Regional Agency Goodway Group Goes After The Fortune 500

Goodway Group, a programmatic service provider for regional agencies and midsize brands, is expanding its focus to the Fortune 500 with the launch of a new performance agency.

Parent company Goodway Holdings said Wednesday it will launch Control v. Exposed (CvE), which will work with big brands across biddable media, technology and consulting to solve business problems.

While CvE will be focused on performance media rather than agency of record work, it will go toe to toe with big holding companies for blue chip accounts. The group sees an opening to provide more transparency and simplicity for clients who are sick of navigating convoluted holding companies.

“I don’t think I’ve spoken to a marketer in three years that’s happy with their global agency,” said Jay Friedman, president at Goodway Group. “The target is large global brands who are using a bloated partner and feel like they’re not getting what they need.”

CvE will be led by Goodway Group’s strategy EVP, Brody O’Harran. It launches with cross-industry expertise on its leadership team, including Dentsu exec Ned Gorges, Wieden + Kennedy alum Doug Martin and Centro vet Adam Herman, who will each run strategy units.

CvE declined to disclose how many clients it has at launch. Goodway Group and CvE will operate under Goodway Holdings under separate P&Ls.

The agency will focus on driving lift-based outcomes for clients by helping them determine which channels and targeting tactics work best for a specific brand and tying that to creative testing. Because testing will be a big focus for CvE, it will go after brands with large enough budgets to do experiments.

“We’re going to help marketers create this lift bible of everything that’s been tested and whether it drives lift for their brand,” Friedman said. “We want to take some long-held beliefs and put them to the test.”

To help clients avoid the headache of navigating larger agencies, CvE will put together bespoke teams based on their business needs across media, data science, analytics and strategy. Unlike some larger agencies, CvE will ensure that the team pitching for a client’s business is the same team working on their account.

“I constantly hear that the people who showed up to pitch were super smart, and then they’re gone,” Friedman said. “Marketers don’t always get the best people in the business.”

While in-housing won’t be a core focus for CvE, the agency expects to capitalize on the growing trend as it works with brands with different media buying models across the spectrum.

“We anticipate everything will be completely custom,” Friedman said. “The key is to be able to work with a brand and convey that 100% transparency can be achieved without in-housing.”

To enable its work across programmatic, search and social, CvE will leverage Goodway Group’s programmatic platform and build client-specific integrations around first-party data and outcomes modeling. CvE will also leverage Goodway Group’s buying power to execute media buys at scale.

The agency launches first in the US, Singapore and London. As it scales, it will hire people from outside organizations as well as “hand raisers” from Goodway Group that “want to use biddable media to solve business problems,” Friedman said.

CvE declined to break out staff headcount, but Friedman said the agency is launching with a “small but mighty team.” Goodway Group employs about 350 people.

“This is a very scientific approach,” he said. “We want to make sure that every dollar of marketer spend turns into profit.”

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1 Comment

  1. Steve Erins

    This will be interesting to see play out, a company like Goodway who is known to be rather secretive surrounding its margins historically will now own a company who promises transparency?