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Charitable Giving as a Business Culture

Broad Street Co has always set aside a portion of their time to support non-profits. Whether it is through sponsoring events, volunteering, seeking grants for non-profit clients or waiving agency fees, we are a strong believer in being a strong part of the communities where we live. We feel it is important for our employees to provide service to the community and support organizations with our agency services when otherwise they may not have the budgets to work with an advertising agency.

Last year, we donated over $50,000 in agency services to area non-profits, served on the boards and volunteered hundreds of hours to help organizations reach their audience, raise awareness and fundraising. This company culture is at the root of what we do. We are an organization that believes in helping others and we’ve discovered that putting our skills to use for non-profit organizations gives our team the opportunity to begin a lifelong commitment to service and community involvement.

Non-profit organizations often struggle to generate awareness and raise money to support their mission and through a partnership with an advertising agency, they benefit from the same opportunities as retail companies in being “top of mind” and serving their community.

We are currently in the process of evaluating non-profit organizations in Texas and Alabama to support. If you would like to be considered for full or partial pro bono services from us, contact us with your needs and we will review your request.

By | March 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

OPELIKA NATIVE OPENS BRANCH OFFICE OF AUSTIN-BASED AGENCY IN HIS HOMETOWN

Opelika, Alabama?? That’s right. Broad Street Co’s Founder and CEO is an Opelika native and recently purchased a home with plans 65086439to spend part of the year in his hometown. During his visits and as he settled in he discovered that the thriving Opelika-Auburn metro area was lacking a full service digital agency with Google Certified Status and experience with national accounts.

The Opelika Auburn area is the second fastest growing market in Alabama and the 11th fastest growing MSA in the U.S. As local businesses thrive, they will need support from an established and respected advertising agency to reach their audiences. With this growth comes new residents and with the addition or the transient university population at Auburn University, the need to reach customers through effective advertising is growing.

More than 85% of customers are online and 80% of people in the U.S. have smartphones. This “connected consumer” relies on online advertising and paid search in making their buying decisions. It is important for local companies to compete with larger brands and national chains in reaching these people online in a native environment. Broad Street’s focus on digital helps small to mid size businesses grow through giving them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the local market. Through geo-targeted advertising, paid search, social and mobile advertising, local companies can compete with national ad campaigns for the Opelika Auburn consumer dollars.

Agency president, Charlie Ray said, “I love Opelika and this is a dream realized to be able to return to my hometown and work with local people I have known my whole life to help grow this economy and support local businesses.” Broad Street Co focuses on digital advertising solutions such as social, paid search, mobile, video and display advertising. The company also provides marketing and business strategy for startups and established businesses. Broad Street works with national clients like Whole Foods and CORT Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway Company and regional clients like Oklahoma Gas, SETON Healthcare and SharpeVision.

Charlie Ray, Broad Street Co. President

About Charlie D. Ray: Charlie was born and raised in Opelika and is a graduate of Opelika High School and the University of Alabama. His parents owned Ray’s Convenience Store on 2nd Avenue among many other local businesses for many years and he follows in his parents footsteps in being an entrepreneur. In addition to starting Broad Street, Charlie is a partner in a construction company, serves on the board of several non-profits in Austin and on the administrative board of First United Methodist Church of Austin. Broad Street Co has secured over $350,000 in Google Grants for several non profit agencies to cover advertising costs and the agency donates over $50,000 every year in pro bono services to these agencies.

“I look forward to being a part of the thriving business community in Opelika and Auburn,” said Ray.

 

 

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Read the full release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPELIKA NATIVE OPENS BRANCH OFFICE OF AUSTIN-BASED AGENCY IN HIS HOMETOWN

OPELIKA, AL–Broad Street Co’s Founder and CEO is an Opelika native and recently relocated to Opelika part time. Returning to Opelika, Charlie Ray discovered a real need for advertising services to support thriving local businesses in Opelika and Auburn. “Opelika and Auburn are both booming and business is competitive. We feel like Broad Street’s expertise in media can help these local businesses compete effectively with help from our agency,” said Ray.

The Opelika Auburn area is the second fastest growing market in Alabama and the 11th fastest growing MSA in the U.S. As local businesses struggle to be competitive, they will need support from an established and proven advertising agency to reach their audiences. With this growth comes new residents and with the addition or the transient university population at Auburn University, the need to reach customers through effective advertising is growing.

More than 85% of customers are online and 80% of people in the U.S. have smartphones. This “connected consumer” relies on online advertising and paid search in making their buying decisions. It is important for local companies to compete with larger brands and national chains in reaching these people online in a native environment. Broad Street’s focus on digital helps small to mid-size businesses grow through giving them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the local market. Through geo-targeted advertising, paid search, social and mobile advertising, local companies can compete with national ad campaigns for the Opelika Auburn consumer dollars.

Ray said, “I love Opelika and this is a dream realized to be able to return to my hometown and work with local people I have known my whole life to help grow this economy and support local businesses.” Broad Street Co offers digital advertising solutions such as social, paid search, mobile, video and display advertising. The company also provides marketing and business strategy for startups and established businesses. Broad Street works with national clients like Whole Foods and CORT Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, along with regional clients like Oklahoma Gas, SETON Healthcare and SharpeVision.

“I look forward to being a part of the thriving business community in Opelika and Auburn,” said Ray.

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About Broad Street Co. 

Broad Street Co. is an award winning agency founded in 2007 with offices in Austin, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and Opelika, Alabama. Broad Street Co.’s strong buying power comes from a deep understanding of digital including strategy, insights, social, influencer marketing, search, analytics, and media. The agency’s clients include Whole Foods Market, CORT Furniture Rental, OneOK, Sharpe Vision, and Better Business Bureau. Broad Street Co. manages over $350,000 in Google Grants for non-profit agency advertising and donates over $50,000 a year in services to area charities. For more information, visit us at broadstreetco.com, or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BroadStreetCo, Twitter @broadstreet and Instagram @broadstreetcompany
About The President

Charlie was born and raised in Opelika and is a graduate of Opelika High School and the University of Alabama. Before opening Broad Street Co, Charlie was an executive for United Healthcare Group, Executive Director of AseraCare Hospice and Director of New Media for LIN Television. He has resided in Dallas, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and Austin. He is active in the community and serves on the board of several non-profit agencies, is an advisory board member of iMedia Agency Summits and is on the administrative board of First United Methodist Church of Austin. Mr. Ray is a philanthropist and business leader in Austin and Charleston and frequent guest lecturer at The University of Texas and the College of Charleston.

 

 

 

By | May 25th, 2016|digital agency, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Instagram News Feed Algorithm Changes Shake Things Up

IG NotificationsAny Instagrammer who’s checked their news feed as of late has likely seen the outcry pouring over the photo-sharing app’s announced update. Instagram, stating that the average user misses out on 70% of their feed, will begin to roll out a news feed algorithm mimicking that of Facebook’s – eventually eliminating the chronological method it previously used. This algorithm will filter user’s feeds based on  predicted relevancy, showing posts that are most likely to be appealing to the user and posts from users that have stronger relationships with each other.

So what does this mean for brands? Organically, Instagram posts will have to be much more compelling and relevant to show up on users’ feeds. Many Instagram celebrities are already attempting to override this update by requesting their followers to turn notifications on, alerting users every time that account uploads an image. The #turnmeon plea was trending yesterday.

With that option a little too abrasive for many brands, a pay-to-reach model will likely surface. Prepare your marketing pocketbooks, as what was free may very well now carry a hefty fee.

Brands can be assured that Instagram will follow the lead of Facebook and posts will slowly fall off of the feeds of their followers without paid promotions.

Instagram has also launched business profiles, signaling that the same strategy used for Facebook to get brands to build pages and get followers/fans/likes and then make them pay to play could lie ahead for Instagram as well.

If you’re looking to grow and maintain engagement with your users, contact us for help.

By | March 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Era of Last Click Attribution is Over

In today’s world of digital media, the quest is no longer just about how many conversions one is looking for or how long a page view is.  Digital marketers want to know about the process a consumer takes in their path to conversion in hopes of seeing how much each ad, whether it be display, search, social media, or more, contributed to a conversion.  For marketers using attribution modeling, the easiest way was to attribute 100% of the sale to the last clicked ad.  The problem with that, is people hardly convert after seeing one ad.

What is Last-Click Attribution?
Last_click

Last-Click Attribution is a method of attribution modeling that weighs the last clicked ad before the conversion at 100%.  In terms of compensation, this means only the vendor who provided the space or content for that direct channel will be credited with the sale.  In past years when attribution modeling was a relatively new concept, Last-Click was a popular choice for advertisers.  In fact, it is still the default setting on Google Analytics.  But the truth is that the attribution model discussion has evolved.  As data becomes more and more important in the advertising world, compiled with the growing availability of cross channel monitoring, many types of attribution models have emerged on the scene.  As Digital Evangelist and Google Guru Avinash Kaushik points out on his blog, “Historically, all tools used last click attribution because the one thing they could confidently say is what drove the converting visit. And they did not have the technical horsepower to do Visitor-centric analysis. Both these problems are solved now.”

 

So Which Attribution Model Should I Be Using?

time-decay

Excellent question!  The truth is: it depends on goals and the business.  For businesses looking to use the most up-to-date model but don’t have the time to create a custom model, then a Time Decay is most widely recommended.  The theory behind Time Decay is that each touch point is considered and given weight in the overall conversion, but the amount that each touch point weighs increases the closer one gets to the direct channel.  While not perfect, it allows all points to be considered in the conversion, and helps paint a better picture of what it took to make a conversion.  This is important because in terms of a conversion funnel, the first clicked ad is seldom the last time a person will be exposed to a product or service on the web.

If looking at a typical conversion which focuses on sales, the first click ad is only the beginning of the sales process.  You have your first-click ad, which could be driving users to learn more on the website or on social media, then retargeting would be utilized to help reel your consumer back in.  Additionally you need to be considering if an individual has been learning about your product from beyond their desktop, and ensure that mobile plays some type of part in their conversion.  Now you may be asking yourself why this all matters, but the truth is that this attribution model (in fact any modern model) can be used to better understand how effective creative is, how strong your media mix is, and how relevant each touch point is to a conversion.  The goal is to be constantly optimizing and figuring out what touch points are making sense vs, which ones aren’t, which will help save time and money in the long haul.

However!  Though Time Decay is a good choice, if your company has experience in attribution modeling and is willing to get more hands on with the attribution approach, a custom model makes the most sense. The truth about digital advertising is that the process one company has for a conversion is not going to be the same for another.  You need to take into consideration that the number of touch points in a conversion funnel for your business will not be the same for another.  Not only that, but you will also weigh different touch points differently depending on your goals and KPIs.  For one client, the conversion may the most crucial point and so the last channel is important, but for a campaign focusing on brand awareness, maybe that first initial ad is actually the most important for beginning the consumer journey into learning about your brand.  Taking these unique points into consideration will make your model a lot more specified to your business or client, and will help paint an overall more accurate depiction of what your consumers are doing from starting point to conversion.

custom_model

So shake off the shackles of Last-Click.  The truth is that there is too much data today that is lost with Last-Click that can be utilized if a different model is used.  Whether it is Time Decay, Custom, or the other types that exist (see Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik), go explore and figure out which one is right for you or your client.

 

 

Back to School Shopping Online Trends 2014

Back to school shopping trends

The Back to School sales season is upon us and retailers are looking to digital to drive sales. This Q3 driver is forecast to be a 16% year over year growth in online sales reaching $27 billion and combined with back to college the National Retailer Federation estimates spending to top $72 billion. In most states, school starts in late August, meaning messaging starts in late July and search peaks the first week of August as the rush for supplies, clothes and–for college students–furniture begins to heat up.

For search, the top terms are “back to school,” “school supplies,” “school shopping,” and “back to school sales” giving paid search campaigns the opportunity to bid on these specific queries. Raising bids on keywords helps keep retailers competitive as online shoppers compare prices and look for deals.

The top products for back to school include tablets and shoes as well as furniture for those college bound students. A Pricegrabber study shows 69% of shoppers prefer online for their back to school sales and 72% of online shoppers expect free shipping.

The weeks leading up to Q3’s “Black Friday” is Labor Day when the shopping rush ends. The average K-12 parent spends $500 during the season will the college student shopper spends an average of $1,000 or more. Capturing these shoppers can help make or break retailers dull summer season.

If you are offering back to school products, make sure you’re taking advantage of digital campaigns, in addition to search, to drive sales. Offers such as free shipping, online coupons and rebates can drive conversions over your competitors.

If your business is looking to drive sales with a successful media strategy for the holiday shopping season, contact us and we’ll put together a comprehensive strategy to make your year!

By | July 29th, 2014|digital agency, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Happy Holidays from Broad Street Co

As we wrap up another great year, we want to wish all of our clients and vendors a great holiday season. We are thankful to work with a great group of amazing and talented people and we are looking forward to a great start for 2014!

bscoholidayfb

By | December 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Congratulations, Charleston. We love you 3 ways!

Gold List 2013_PlatinumCircle.jpgOur home city, Charleston, South Carolina, has been named for the third year in a row a Top City by Conde Nast Traveler. We couldn’t agree more!  Charleston is a beautiful city known for its history, food, hospitality and beautiful shoreline. We also know Charleston as home to the Charleston Digital Corridor, an incubator for tech startups that hosted our very own startup years ago.

If you’re looking for a destination city, forget Paris or Venice and head to the lowcountry of South Carolina. You can’t get a better biscuit anywhere!  Congratulations, Charleston. We love you!

Charleston SC – Named Top City in The US for the 3rd time in a row from Jewell&Ginnie on Vimeo.

 

 

 

By | October 16th, 2013|General Business, Uncategorized|0 Comments

TV killed the radio star and video will kill the TV

In a “sky is falling” post today titled, “Americans are staring to cut the cable TV cord...” the latest data on cable TV subscribers is highlighted as proof of the death of TV. For the last three Quarters, pay TV subscriptions are down. While the numbers are not huge, the are showing a drop off. This is good news for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, hulu plus and smart TVs like Samsung and devices like Roku.

tvsubs

It is entirely too early to say a burp in growth means an end to big pay TV providers. The wishful thinking in the digital community is naive and adolescent. What you can say is that the way in which people consume video is evolving and pay TV providers know that the growth in streaming and smart TVs as well as the device on which people consume video has not been exclusive to a TV in the living room for a while now. How the pay TV and networks evolve to get their quality video content in front of the eyeballs that crave good video entertainment may remain to be seen.

Average time spent watching TV dropped only sightly from 2012 to 2013 and time spent online increased in 2013 to surpass TV, but that isn’t a reflection of time spent watching video content.

The safe bet is for people to stop calling it the death of TV and begin calling it video consumption. People will consume video content, they want quality content and they want it free (or ad supported)…for the time being. Let’s figure out where and how they want it and focus on getting it to them instead of trying to scare the broadcast folks into an early retirement.

By | August 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stealing accounts: The New Normal

For years, we’ve heard about the explosion of new vendors in the digital space. The world’s most famous slide shows how all of these vendors and new agencies and services get between the advertiser and, ultimately, the publisher actually displaying an ad to an actual audience. But, what the slide doesn’t show is how some of the startup vendors and agencies are getting new business. 

What I’m getting at is there’s an awful lot of shady goings on lately in the media world. Vendors are going directly to clients and claiming to be one-stop agency shops that can do it better than the AOR. The word “proprietary software” is thrown around with every breath to discredit a reputable agency’s work and at all costs some reps are throwing existing agency relationships out the window in their bid for new business.

From the client perspective, it must be exhausting to get so many calls from so many people about how your current agency is the worst an is destroying your business. From the agency side, it’s akin to an act of war.

I’m sure, to some, this will sound like sour grapes. But, what I’m really talking about is a lack of integrity. There are times when you see a brand that is truly being under served by their current agency. In those times, we have been known to approach the agency and offer our strategy help, insights and provide data to them if needed. While we’d love to have a partnership, we aren’t calling them and telling them they don’t know what they are doing and the need to use us because we know more than they do.

Clients have every right to use new agencies if their existing agency isn’t meeting their needs. But, there is a way to pitch new business without bombarding a client, claiming the agency they are currently working with is incompetent and just outright lying about your so-called “proprietary software” that means you’re the only company in the world that can handle their account.

It’s definitely a new world in the industry, I just wish it were more like a shining city on a hill instead of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

We refuse to participate in this game. We will let vendors know that if you call on our clients directly we will put you on our banned vendor list. We tell our clients you’ve called, we tell them about your services but we also tell them vendors are not strategists or agencies that have the clients’ best interests in heart. Their best interest is selling their “proprietary software” and not a big picture strategic approach to your account.

To the bad apples out there, you’re spoiling the bunch.

 

By | June 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

You Get What You Pay For

The digital media budget continues to grow year over year. With targeting and reporting getting better every year we see bigger budgets and the competition continues to be fierce among vendors and publishers to get these dollars as they shift from other media.

The above could be a sentence from any time in the last few years, but one thing has not changed since the first transaction in history. You get what you pay for.  We tend to forget that when it comes to media and the clamor to buy the latest or the newest innovation or the most detailed reporting package and all at the cheapest price is hurting the digital media buy.

Lately, I’ve been seeing more pop-ups than usual, more inventory below the fold and at the very bottom of the page and fake pre-roll loading on what I consider to be legitimate websites. All in the quest to get the most inventory at the cheapest price.

The ad to the right is a great example. The company that served this ad is a “trading desk” that touts their ability to drive traffic and get their CPC price down from a respectable $1.08 to $.049 in a case study on their site. You know why they can get the cost per click that low? Because inventory like the space to the right is basically free.

We could deliver inventory like this for you all day, too! We could serve millions and millions of ads for your brand and stretch your ad budget to deliver quantities of impressions and clicks that would blow your mind. But, we will remind you that you get what you pay for. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

We aren’t going to claim that every ad we buy appears above the fold and we never serve ads at the bottom of a page like this one, but it isn’t our strategy. When we buy inventory, we are measuring its performance and delivery in ways that tell us where and when that ad appeared. If we’re delivering clicks but no conversions, we know immediately something is wrong with the campaign (or the landing page. Sometimes it’s a horrible landing page).
The bottom line is buyer beware. Don’t be seduced (I say this way too much) by fancy proprietary software, amazing slide shows with graphs you dream of presenting to your CMO and promises to get you the reach and share of voice beyond your dreams for half the cost.