Ad-tech
Data-driven business
Development
GroupM's Digital Buying Process Got 4x Faster
Reduced error rates and improved team performance and a first step to real data-driven decision making.
Node.js
TypeScript
Angular
Azure
Terraform
How GroupM’s digital purchase process became 4x faster by transforming their know-how into a data-driven software product
The challenge:
Failure of initial software development attempts, too much manual work to deliver campaigns, integration challenges
The solution:
A custom, enterprise-grade software for managing planning & buying digital campaigns, handling audit trails, reporting, integration with ERP, and external services including Google and Facebook
The result:
Reduced data-entry errors, 4x faster campaign purchase, consolidated data from different sources
Summary
When contacting GG Development, GroupM was facing multiple challenges. They needed to significantly reduce their timeframe for creating digital media campaigns as well as handling the planning and buying processes. They were also seeking to complement the workflow by integrating their ERP system and various external services, such as Google and Facebook. The solution had to be able to collect and store all campaign data in one place.
GG Development delivered a web application named MDigigal that fulfilled all of these requirements, resulting in a reduced error rate and a significant improvement in speed affecting multiple steps of the workflow. The introduction of the new app also boosted team performance, as members could focus on other key issues, thus reducing labor costs for clients. Moreover, the collected data now serves as an important resource for stakeholders by pushing GroupM to operate in a data-driven fashion, and paving the way for more informed business decisions.
The Story
GroupM is one of Hungary’s largest media agencies, whose media communication expertise supports the business goals of various global leading brands. Combining a wide range of knowledge, data, technology, creativity and design communication strategies they aim to strengthen their clients’ brands and increase their sales. Their portfolio includes Coca-Cola, Tesco, Procter & Gamble and Adidas.
By the time we first talked with GroupM, they had already tried to solve some of their automation problems with custom software. That attempt had proved unsuccessful, so there was a slight distrust regarding the effectiveness of a custom solution, which posed an extra challenge to us.
"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 pain point was the labor-intensive purchase process of their media campaigns and the work required to move the data into their ERP system. They had a vision of their know-how and methods transformed into bits and bytes—while simultaneously improved upon too—but they didn’t know how to make it happen.
The original project scope was to transfer their media campaign purchase processes and the ERP integration. However, after some consideration, GroupM decided to digitize its planning process as well. The idea made perfect sense, since planning was the first step in their workflow, one they used every day. Eventually, they ended up expanding the scope even further—but more on that later.
First, we began by creating visuals so the client could “feel” how the application would function. This approach helped us move fast and find a common language with their team, essentially saving money and time for them.
After agreeing on the initial UIs, the development phase started. The complexity of the workflows applied by a large media agency such as GroupM was challenging, so it required careful planning (and lots of back-and-forth with the client) to cover all use cases a planner might face during campaign creation.
The planning module we ended up building was able to improve a spreadsheet’s free form data entry style by enforcing data validation on user inputs and filling out fields when it could. This improvement reduced all typo and data-related errors significantly, enabling team members to focus on planning tasks instead of double-checking their data.
As a rule, we always focus on delivering solutions that would make further extension easy and straightforward in the future. This strategy became vital when the client’s workflows slowly began to change due to the new possibilities granted by the software. Their team’s ways of working adapted, and, in essence, the processes they had been following also improved when they started to make use of the new capabilities of Mdigital.
We completed a planning and a buying module, and also put together an audit trail, helping GroupM leave behind the old ways of scattered Excel files and instead have all their data in one place. This milestone was crucial for them to get insights about users, clients, campaigns and orders—all affecting the main purpose of every business: profit. The system gathers more value each day, as the amount of data it collects steady increases and the company becomes truly data-driven.
Media
Our product was featured on kreativ.hu, a leading Hungarian news portal for advertising, marketing and creative content. Check out the article here (in Hungarian): Kreativ.hu - Egy médiatervező rendszer ami mindenkit boldogabbá tesz
In case you are paywalled, download the PDF extract from here: mDigital article
Conclusion
The mDigital project brought us a few fascinating challenges that required for us to step out of our comfort zone and continuously adapt to the changing requirements. During development, we repeatedly provided insights and advice to our client to remain cost-effective as the project was going forward. Thanks to the success of our cooperation, we were able to form a true partnership with the GroupM team. Today, the product is used in production by more than 80 people.
"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