How MediaCom's digital buying process got 4x faster by transforming their know-how into a data-driven software product

Challenge

Initial software development attempts failed, too much manual work to deliver campaigns, integration challenges.

Solution

Custom, enterprise-grade software for managing planning & buying digital campaigns, handling audit trails, reporting, integration with ERP, and external services, including Google and Facebook.

Results

Reduced data-entry errors, up to 4x faster campaign buying speed improvement, consolidated data from different sources

Summary

MediaCom Hungary was facing multiple challenges when they contacted us. They needed a solution to significantly reduce the time it took to create a digital media campaign and handle the planning and buying process. They also wanted to complement the workflow by integrating their ERP system and various external services like Google and Facebook. The result had to collect and store all the campaign data in one place.

GoodGrind was able to deliver a web application that fulfilled all of these requirements, resulting in a reduced error rate and significant speed improvement in multiple steps of the complete workflow. This development improved performance because team members could focus on the things that matter, reducing labor costs for the client. The collected data also serves as a resource for stakeholders by moving MediaCom Hungary to operate in a data-driven fashion, resulting in better business decisions.

The Story

MediaCom Hungary is one of the country's largest media agencies, supporting the business goals of the world's leading brands with media communication expertise. They combine a wide range of knowledge, data, technology, and creativity and design communication strategies to strengthen their clients' brands and increase their sales. Its roster of clients includes Coca-Cola, Tesco, Procter & Gamble, Adidas.

When we first talked to MediaCom, they already tried to solve some of their automation problems with custom software. This attempt proved unsuccessful, so we had an extra challenge to overcome the slight distrust they had that a custom software solution can work.

"We were a bit concerned about the development of new projects, since the previous version of the tool had failed, and several months of work went down the drain."

— Judit Török - Chief Digital Officer

Their biggest challenge was the labor-intense buying process of their media campaigns and the required work to move the data into their ERP system. They had a vision, that the know-how they possess and the methods they apply can be transformed into bits and bytes and improved too, but they didn't know how to do this in actuality.

The client's original goal was to transfer their media campaign buying processes and ERP integration. Still, after some consideration, MediaCom decided to digitize its planning process as well: this idea made perfect sense, since it's the first step of the workflow they use every day.
Eventually, they expanded the scope of the project even further, but more on that later.

First, we began creating visuals for them to "feel" how the application would function. This approach helped us move fast and speak a common language that both of us understood, saving money and time for MediaCom.

After agreeing on the initial UI, development began: the complexities of the workflows a media agency like MediaCom uses were challenging, and it required an immense amount of planning and back-and-forth to cover all use cases a planner might face during the creation of a campaign.

The planning module could improve a spreadsheet's free form data entry style by enforcing data validation on user inputs and filling out fields when it can. This improvement reduced all typo and data-relation errors significantly, resulting in planners that could focus on their work, instead of double-checking their data.

During development, we always focus on delivering a solution so that further extension is easy and straightforward. This strategy became a vital feature when the workflows the client used started to change and improve with the software. This change is surprising on a surface level. Still, during significant shifts in ways a team works, they change and adapt to the capabilities a novel system brings to them. So, in essence, the processes they built and used also improved when they discovered the new capabilities of the software we were making.

Finishing the planning and buying module, and also the audit trail helped MediaCom leave the old ways of scattered excel files on network drives, and have all their data in one place. This milestone was crucial for getting insights about the users, clients, campaigns, orders that all affect the bottom line of all firms: profit. As time passes, the valuable data that pours into the system improves its value day-by-day: this move is the necessary first step for a business to become truly data-driven.

Media

kreativ.hu, one of the most prominent news outlets for advertising, marketing, and creative in Hungary, featured the product. Check out the article here:  Kreativ.hu - Egy médiatervező rendszer ami mindenkit boldogabbá tesz

If you are paywalled, download the PDF extract from here:  mDigital article

The Conclusion

The challenges mDigital brought were fascinating because it required us to step out of our comfort zones and continuously adapt to the changing requirements. During the development, we provided insights and advice to the client to remain cost-effective while the project was going forward. Thanks to this, we were able to form a true partnership with the MediaCom team. The product is used in production by more than 80 people as of today.

"It's extremely helpful to work with a solution-oriented team like yours, that behave like experts and put in the extra effort, instead of just blindly following instructions."

— Judit Török - Chief Digital Officer