So the local newspaper was advertising that they were making websites and I went to go meet with them and they took down all the information. They said, “Come back in two weeks, we’ve something to show you.” I went back in two weeks and they had gotten me web hosting and they had made some designs, but that was it. They said to come back next week.

And I did this throughout the whole summer. And at the end of the summer, they told me that they couldn’t figure it out, that they didn’t know how to do it. And I’m like, “Listen, you don’t understand. When you got me web hosting and you bought that domain for me…” And my first domain was “… I went and I bought ads in all of the college papers for these conferences that are starting next month. What am I supposed to do?” And they said, “Listen, there’s this program called Microsoft FrontPage. It’s like $699 at Staples. And it’s supposed to be able for you to do that. And if you can figure that out, if you could come back and let us know how to do it, because we can’t figure it out.”

So I got in my car and I drove to Staples, which was an hour away in Saugus Massachusetts. I was living in New Hampshire at the time. And I did something that I still to this day I’ve never done, which is, I did every single tutorial that was available. And back then, it came on a CD-ROM and it was a big thick book. And by the end of that weekend of digging in on this, I actually had a website. And what happened when I went on the road doing magic is that, since I was the one who made it, I would update it every week, and sometimes a couple times a week. And other performers started to notice and they said, “Hey, can you help me? Can you do something like this for me?” And my line to them was always the same thing. “Listen, I can help you do this, but this is not what I do. I’m on this journey to figure out what I’m going to end up doing next.”

And of course, at the end of the story is, after about a year or so of doing consulting, I was able to get off the road and spend all my time at home and not perform anymore. But then spending time just doing work on the internet, whether it was building websites or SEO type work and stuff like that. So I started along the journey there, and then it’s like I got more clients. People really wanted… The focus then became, I’ve got to be at the top of the search engines. And back then, it was and were the big ones. And there really wasn’t much that you could do besides build a bunch of, what they called, doorway pages.

So I created one of the first SaaS, a search engine optimization companies out there called Position Solutions. And we built it out right at the time when the real estate really started moving to the internet in the early 2000s. And it just took off. And it was cool because it utilized this black hat, if you will, technology called search engine cloaking. And it was really neat because folks could just list their keyword and the platform would go out and buy domains. And so for a lot of our clients, they would be like the top 20 results, the first two pages on any search engine, but they would be all from different domains.
Yes, it is a little black hat-ish, but it worked great, of course until the search engines figured it out. But by that point, I was on to something else. So I had this company. And then I was figuring out, “Hey, I think I want to get back into the entertainment business.” I missed the fun of not necessarily being on stage, but just being part of it. It’s a cool business to be part of. And I found out that there was an emerging practice called product placement and branded entertainment that was really, really cool. The idea about being able to put products in TV and film.

And so I went out to LA and started talking to some of the companies that were doing it and found that they were really good at getting it into a specific film or TV show, but they really didn’t know how to talk the language of advertising or be able to talk to agencies or brands or put together reports. So I built out a company called First Approach that focused on helping folks get into TV and film. And then that led me down the path of where clients would be in a TV show and they would be like, “Gosh, it would be really great if I could get them to hold this much longer or if they could say this.”

And I would always say to clients, “Well, if you want to do that, you got to buy the whole show or create your own entertainment,” which is what branded entertainment is. And so I then ended up with a couple of clients, having them produce an entire series of entertainment for them. One of them was a large faux reality TV show for an aesthetics company. And that was really exciting. And some of these gigs… And instead of this being, it was a company, but each one was a massive project. Some of them taking a year to a year and a half. And what I found is, after the fact, everyone was elated, everyone was excited, but it was very difficult to measure the effectiveness of this stuff, especially from a digital perspective, as more and more digital was coming out. There weren’t any hard metrics you could look at.

And I realized that that business was not going to be able to grow unless there was a way to accurately measure what was actually going on. And then that led me to the direction of analytics. I had a client, a publicly traded weight loss company, and the CEO wanted to scale his business. But every time they tried, they would level out and their CAC numbers, their cost to acquire a new customer would continue to rise. And so I came in and said, “Okay, I think there’s a way to figure this out.” What ended up happening is that they had a lots of display partners, all on a CPA basis, and they had all given them their pixels to fire on the conversion page.

And so it was a spray and pray technique where AOL and some of these networks, you could see the impression numbers just go up one day a week to a ridiculous number. They would put out a ton of cookies. And then they would all claim that they would win the conversion. And I used to say that the problem that they had is that every customer that came in would have five or six different fathers of mothers. They would all claim credit for. And that became the big problem. So I created a platform that enabled us to track impressions in real time, but then also, at the time of conversion, would selectively decide who should get credit, who was actually in the last position, who was in the first position, and who was in the middle.

And those folks, we would fire pixels for them to let them know, “Hey, they did a good job.” And that enabled this weight loss company to scale dramatically. And then that became the genesis of C3 Metrics. And C3 Metrics was one of the first multi touch attribution companies out there. At the time, the only company that was around was a company called ClearSaleing, which most people don’t even know about these days. ClearSaleing, the CEO was, his name was Adam, I think, Goldberg. Adam was a former SEM person at Google. And what he saw is that, he saw that clients that were buying non-branded keywords would all of a sudden do really well, but there was a long tail. But the problem was is that Google Analytics would say that those keywords weren’t working that well because they’re more upper funnel. And GA was just last click back then.

So he built out a company that utilized DoubleClick data. You had to use DoubleClick to use it. And it was only for search. It didn’t work across any other channels. And luckily for me, the first client that I had for C3 Metrics, this weight loss client, was in every single channel. So I was forced to build this out to be able to accommodate all of those. And then as a result, I was able to build the company up and scale it to where we had clients, everyone from JP Morgan to U.S. Bank, a lot of financial services and a lot of former clients. And I exited C3 in late 2019, right before the pandemic.

I’d been there for almost 12 years, and hadn’t done anything else, and sat back and said, “What do I want to do?” And I saw that there was… I really got fascinated by the small business world. Especially as the pandemic came on, it was the small businesses that were really hurt, the restaurants, the auto dealerships. And when you think of every local area, the auto dealerships, they’ve got the biggest piece of real estate. And those are the folks who used to advertise a lot in TV and radio and in print. And when they shifted to digital, that’s why we now see that all of our local apprentice started to downfall.

So I built out a lead generation product for the auto industry. And then I started having conversations with a colleague of mine that was the CEO of a company called WideOrbit. And they were all of local television, well over 6,000 stations. They’ve got about 90% market share. And that’s the sell side. Those are the publishers, if you will, but they didn’t have any buy side products. And so I agreed to come on board for about a year, to a year and a half and build them out a buy side product and a buy side division, which I did. And I left there last year. And then I said, “Okay, what am I going to do now?” And it was that same sort of thing about when I got injured and I couldn’t take care of patients anymore.

So I started having conversations with friends of mine that were in the industry, especially in the measurement space. And what I started to hear is that there was a lot of confusion, a lot of issues that are going on, and this was right around the time when GA4 was coming about and the bell was ringing that people needed to switch over. And that caused all sorts of interesting issues. And so I saw an opportunity there as this cookie apocalypses is near and very close, less than a year away at this point, as far as we know. And what that means is, it is going to be a whole new world of measurements.

So I built out a new company Provalytics to be able to handle where measurement’s at today and where it’s going in the future. So truly a future-proofed measurement solution, the next generation of attribution. So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s a long non-linear path, but you take it as it comes type of thing.

Alexander Sofronas:
Yeah. And it’s really interesting that you found the thread through all of your experiences. And one thing I noticed, which, it makes sense that you would be a CEO, is that you seem to be really good at decision making and seeing the options, seeing the opportunities and then making a big bet and then sticking to it. Would you say that decision making is one of your key skills in the role that you have?

Jeff Greenfield:
Absolutely. I think that’s one of the biggest… When you’re building a company, you’re moving sometimes at light speed. So you have to make decisions. But one of the most important things is you also have to realize that you’re going to make mistakes along the way. And as you have a team, you have to be the first to raise your hand and say, “I screwed up.” In fact, I would always say to my team, “Listen, we’re making hundreds of decisions a day and we’re all going to screw up.” And the only thing that I ask for anyone that works with me is that as soon as they screw up, don’t hide it. Just raise your hand because you can fix anything.

And then the other thing that I’m really good at as well is risk taking. My wife always says that I don’t have much fear when it comes to risk. And you definitely picked up on that. I’m definitely an all or nothing type person.

Alexander Sofronas:
Would you say that, that is the attitude that somebody needs to succeed as an entrepreneur?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yes. Yes. You have to be all in. Building a business is like having a successful relationship. You can’t be having a conversation with your partner or spouse and be thinking about something else and you expect that the relationship’s going to move on. And the same is true when you’re building a business. When you’re working and when you’re on, you have to be a 100% there. The hardest thing for me, and this is something that I’ve struggled with throughout the years and I’m starting to get better at it, is being able to turn off. And that’s always been tough, because I’ve always worked.

I work on vacation. I’m always thinking about business. And as you get older, you start to realize, “Hey, you really have to be able to turn off and disconnect.” And even just taking 20 minutes a day to yourself, to power down, if you will, and not think about anything is incredibly important. Because when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re always thinking, “I got to be doing something. I got to be working. I got to be doing something.” But I just read this story about this young guy who just won the Nobel peace prize in math. And no one thought he was good at math throughout college. He didn’t succeed in any of his classes. He didn’t even show up. But he ended up excelling at it. He was great at it.

But one of the takeaways that I read about him is that he only works three hours a day, because he is all in during those three hours and fully committed. And then afterwards, he’s exhausted. What I see with a lot of entrepreneurs, and I was guilty of this in the early days, is that you try to do everything. And what ends up happening is you try to do everything sometimes at once. And this concept of multitasking as you’re scaling a business will catch up with you very, very quickly, because you can do one thing really well, you can do two things kind of okay, but it doesn’t scale. And then eventually, what happens is you’re wearing too many hats and then everything is done kind of half ass. And then that’s when things start to fall apart.

Alexander Sofronas:
So how would you recommend an entrepreneur go about signing with an accelerator versus doing it on their own? What factors would play into the decision?

Jeff Greenfield:
I think it really depends upon what the accelerator brings to the table in terms of resources and relationships. Because as you’re scaling a startup, those relationships become really important because you don’t know what you’re going to need three months from now. And the accelerators bring with them a whole network of people that if you put the time into it, you may not have to tap one of those resources until two or three years in. But then when you do, they’re there for you.

So I think the deciding factor depends upon how large is your network, how strong are they as well? And then also what’s been your experience thus far. And so if I was young and I didn’t have any previous experience and I didn’t have much of a network, I would really look towards an accelerator because you can get all of those from that accelerator. But if you’ve been around the block for a while and you’ve got a network that you can tap that’s got everything you’ll need from the beginning till you scale, then you can go at it on your own.

One of the advantages once you’ve done something like this, you’re always going to make mistakes, but luckily… Well, not always, most of the time, you don’t make the same mistake again. And the key is that once you’ve done this a couple times, you can accelerate the process so much faster because you’ve been here, you’ve done it, and you know what to look for. For example, when it came to choosing things like payroll companies, at C3 Metrics, I used a company that I had used years ago when I was a chiropractor called Paychex. And the reason I used them is because, in payroll, there’s always screw ups. And the one thing you never want to screw up with is the payment of taxes and unemployment insurance.

And I had an experience with them where they messed something up and there were some penalties and they paid everything and they took care of everything. So I had a trusting relationship there. But what I did find is that, that was great for being a chiropractor where I scaled relatively small and over time, where you’re adding on one new person a month or every other month. But in a startup like C3, where some weeks, I would be adding three or four new people, Paychex was very slow. And what was happening is that it would be time for someone to get paid, Paychex couldn’t do the deposit in time, the direct deposit, and I would have to write a check. And some of these people were expecting direct deposit.

I remember several occasions, I would go to the ATM and take out cash from my account so they had money to pay for gas and rent. And I was like, “Okay, this is not going to fly in a modern day.” So I started looking around and researching them. And then I found this company called Gusto,, which is phenomenal. It’s so easy to get set up. It’s so fast. They take care of everything. And so then after C3, I knew I didn’t have to research it. So I don’t need to put in the time to research a payroll company. I know exactly where to go in order to take care of that.

And so that’s the advantage. Whereas if you’ve never done this before, you have no idea, whereas an accelerator can provide you guidance in terms of what to do and provide a playbook of what’s worked in the past.

Alexander Sofronas:
So you’ve started B2B companies. And do you have any entrepreneurship advice specifically for starting a business to business company?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. I think one of the most important things is that, typically when you start a company, you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’re by yourself. And I’ll go back to what I said earlier that it’s those relationships that are going to mean the most to you, especially in B2B, because you’re not trying to get a million or 10 million customers, you’re looking to get your first five and then 10 and then a 100. And depending upon what you’re selling a 100 maybe a huge company for you at that point.

And what happens is that as you start to build this up and you’re doing this all by yourself, you need a place to keep track of everything that you’re doing and especially the conversations that you’re having. And so you have to have a CRM. And a lot of times, I would recommend that if you’re thinking of starting a company and you haven’t gotten there yet, and you’re just in the early organization stage, you should have a CRM. In fact, I think any entrepreneur should always have a CRM and always keep it up to date. And I’ve used all of them.

Back in the day, I used SugarCRM because it was open source. It was awesome program. Salesforce, Zoho. And now there’s all these new ones like and lots of them. But my favorite that I use is Their product is phenomenal. They’ve got a great app, and it also works incredibly well in the browser. It includes SMS and phone calls. But what I like is how seamlessly it ties into your email, which is the center of everything. It also has built into a drip email campaigns and all sorts of stats and everything you would need from a CRM. And it’s perfect as you start to scale.

Once you get past like 20 employees, depending upon what your needs are, you can stick with it or you have to move on to something else. But I really like that one, because you have to have a place where you can keep track of your relationships, where it’s easy to take notes and it’s all there, part of that customer record. And the nice thing is that it lists everything in chronological orders. So you can go to any relationship that you have and see all of the email interactions that you’ve had, any meetings that you’ve had, everything will be in there. And it’s great. So I think the number one thing is you’ve got to have a CRM.

Alexander Sofronas:
What is the relationship you have as a CEO with the customers of your business for a small business, and how does that change as the business grows?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. In the beginning, you’re the face of your business. You could even say that your first customers come in because of that relationship, especially in B2B, because of your ability to sell the sizzle, if you will. Because in the beginning, you’re not going to have a fully flushed out product. It never happens. There’s no way to build out a strong B2B product until you have at least the first 10 or 20 customers. And that feedback that you get from those customers… In fact, you don’t even want to call them customers, those first couple of folks are actually partners because they believe in you and they believe that you’re able to deliver, and they’re betting on the fact that the relationship that they have with you, you will make a 1000% certain that you’re going to deliver what you said you’re going to deliver. And that you’ll also be able to find out what things they like about it, what things they don’t like and what’s missing from it.

And that’s probably the most important thing is, what’s missing from the product. And what that enables you to do with those first couple of customers in the beginning is it really helps you to submit your vision of what the product is going to be. Because in the beginning, you may be building it all yourself. And you have ideas, but even your best ideas, all of a sudden when someone else comes in, who hasn’t been part of the ideation process, and they look at it, their needs could be completely different. And that’s part of where you start to figure out, “Okay, do I want to build a product or a consulting company?” Because what happens when you start to build a new business is you start to find people that say, “Hey, I could use 1/10th of that, but I need a bunch of other things over here.

And in the early days, for some folks, because of the need for cash, which is always a huge necessity, you may bob and weave a little bit between that product and the consulting. And a lot of folks feel like that there’s problems with that. I don’t have any problems with it at all. Whatever it takes for you to survive and keep the business going, that’s the only thing that matters in the early days, because those early days are the hardest. If you can get over those and start to develop a vision of what the company is, what the product is, then your role starts to shift to where you start to recruit people into your company that can help you fulfill that vision, because you can’t do everything. The manager at McDonald’s cannot serve everyone, make the hamburgers and the french fries and the shakes at the same time, maybe one person at a time, but not at scale.

And to build a business, you have to scale it. And that’s where your role starts to shift. And that’s tough for a lot of solo entrepreneurs, especially if you’ve had a successful business, and then all of a sudden on your own. And now it’s growing, which is what you want. And now you need help because all of a sudden, what happens is, you’ve got to trust people. And I was really bad at it in the early days, especially at C3. In the early days of C3 when there was only four employees, I wouldn’t allow anyone to write an email, send an email until I read it first.

So I would walk around and someone would lift their hand up to let me know they had an email, because every email that went out, even though it came from someone else, prior to that, all those emails were coming from me, and they were now emailing people that I had shepherded through, people who were my early partners in this. And so I wanted to make sure that the tone and the voice were there. But what ends up happening is you get to the point where you realize that, well, their tone and voice, it will actually work better with some people than your own. And that’s when you start to realize, “Wow, I need to let go of these things.”

And so I was able to let go. And that’s part of what happens with scaling is, you just have to trust and you have to understand that people are going to mess up. And as long as you have people on board that are not afraid to tell you, “Hey, I need some help here, I need to fix this, can you help me?,” then you’ll be able to scale. But your job definitely shifts to where you’re not going to be involved with customers day to day, you’re going to be involved with recruiting, you’re going to be more involved with product.

And there’ll be times where you get pulled over into one section of the business or another where problems… And it’s not necessarily problems, but where growing pains start to come in. And then all of a sudden, you have to take your CEO hat off and put on your customer hat again, or put on your product hat or your recruiting hat, whatever it is, wherever their problems are, and then start to figure out how can you make sure that problems don’t come up again. And really your job as CEO is to find a way every day, start thinking about how you can replace yourself, all the jobs that you’re doing. Because that’s the key, is to eventually get to the point where you bring in managers, where no one has to come to you for any issues, where you’ve got folks that know exactly what they’re doing, they understand the whole process and there’s no need for them to come to you unless it’s a really crazy problem.

And then that allows you to step back and spend the time on developing the bigger vision for the company and the ability to scale.

Alexander Sofronas:
That makes a lot of sense. That’s very interesting. I want to ask about the value to a business for an MMM model. So moving into the actual business functions or at least the functions of models in a business, in maybe a marketing organization, what is the value of an MMM model?

Jeff Greenfield:
Well, I think the value of any measurement in an organization is to tie the business KPIs to some sort of action. And in the case of marketing mix modeling, it’s the ability to tie marketing events and marketing expenditures to specific KPIs and to eventually to revenue. So that’s the big value there. And for years, companies used MMN models, and then we had the birth of attribution that came in and got everyone really excited because it addressed some of the, I don’t want to say deficiencies, but some of the limitations that there are in an MMN model.

Because when you think about MMM, it’s really top down, it’s big picture and it’s all about, “Hey, give me all of the data, everything you have for all of last year and I’m going to go and evaluate it, and we’re going to determine incrementality, and we’re going to look at your total media portfolio.” And there’s some great things about that because there’s no privacy concerns, which we’re living in an era now with all sorts of privacy, because MMM typically looks at aggregated data sets. But the problem is that it’s a backwards evaluation. You’re taking last year’s data. You’re only able in a MMM model to look at just sales, just a sales response, and you’re setting budgets and you’re saying, “Okay, last year, you spent X in digital, spend a little bit more, 10% more in TV.”

And that’s how it’s adjusted. It’s primarily used for setting budgets based upon past performance. But in most companies, you should do an MMM model every quarter to evaluate what’s happened. But most companies that I’ve dealt with, a lot of them were relying on an MMM model that was five years old, because it’s so much work to put one together, it takes so long to get the results back, and it’s a huge project. Multi touch attribution came in and said, “Hey, we’re going to do things from the bottom up. We’re going to start at the user level and aggregate up, because in a digital world, every single touchpoint can be accounted for. And instead of just doing this once a year or once a quarter, we’re going to hook up our pipes, put up some tags and we’re going to do this where it’s always on in real time. And instead of just looking at sales, we’re going to look at all your conversions, even some of your leading indicators.”

In the former world, a leading indicator is a visit to something they call a high value page, a page that a paid media doesn’t lead to, but someone only gets there if they’re researching a certain drug or a condition. And they use that. So that’s a leading indicator that you could correlate to revenue and scripts at some point. But with MTA, you could do that. You could do as many different conversions or KPIs as you want. But the problem that we ran into with MTA is that it was mainly digital, which is great because more money is going into digital than ever before, but even the direct to consumer companies, the new ones that are digital first, they’re starting to realize that there’s a point at which they can’t scale any further until they start to look at things like direct mail, maybe some radio or what we’re now calling audio, and then TV, and now we’re calling OTT or CTV.
And that’s where MTA started to struggle is, how do you bring these other channels in there? And so MMM has those advantages in this privacy world, but really the future is the merging, if you will, of the two of those. But for any organization, especially that’s spending a lot of money in marketing, you’ve got to have a way to measure because you’re working across all of these different channels. And let’s say you had $10 million in sales this month, and I’m working across, let’s say, Google, Facebook, Criteo, and maybe I’m doing some CTV as well, and then maybe also I’m doing stuff on The Trade Desk. So I have five different channels and I did $10 million in sales.

If I go to all of those platforms and aggregate all the data, it’ll probably say I did $50 million in sales. So there’s no deduplication across platforms. MMM and MTA, their job is to deduplicate so that you actually have a true CPA at a channel, but also a very granular level. And this is what MTA did is that, instead of just saying digital, MTA could get down to in the search world, campaign ad group, keyword match type ad level and tell you increase spend or decrease spend at that lower level. So it provided guidance to those channel managers in order to know where to move money around in order to hit their goals.

Alexander Sofronas:
Yeah. Those are some very interesting technologies, and they’ve definitely changed the way that marketing functions. I’m curious, when a company is deciding whether or not to use outside help when building complex data science models like MTA or MMM, how would a company weigh the factors for, do we hire data scientists or do we hire an agency?

Jeff Greenfield:
That’s a great question. And I think a lot of companies have struggled with that, especially as they scale. When I first started C3 Metrics back in 2008, when we would go into a company and we would ask to speak to their analytics team, it was usually the IT guy that they brought in. Because back then, there was one person who took care of all of the computers at the office and was also in charge of the web properties and anything to do with ads and things like that.

Over time, we’ve seen that shift where, especially larger companies are realizing that their own data is so valuable. And in order to truly understand it, they have to build out teams of internal resources, because the data requirements don’t just stop with marketing, they now extend into things like HR. Like the data requirements for HR these days is ridiculous, especially when you try to figure out all of these new questions because of the pandemic and work from home, there’s so much data there that a company can learn from in order to help better manage their team and improve their overall happiness score. And so smaller companies will tend to use an outside company.

Now what smaller companies tend to like, and we’ve seen this trend over the years, is they like productized thing. They like products because products are less intimidating than dealing with a consultancy or an agency where it’s all personalized. So for smaller companies, I would always recommend start searching around, do a little Google searching and start looking around for products that are already out there that can help you. Product Hunt is a great source for that. I’m always on Product Hunt, looking for new tools and stuff like that. But as you scale and you get bigger, one of the things that happens with data science models like MTA or even MMM is that, if you hire an agency or consultancy and you get back the results or you have a product company and you’ve got the results, who’s going to interpret them? Because getting results without turning them into action is a complete waste of investment.

And so what you have to have is you have to have someone that is essentially in charge of and spearheading those data efforts, who can then translate them into results for each of the people that are supposed to make changes. And then also be there to explain it to them. Now you could say that consultants can do that. Yes they can. They can explain things. But making certain that people actually do the changes and holding those people accountable, they can’t do that and they don’t do that. And so that’s why we’ve seen, over the last 15 years, as companies start to scale. And now you start to see, all you got to do is search on LinkedIn for jobs, where you’re looking for analytics directors, and you’re seeing all these listings, join our analytics team. Back in 2010, there were no analytics teams.

I remember one client of ours that we had, Carbonite. There was nobody. In fact, C3 Metrics came in and the marketing team is the one that dealt with the analytics product. And they didn’t know it because there was no analytics team. And then I remember there was one gentleman there, Matt, and there was a change in the marketing department and they didn’t know what to do with C3 with the data. And he said, “I’ll take it on. And so then he became our point of contact and I saw him incredibly take his team of one and build it to a team of 18 over the course of three years. And he did an incredible job of building out consensus in that organization, to where they understood the true value of data.

In fact, he reported directly to the CFO, and the CFO wouldn’t put out any reports or any information to the CEO until he talked to the analytics team. And that’s really where analytics belongs, is part of that CFO organization versus the marketing organization. Because at the CFO level, that’s where budgets get set, that’s where decisions are made, and that’s really where you want to be in an organization because that’s where you can affect the most change.

Alexander Sofronas:
So we talked about some of the technologies that a business will use, how they’ll build it. What do you think the future of marketing attribution looks like?

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah, it doesn’t look like the past, without a doubt. I mean, when I first started C3 Metrics in 2008, we were actually able to grab the entire digital path. We had tags that were up on Facebook. Facebook took our tags. Amazon, took our tags. We had everything. And so we were actually able to really map that entire path. So everything was deterministic. It was a lot of data, but truly incredible. And then all of a sudden… I’ll never forget it because there were a couple of us that were involved with Facebook in the early days. It was us at C3, Convertro, and Adometry. And there was a day when it was announced that Google was buying Adometry, and then three hours later, it was announced that AOL had acquired Convertro.
And then the next week, Facebook said, “We’re going to take down all the multi touch attribution tags,” because they originally saw it as wow, MTA is independent and they’re like this independent voice. And then when two of the larger, independent voices were purchased and acquired by two of their bigger competitors, they said, “Yeah, we’re not playing in this anymore.” So then all of a sudden, Facebook went from being a 100% deterministic to now being probabilistic. And that was okay for a couple of years because we had so much data on Facebook. We knew how it reacted with other channels, and we could add in those probabilistic, if you will, markers and our model.

But then all of a sudden, new wall garden started to come up. I think the biggest first one was YouTube, and Google moved away from having tags. We had tags that were on YouTube. Anytime someone would do a buy, so if you were seeing an ad, our tags would be there for that. And then what Google found is that so much of the traffic had shifted from a desktop environment to a mobile environment, that they wanted to do away with tags because they had so many tags that were there. And what they found is that even the fastest tags, the more there were, they were slowing things down and that was impacting user experience.
And so what they did at that point is they built out something called Ads Data Hub, which was an aggregated view, if you will, of data. So that instead of being able to get user level data, we would only be able to get aggregated data. And it was limited by geo so that you could never identify a specific user. And they followed the HIPAA guidelines so that if they ever moved into healthcare, this Ads Data Hub would be compliant with it. And so we were the first and the only multi touch attribution company utilizing Ads Data Hub. But then what happened is, very rapidly, other platforms started to come up, the TikToks of the world, and who else knows what else is going to come out there?

And then there started to become where we’ve got more holes than we have deterministic data. So now, things are very probabilistic in the MTA world. And it used to be, with things like CTV, it was great because you could get a file from the CTV provider, the publisher, of every household IP address that was exposed to an ad, and then the way you could tell effectiveness and add it into a user path is, we would then add that file into C3, and it would look up IP addresses and it would add that exposure right into the user path, which was incredible. But now what’s happened is, yes, those devices are in the household IP. So that dataset hasn’t changed. What has changed is the ability to collect proper IP addresses, because with iOS now, a lot of people are utilizing that Relay.

So if you log into your stats now, you’ll start to see more and more people from the middle of America and different IP addresses that don’t relate to that user being utilized, so the ability to match back CTV and OTT to visitors on a website, it doesn’t work the way it used to. And then, now what’s going to happen is, sometime next year, it was supposed to happen this year, but they pushed it off a year, is the upcoming cookie apocalypse. Now, this may not happen. There may be some governmental intervention that stops it from happening, but the trains left the station and it’s going to happen eventually, where there will be no more third party cookies.

So the ability to stitch together that user path is going to be gone. Now, everyone talks about, well, what about cookie list tracking methods? Yeah, there are cookie list tracking methods, but the walled gardens are going to see this as an end run. And remember, one of the major walled gardens is Google, and they control one of the major browsers. So any circumvention around in order to track users is going to be quickly squashed by the browsers. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next couple of years, because when you read all of the privacy regulations, IP addresses are considered to be PII data. And so one of the things that I think we’re going to start to see is, I think we’re going to start to see hiding of IP addresses by the browsers.
And this is shocking to me, as someone who built out a technology in 2008. Because I always saw the browsers as partners working with us together. I never saw them as having their own agenda. But they certainly do have their own agenda. And it’s at odds with multi touch attribution as it exists today. So I think because of all those holes, and because now that user path is going to be more probabilistic than deterministic, the future of marketing attribution is more of an aggregated view. And it’s more of a view where we’re looking at the merging, if you will, or the Venn diagram. If you were to take MTA and MMM and merge them together, the Venn diagram of it would look like a continuous, always on platform that utilizes not only attribution, so very granular, but also incrementality.

This is one of the things attribution didn’t have is, there was no incrementality and attribution like there is in MMM. But where you’re able to look at multiple conversions, multiple KPIs, you’re not just limited to digital, you can look at the total media portfolio, even things like print, and not have any privacy concerns at all. That’s really the future of marketing attribution. And that’s actually what I just described is what we’ve built over at Provalytics is this kind of merging of both worlds. Because what we end up with, with that, is we end up with the ability to accurately measure the effectiveness and the efficacy of all current channels and any future channel.

Because when you think about it, if something new came out, the TikToks of tomorrow come out and you’re going to buy something there, you’re going to be able to figure out what you bought. There’s a price that you paid for it. There’s a day that you got it on. There’s an impression count or engagement count or something. And that can be layered in to this type of model. So we’re talking about, that can handle all current and future channels, something that looks at not only the direct impact… And this is really, really important. This is one of the things that marketing mix does really well that attribution did not, which is that, when you’re buying ads, there’s that immediate impact. But what about the person who sees the ad and it paints a picture in their mind, but they don’t do anything.

And then they see another one and it paints a bigger picture, and it takes like, on the sixth impression, they finally did something. So that’s this indirect impact of marketing. And that’s something that’s called ad stock. There’s a long explanation on Wikipedia about ad stock, but it really is about this kind of long term lagged impact. And we know that it also happens… And ad stock came about because of TV and print. But we know also that that impact is there in digital. And it actually goes back to some of the early studies that Yahoo did. Now, I know everyone today looks at Yahoo like they’re a joke, but Yahoo in the day was the king.

And Yahoo had this great advantage because not only were they this major display network, not only did they have the most visited page, but they also owned and controlled a search engine. And so there was a study that was done with Quaker Oats. Quaker Oats did this homepage takeover of Yahoo. And back in the day, that was the thing. You do a homepage takeover for a day of Yahoo, everyone in the world is going to know about you. So they did a homepage takeover that talked about a healthy breakfast and healthy breakfast cereal. And of course you clicked on it and it took you to the Quaker Oat’s site.

And so what happened that day is Quaker Oak saw a ton of traffic come to their site. And of course, the next day, there wasn’t as much traffic, but it didn’t drop off entirely. It didn’t go back down to the level of that. It took time for that to get back down to the previous level. And what they also saw is that searches for healthy breakfast were dramatically up that day, but they stayed up for about 10 days till they finally got back down to that prior level.

And this coincides with a lot of the brand research that’s out there that says you get a one and a half times return from that branding because it lifts the overall number of people that are aware and it increases the size of your sales funnel, which is what we all want. So that’s really what we’re talking about here is that ad stock, and being able to understand it. When I buy an ad today, what is the impact? I want to know what the impact is today and tomorrow, but if there’s an impact a month later, I really want to know about that. And that’s something that marketing mix does really well. And that’s all part of Provalytics.

Alexander Sofronas:
So expanding on marketing attribution, how can AI change the way marketing attribution functions and the value that it can bring?

Jeff Greenfield:
Well, AI is a game changer because when it comes to attribution, really what you’re interested in is, unlike MMM, we want to know budgets, for what you should spend in a big budget over the next year or the next quarter. Really what I’m interested in is, “Hey, here’s where things are today. What is the absolute… what should I do with my money? How should I move it around?” Or, “I have an extra a $100,000 to spend this month, where’s the best place? Where am I going to get the biggest bang for my buck to spend these dollars?”

AI and the combination of that, obviously, with machine learning allows us instead of running like one simulation or to run hundreds of thousands of simulations, we can do all of these at the same time simultaneously. And actually at Provalytics, we use a technique called SUR, seemingly unrelated regressions, and that allows us to run all of this stuff all at the same time. And AI allows us to do that at a speed at which we’ve never been able to do before. And that’s what allows us today to take aggregated data, non-user level data, and model it and be able to get down to a level where a channel manager then knows how to allocate their spend.

If I’m a Google search person or if I’m a PLA person, I’ll know which PLAs are working and which ones are not, and where to increase spend, and where to decrease spend in order to hit my KPIs and my goals. So that’s the beauty about AI. One of the other biggest and most important things that’s also come as well is, with AI, and the ability to move so much faster, creative is really the name of the game. At the end of the day, everyone thinks you find the winning creative. And I find that so many agencies and so many brands, they stick with the same creative. And it’s a huge mistake.

If you’ve got a creative that’s working on Facebook and it’s got a blue background, there are a million different combinations of blue that look just like that, and you need to start testing them and you need to start doing this all at scale. And there’s some great companies out there that are doing an amazing job with that. The first one that comes to mind is Marpipe. They’ve got the ability where you give them your ad and they go in and create thousands of variations of not only fonts, but colors and pictures. And then they automatically add these to Facebook.

And obviously, because there’s all these unique IDs and things, these can all be tracked as well in any measurement platform that you have, whether it’s Provalytics or anything else. And they can come back and let you know which combination works. And it learns as well. So once it finds that something is working, then it keeps iterating upon that because there is no perfect creative in today’s world because people are so overexposed, you always have to be bobbing and weaving. This marketing game is like a boxing match, and you got to make it through each round. And in order to do that, you got to move around a lot.

Alexander Sofronas:
So earlier in the episode, I asked about the beginning of your career when the internet was still coming to prominence and it was particularly popular among college students. I want to ask about the current technology landscape and what are the opportunities that you see right now for the future that remind you of the opportunities you saw when the internet was just coming to prominence?

Jeff Greenfield:
As technology has become so prevalent… I remember the early days. And going back to what we talked about earlier when I was doing NACA and touring colleges, and I remember I had a PalmPilot, and I would use it to hook up to a phone line, to dial up, to be able to get my email. And then eventually, I had a PalmPilot that had a little wand that you would put up that could get a 1G signal so I could get my email. Back in those days, no one had email. I was one of the first people. And then all of a sudden, everybody had email. And now everybody has email, everybody has a smartphone. Technology is so involved with our lives. And not only that, but everyone is carrying around this, if you will, global knowledge in your pocket.

I mean, it’s really an incredible time that we live in. We have everything, and every book that’s ever been written, every philosopher’s thought, every fact that we want. If I want to know what the temperature is right now in Positano, Italy, I can Google it and have it on my fingertips. And so I think we live in a time where technology has become this pivot point in our life. And I see that in a lot of businesses. When I go in and I look at companies, I’m amazed at the number of tools that they are utilizing to run their business. And when SaaS first came out and SaaS products were first available, it was amazing because you didn’t have to go through this whole installation process. It was incredible.

But now, some of these companies have got 20 or 30 different tools that they’re using. So I think there’s an opportunity for some sort of auditing. And I hate to say it’s just another tool, but I think there’s an opportunity for an auditing technology or consultancy, if you will, that comes in and helps companies decide, are they getting the value from this that they should? And maybe that’s a role that analytics should play, because I really believe that every tool you use in your business, there should be a cost benefit where you look at that.

You see a lot of ad agencies today, and a lot of companies do this, especially services oriented companies, they have all their, every team member, even the CEO will track their time to figure out what client they’re working on. Because a lot of companies have been shocked to find out that clients that they’ve had that were paying them lots of money, sometimes they’re losing millions of dollars a year on it, but they didn’t know that till they started tracking time. And I think the same is true of a lot of the tools. A lot of the tools just become part of the culture, but they’re not actually giving any benefit.

So I think that there’s an opportunity there. I also think when I look at the landscape right now, in terms of measurement, we’re at this amazing point in time, we have all these things happening at once. Privacy is front and center, and whether it’s the cookie apocalypse, the iOS changes or who knows what else is coming, we’ve reached a point in the world where tracking users at an individual level, that’s not where the future is headed. So that’s the first thing that’s happened. And then the second thing along with that, and as a result of that, we have this shift from Google Analytics to GA4. And this is a monumental shift because Google Analytics is the most used marketing analytics platform out there. And whether it’s right or wrong, it’s what most marketing departments use to make their decisions, or at least guide them.

I hope that most folks listening to this know that brand search and affiliates don’t drive their business, even though that’s what GA says, but there’s a lot of folks who don’t know that. But one of the things that folks are dealing with right now is that, you log into GA and there’s that banner across that says, “As of July, there won’t be any more… Won’t be able to put any new data in here.” And so now, there’s this massive transition where we’ve got to transition companies over to GA4. And that’s great, but it’s like, people are now having to look at both systems, because they’re both running at the same time. Because as of next July, your historical data is still going to be there, so you’re going to have to look at GA, not GA4.

And there’s now people are starting to see there’s differences between the two. And let me tell you, if someone has been in this space for a long time, whenever people start to see discrepancies in the numbers, they start to lose faith in them. And so that is creating an opportunity right now in the technology landscape for any players to come in and start to provide a solution that works. One of the things that we know that is not going away, hopefully, is first party data. So if I have a website, it’s the data that I collect on that website, especially for people that are logged in or known customers.

So for eCommerce, where 75% of your business is returning customers, these are people you have on email list, you have their shipping address, you have everything about them. And you know every time they come to the website, because usually they’re logged in. So that first party data becomes very, very valuable. And there’s an opportunity. There’s a huge uptick in companies getting up and running with CDPs so that they can aggregate that data. And most importantly, not only aggregate on it, but also activate on it.

I also see though that, as we’re starting to move from this user level data to aggregated data, one of the big holes that I see is that people are not feeding the data back to the Googles and the Facebooks of the world and the LinkedIns of the world, especially in the B2B space, that they should. Most people have tags up. And so when a lead comes in, that goes into Google and Google rings the cash register and says, “All right, job well done. Good job, Google engine. Let’s keep it going.” And that’s how most companies do it. When they have a lead, that’s it, because then sales takes over.

Well, there’s a whole offline conversion process that you can actually easily enable with your CRM and with Zapier to just make it down and dirty and simple. So you don’t even have to build out the API, it’s already there for you to do. So that when that lead becomes a marketing qualified lead, obviously, someone who’s marketing qualified is probably worth at least 10 times more than just a regular lead, and then when they become sales qualified, they’re worth a lot more than that. And then when you actually close them, they’re worth a lot more. Even if that journey is months long, every time you change the stage in your CRM, you can set it so it automatically sends that information back to Google and back to Facebook. And there is a beta for LinkedIn to say, “Hey, that lead that you sent me before, I said it’s worth a one, it’s now worth a 10 or it’s worth a 100.”
And what will happen over time is that Google will realize, “Hey, there’s a lot of one leads, but they really like these leads that are 100s.” And over time, that’ll feed the Googles and the Facebooks of the world, and it will tell them how to optimize. And you will start to see, automatically, your lead quality will go up. It’s like, overnight, the leads that start to come in from your paid efforts, all of a sudden, your close rate is so much better. And it’s not that your sales team is doing a better job. It’s just that, your number one sales person, the one at the top of the funnel, the Googles and the Facebooks and the LinkedIns of the world, you’re actually giving them feedback so that they can actually find you leads that are more like the ones that you actually close.

So there’s an opportunity there because, as I talk to folks in the B2B space, and hell, even in the B2C space, if you have a subscription business, you should be feedbacking and sending that information on to Google, into Facebook every time someone subscribes, every single month, you should be updating them. Hell, you should be updating them every day or every hour as someone resubscribes, because the more frequent the information, the smarter they’re going to get, and you’ll see your costs start to decrease in terms of marketing.

Alexander Sofronas:
Moving on to leadership lessons, do you have any leadership lessons to share with the audience?

Jeff Greenfield:
I think the most important thing is, you have to develop empathy and understanding for people on your team. And we talked about this earlier that as an entrepreneur, especially as a solo entrepreneur, you’re doing all these jobs, and you want to make certain that people are doing them, and there’s trust issues that we all have, we have to understand that in order for our team to scale and do well, they’ve got to have a life. They’ve got to have a life outside of work. Even though you may not, they’ve got to have a life.

And so, you have to be able to know when to throttle up, but also when to throttle back and trust that they’re going to do a really good job. And the way you do that is to really understand them. And really, some leaders, they don’t really want to care about their people. I don’t want to be friends with my team. Like yeah, maybe you don’t want to be friends with them, but you want to know who they are, what they’re about, and you also want to know what really matters most to them. Because it may be that this person is only going to be part of your team for six months. And then at that point, you guys part ways and they go on and do bigger and better things. But during that six months, they may do incredible work for you.

So one of the things that you want to look at is, when you’re hiring people and you’re recruiting people, don’t look at it like you’re looking for someone to be with you for the next couple of years, because they may not. And even if they tell you they’re going to be, circumstances change in life. Look and see what this person can do for you today. And then it’s your job as a leader that once they’ve accomplished a goal with you, you then want to continue to challenge them so that they can continue to do great things. And that’s your job as a leader, is that as soon as you see someone has done really well in one role and they’re killing it, move them up, give them more responsibility. They can handle more.

This is how you retain people, is that as they continue to evolve with their skills, you need to get further out of the way, step back and do more vision type stuff and hand over the reins of your daily stuff to the folks that are able. And that’s tough for a lot of folks, but that’s the way that you are able to retain people and keep them on.

Alexander Sofronas:
And speaking of that work-life balance, a lot of what I’ve found to work for me is working at a job that is really fulfilling. And I want to ask if you have any advice for how somebody should find their passion in life, in terms of work.

Jeff Greenfield:
Yeah. Some people find it in the actual work that they do or the overall goal or vision of the company. But I think the way you find your passion at work is, you want to make sure that you work for people that you think are passionate, and that you think are caring. Because if you work for someone that is a really good leader, it’s going to impact everything you do. You’re going to feel so much better about it. And we’ve talked about this before, Alex, about how the leader at the top sets the tone for the entire company. And if the tone is off, everyone feels it. And even if it’s work that you’re passionate about, you’re going to hate it. You’re never going to have a good day there. And all of a sudden, you’re going to start looking for other things.

But when the tone is great at the top and the vision is clear, even if some of the busy work you don’t like and you’re not passionate about it, you’re passionate about the team. And I have a personal example of that with my daughter. My daughter, for years… And my daughter works in social media. She’s a social media manager for Paid. And she worked for years in the auto industry where she worked for a large dealer group, and all of her jobs after that were where CEOs were men. And men and women, we have different ways that we do things. That’s just a fact. And she did her job. She loved it. And then she got recruited, several months ago, by this B2B agency in Oakland called LQ Digital. And it’s a female led agency.

And immediately, she noticed a difference with the tone at the company, the vision at the company, the way that her boss talked to her, her interactions with everyone at the company. And I got to tell you, Alex, she’s doing the exact same work that she did when she was working at the auto dealer group and at the other companies, it’s exactly the same work, but she is so passionate about it now and loves all the work that she does, where it’s tough for her, even though she’s not an entrepreneur, it’s tough for her to stop working each day because she not only loves what she does, but she loves the people that she works with, and she loves the vision and just the leadership. And that’s made all of the difference for her.

And I think that’s really what it is. When you have someone that you work for that is an incredible leader that will take a bullet for you, that’s what you want. You want someone who’s going to be leading the charge, and not someone who’s going to be behind, yelling at you, telling you to work harder. You’ll do anything for that person. And that to me is where you find passion. Because, at the end of the day, even though we’re all doing this work, even if we’re remote, we’re interacting with people on Zoom calls or video calls or we get together. And it’s those interactions that fuel that passion. So I think, at the end of the day, it starts at the top.

Alexander Sofronas:
Final question. How can we hire better to make stronger teams?

Jeff Greenfield:
You only get stronger teams when you have diverse teams. You have to have diversity, especially as an entrepreneur. And when you’re starting a business, and even when you have a large business, it’s all about solving problems. And I experienced this firsthand at C3 Metrics, we were bootstrapped, didn’t have a lot of money, couldn’t even afford to run ads on LinkedIn, so I ran ads on Craigslist because they were cheaper, and hired people and paid them by the hour. And I made up ads, I copied ads from the internet that I saw, for different roles.

And we got to about 10 employees, and I looked around and I said, everyone here is white and straight male. And that’s when I realized that we all hire people that are like ourselves. That’s why larger companies, they get a whole recruiting team, that is typically, at any large company, you’ll see that the recruiting team is diverse, because people tend to go towards something that they know. And so, one of my struggles at the time there was like, we need some female input, because if it’s all straight white guys, 10 of us, and we have a problem to solve, they’re all going to get to the same answer that I would get to. I need different perspectives that will stretch my thinking as a leader. And that’s why you need diversity.

So I struggled for several months, trying to get to recruit women into the company. And I didn’t have any luck until… This is a crazy story. My wife and I, because we live here in New Hampshire, and right over the New Hampshire border is Kittery, Maine. And if anyone listening has ever been there, you’ll go to the Kittery outlet malls where there’s all these outlets. And my wife said, she had bought stuff from Lululemon before online, she’s like, “Let’s go to the Lululemon outlet. I’m curious to see what they have there.”

So we go in there, and of course, it’s busy as can be. It’s all women working there, and everyone’s smiling and everyone’s happy. And I’m like, “Okay, Lululemon has figured out how to recruit women.” And it’s not just because they’re selling to women, there’s got to be another reason. So I went online when I got back from Kittery and I looked, and I started searching and looking at Lululemon ads, and I realized that the language that they use, the way they’ve described the jobs and they described what you were going to be doing, was completely different than anything else I’d ever seen.

And that’s when I had the epiphany. I realized that these job descriptions were probably written by women. And all of the job descriptions that I had ever used before, that are on the internet, have been around for years and were all written by men. And so all I did is, I took my job descriptions and I started using some of the same language about how they felt about the job, using the word love a lot, because if you’re going to go work at someplace, you don’t want to be passionate, you got love it as well too.
And immediately, after I started running the new version of the ads, half the applicants were women. It was like overnight. And just by doing that, I was able to get a more diverse culture, where it turned out that we had a lot of women, a lot of people that weren’t straight, we had a diversity of backgrounds and opinions so that when we started sitting down as a group to solve problems, I would start hearing answers that I would’ve never come up with on my own.

And that’s where you get a real problem solving and real growth as an entrepreneur. When you start listening to people and they start coming up with solutions that you would never come up with, that’s an exciting time. And that’s why you have to have diversity and really focus on hiring people that are not like yourself, because you already have yourself. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to do the job of probably 20 people. So you got 20 of you. You don’t need more of you. You need people that are completely different.

Alexander Sofronas:
I want to thank you, Jeff, for coming on. This has been an excellent discussion. I learned so much.

Jeff Greenfield:
My pleasure, Alex. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

Alexander Sofronas:
Awesome. And thanks everyone for listening. We’ll talk to you soon.

Provalytics CEO Talks Multi-Touch Attribution on Friday Fireside

Provalytics CEO recently sat down for an interview on the popular podcast, Friday Fireside, to discuss the company’s journey and the future of attribution technology. In this article, we recap the key insights and perspectives shared by the CEO during the interview and provide a glimpse into the exciting developments in the world of attribution.

Televisionation: Friday Fireside, the #1 television industry Webcast, features Rick Howe, The iTV Doctor, in conversation with prominent figures from the advanced-TV/video industry.

Today’s guest on The Friday Fireside is Jeff Greenfield, CEO of Provalytics. Provalytics unifies all media, including walled gardens, CTV, TV, OOH, radio, direct mail, and print, providing deduplicated, privacy-compliant reporting which includes synergies, carryover, ad stock and consumer sentiment, and separates incrementality from the baseline. With an extensive advanced advertising background at WideOrbit, C3 Metrics and 1st Approach, Jeff is truly prepared to help his expanding list of customers to fix what’s broken!

Rick Howe: Good morning. This is the Friday Fireside, and we are here with Jeff Greenfield. He is CEO of Provalytics. Jeff, how are you?

Jeff Greenfield: I’m doing wonderful Rick and excited to be here today.

Rick Howe: That’s terrific. And you are joining us from?

Jeff Greenfield: Someplace in New Hampshire, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, New Hampshire is not known for its coastline. We have 16 miles of it and, and that’s where we are right over the border from Maine about an hour north of Boston. Beautiful, beautiful area.

Rick Howe: Cool, man. All right. So. Prior to, getting Provalytics started. You were at WideOrbit and for a very long time, you were at C3 Metrics. Tell us what Provalytics is, which by the way happens to be a company named you should be congratulated for this, that I could easily spell hearing it only once. There aren’t many trade names in this business that you could do that with.

Jeff Greenfield: The kudos for that goes to my wife, Cheryl. She was the one that came up with it. I’m excited. She will love to hear that. Rick.

Jeff Greenfield: Provalytics is answering the questions that marketers have as the atmosphere gets a lot worse in terms of measurement. We’re at this point where, we shifted, if you go back 12 years ago, as multitouch attribution came to be, people shifted away from marketing mix modeling to MTA, that idea of building out the user journey, collecting as much data as possible.

And you have entire companies and brands that are all set on using user level data. And now back in those early days, there were holes, back in the early, early days, we had tags up at Facebook even. But the walls came up, and we were able to build out probabilistic methodologies for that. Since most of the data we were collecting was deterministic.

Well now because of the Apple IOS changes and the upcoming cookie apocalypse, the Apple relay with IP addresses. And now just announced, about a week or two ago, Firefox is now going to be stripping all the URL parameters, which prevents any tracker from working even a Google analytics.

And add to all this, we’re also at this crazy pivot point with Google Analytics. Google analytics is forcing everyone to shift over to GA 4. So, every brand in the world right now is in the midst of having to transition over. So, the question becomes, now there’s more holes in this deterministic journey. So, what are we supposed to do?

And if we look back to the world of marketing mix modeling, marketing mix modeling has always been able to look at all these channels, put together. But the problem with marketing mix modeling is it just provides you this point in time measurement, unlike attribution, which is always on, and it did it, but it did it without having to deal with privacy concerns.

And so, the future of measurement is essentially the venn diagram, if you will, of marketing mix modeling and multitouch attribution – taking the best of both worlds and putting them together. We’re talking about, aggregated data being collected, being able to look at multiple KPIs across your total media portfolio, with the sole purpose of not telling you how you did in the past. But telling you, this is the best place to spend your next marketing dollar today. And that’s really the key of what Provalytics is all about.

Rick Howe: All right. So here, so here’s the question through all of that and you, and you gave a mouthful, can anybody understand all that?

Jeff Greenfield: Well, what people can really understand is that the way that they’ve been going about buying media and targeting and measuring is about to make a drastic shift, within the next 8 to 12 months with all these changes.
So that’s the big thing, things are not going to stay the same way they are now. That’s why if you start looking online, a lot of ad networks are talking about cookie-less tracking. In reality, what’s happened is that digital has taken a step back in terms of their capabilities.

At the same time, we see that TV, because of the advent of OTT and CTV has become digitized and has now come to the forefront. But even OTT, CTV tracking that we used to be able to do, where we would match IP addresses in the digital realm. That’s on its way out as well, too. What I’m here to tell everyone, is that the way that we’ve done business up to this point is about to change.

And those of you who are listening, who are running right now, GA and GA 4, and you’re looking at the differences between the two, you see that there’s some differences there. So, things are going to be different starting next year, drastically for those who are not prepared.

Rick Howe: All right. So let’s talk about things getting different. The real big news, of course in advertising is Netflix. Finally doing what everybody, including myself, thought they needed to do quite some time ago, cause they’re going to run out of cash. They chose Microsoft. And I am one of those who believes that Microsoft has not had a happy relationship with television in the past.

They’ve usually been way off target. They’ve been doing a lot of advertising work. They recently acquired Xandr. What does Netflix and Microsoft do to address the changes, or do you think that that partnership with Microsoft actually is how they address the changes on how, how advertising is going to be bought?

Jeff Greenfield: To go back a little bit, Netflix, even if they did have a lot of cash, the hours of viewing increased, eventually they were going to be spending more money. And Wall Street, as Netflix is a publicly traded company, they always want more. They want the numbers to go up into the right.

We all knew that advertising, they were going to have to monetize the viewing hours somehow, some way. I think that when you look at the other potentials that were out there and, and predominantly was probably Google. Google’s got a lot of issues attached to it, like Facebook because they’ve got these multitude of different properties.

And there’s a question of where that data actually goes and lives. Microsoft has been slow moving, but really super smart. Not only do they acquire Xandr, and they waited until it was a bargain, but they also acquired LinkedIn. And don’t forget, they also own Bing, it’s not used as much, but when you combine the usage of Bing with LinkedIn and all of these things and they separate them, they’re completely segregated within the company. Microsoft comes off as a much more sturdier secure partner than does a Google.

Rick Howe: Really?

Jeff Greenfield: Yeah, I definitely think that. You’ve seen a lot of companies that have moved over to G suite, the Google equivalent of Word and email. But most of the larger enterprise companies are still using Microsoft office and I’m an Office user and I admit five years ago, it wasn’t that great, and Teams is buggy as hell, but it’s gotten better. Just the ability and the way it combines into Azure.
I see Microsoft as a much sturdier, smarter choice. It will allow them to move forward, and not have any concerns about privacy or where their data is going to go because Microsoft, they don’t have a product for that, at least not yet.

Rick Howe: And that was the thing. When we were talking before we got started,there was a rumble I saw this morning that Alphabet might actually, spin off the Google ad business. I had thought when Netflix was shopping and they were talking to Alphabet and they were talking to NBC, they were even talking to Roku, and then Microsoft. I felt that if Netflix went with Google, the Google machine would get into all that delicious Netflix subscriber data and that it wouldn’t end well for Netflix.

Maybe Netflix saw the same thing, which is why they went to Microsoft. If Alphabet spins off the Google ad business and the “machine” isn’t there, literally lurking in the background. Is that good for the Google ad business? Is that good for all of us?

Jeff Greenfield: I think it’s good for the Google ad business. I especially think it’s good for Alphabet. I said this earlier, that Alphabet is similar to Facebook. They have these multitude of properties. Where they’re sharing data across them. And that’s only going to lead to problems in this privacy centric world.

All these changes that are going on, especially with the browsers and with all these properties, it’s going to lead to problems when they separate out their different pieces of the business and there’s no data sharing except through like a clean room environment, which is acceptable these days. Then they’re much safer and I think everyone else is better off, because you can be assured that the data’s not going elsewhere.

Rick Howe: I made some notes. You have been quoted and the Hollywood reporter, the LA Times, Bloomberg TV, Brand Week, and a bunch of other. And now of course, Friday Fireside. So, I’m honored to have you here.

With all of that, that’s going on, can you give our audience, and our audience is, brands, distributors, folks with the ad inventory on the sell side, a lot of folks on the buy side and a ton of ad tech and a smattering of investors, Talk to us about the remainder of 2022 and 2023. What should people be focused on right now?

Jeff Greenfield: People should be focused on spending at the top of the funnel.

Rick Howe: Really?

Jeff Greenfield: Oh, a thousand percent. In fact, I’ll recommend to everyone right here who’s listening. This is probably the best book on marketing that’s available today. “Lemon, How The Advertising Brain Turned Sour” by Orlando Wood. And it’s a phenomenal book because it’s only five chapters. What I recommend to people is they read one chapter a night and then discuss it with someone who’s not in the business at all. From our side of the business, the best part is right at the beginning of the book. There’s two graphs and there’s one graph that’s going down and one graph that’s going up. The graph that’s going up, started going up in 2006, and that’s the rise of what they call “short termism”, bottom of the funnel buying, which is essentially what most, if not all of digital is.

Rick Howe: And get as get as close to the transaction, as you can, basically an influencer.

Jeff Greenfield: That’s exactly right. So that’s the graph. That’s going up. The graph that’s going down is at ad effectiveness. And that’s because if your funnel is shorter, you have fewer people in it. And that means that your ads have to work twice as hard and you’re affecting much fewer people. Your reach is lower. And so, my recommendation is based upon all the research I’ve seen is that.

Brands that start to think in terms of emotion, which is not, you don’t see that today in ads on TV or in digital, it’s all fast-moving stuff, all to satisfy the TikTok era. And the key here is that if you’re a brand, you want to do something that’s different. Think like what Apple did with their ad, you want to do something that’s completely different.

If you focus in on emotion and on brand building, your return is going to be at least one and a half to two times greater than any bottom of the funnel buying that you’re going to do. That would be my recommendation as we turn the corner on this year.

Rick Howe: Sound like you’re a fan of storytelling on television.

Jeff Greenfield: Absolutely. Listen. I’m a sucker for any Fantasy Island or Love Boat.

Rick Howe: But I mean storytelling and the advertising. That’s what we know how to do as an industry. Right?

Jeff Greenfield: But we’ve gotten away from it. Yeah, we have, we got stuck in by the excitement of data in these user journeys. We believed that there’s more information in all that detail, the concept that data is the new oil. And I’m here to tell you to borrow from the movie world. It’s time to pan back. You have to take a bigger perspective. And that’s what Provalytics is all about, looking at things from not the top down, but the middle out, because when we’re focused in so deep, we can’t see the forest for the trees. And that’s what has happened with brands and with brand building over the last decade.

Rick Howe: I just want to know your opinion. I’m not even sure the concept of funnel works anymore. Fact of the matter is, when it comes to advertising and media, I, lift my head above the top of the foxhole and it’s like, I’m getting attacked by every yellow jacket in three continents. How can the funnel leading down to some kind, how can that even exist anymore?

Jeff Greenfield: The funnel they say is more of like a circle these days, because of the social media and the feedback loop. I still like looking at it as a funnel because it’s easy for me to explain to clients, which is you have to spend at the top to kind of open it up and get new people in. And then, you know, a percentage are going to actually drip through. But you are right about one thing, which is that there is a massive number of ads that we’re exposed to, especially in the digital realm these days.

So one of the thing that brands should start to think about is if you are a New York agency or a New York brand, or if you’re an LA agency or an LA. Start looking at some of the media plans that they put together in middle America. Those plans are very well rounded. They’ve got crazy things in them, like direct mail, OOH, things that, most plans that I see don’t have. It’s absolutely incredible.

And that’s because people plan for themselves. Oh, I don’t have cable, so we’re not going to buy TV. Oh, I don’t look at my mail. I don’t even get mail. And the reality is, , direct mail kills. OOH kills. You just need to accept the idea that you’re going to hit everyone over the head during that digital journey is just crazy.
You want to hit people at different places. How about when they’re at the gas pump? Imagine with these videos that they’ve got at the gas pump, people are really upset because of the gas prices. If a brand were to come out with a cute little 15-second vignette, that’d be a great way to get attention.

Rick Howe: I was having a conversation with my client at Centrify when we did a Fireside with him, we talk about ‘four walling’. Remember four walling on movie premieres? On a Wednesday or Thursday night, you couldn’t go anywhere and you wouldn’t see the ad for the Godfather. Okay. Period.

That was it or anything. I think that, I mean, right now you’ll almost see four walling in politics, except that it’s about, 156 walling. I think that is still a communication strategy anywhere you turn. There’s your message. I think that still works. It can be hard to execute, if you try to keep it on for way too long, it can be expensive, but you want to get a message home and have the consumer go: Oh, Wow. I see that. That’s kind of the way to go, isn’t it?

Jeff Greenfield: It totally is. In fact, if you remember in the digital realm, the days of the homepage takeovers on Yahoo. We don’t see those as much at all, but I think as Netflix moves forward with Microsoft and gets their ad product up since essentially local theaters are not really in e existence much these days. It will be interesting to see if four walling comes back because one of the premier positions for anyone was in the pre-roll before the film, as people are sitting there waiting for it. That’s going to become incredibly valuable as Netflix move forward.

Rick Howe: Well, speaking of that, by the way, and we are about done, but I just want to give kudos to the folks at Peacock and got friends up there. As a Peacock subscriber, I did get an offer for a free Fandango, Comcast family, movie coupon, actually avoucher for $15. So, my wife and I are going to go see Thor, which probably isn’t the best movie, but it’s big and it’s flahshy. And essentially that got us two IMAX tickets to go see Thor tonight. So, kudos to Peacock on tying some of the pieces together of their product mix.

Jeff Greenfield: It’s super smart. More brands need to do efforts just like like.

Rick Howe: Yeah. And Disney does a bit, they could do an awful lot more, but they do a bit.  Well, listen, we’re out of time. Jeff Greenfield. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

Jeff Greenfield: Well, thank you so much, Rick. I’m honored to finally make my first Friday Fireside.

Rick Howe: There you go, bud. And I will say to all my friends that I do when we sign off, just be nice to each.