You may not know Accountable Digital (they recently rebranded), but you should relate to the challenges it faced as a fast-growing digital media agency.
Accountable Digital, formerly known as PSquared Digital, became a victim of its own success. Their reputation for excellent advertising results meant a quickly growing roster of clients. However, as the agency grew, its old processes started to break down. Something had to change.
With many clients come much responsibility
You know what it’s like getting a new client. The exciting new opportunities, the pride of winning the bid, and the anticipation of helping another business reach its goals. It’s enough to put anyone in a good mood. Then the work to make it happen gets underway. Soon you’re involved in long email chains with buried action items, tracking workflows with sticky notes, bird dogging the latest versions of media plans, and performing late-night heroics.
Accountable Digital experienced its share of typical agency bedlam. Like most digital media agencies, their processes and procedures evolved organically. Client needs and deadlines always came first. Improving internal operations was a secondary priority.
According to Peter Platt, president of Accountable Digital, “budgets were stored in an array of Excel spreadsheets – each saved in different folders with multiple versions. A lot of time was lost in the simple process of trying to figure out the most current budget and how we paced against it.”
Information scribbled in notebooks or on individual hard drives created uncertainty and knowledge gaps. Flowcharts and presentations were created from scratch. Media planners had to re-enter data into multiple platforms and systems. Worst of all, work lacked consistency and predictability. They knew it was chaotic, but it got the job done and they were still delivering excellent results. Still, it was stressful for employees and created unnecessary confusion.
The commitment to agency transformation
After assessing the situation, Peter realized that to reach the next level the agency needed to upgrade its media buying processes. Although he would much rather focus on client projects and new business, he owed it to his team to untangle internal operations. He owed it to his clients to provide a smoother journey and he knew doing so would give them yet another competitive advantage.
Accountable Digital committed itself to the difficult project. Peter’s vision and leadership provided the motivation for the change, but he knew he could not do it alone. He turned to Bionic to help with transforming agency operations.
Change is hard
Getting an entire agency to adopt and adapt to a new system is always a struggle. To complicate matters, team members were doing things the old way for so long that it became second nature. Creating new habits was the first step.
To ease the transition, Peter gradually introduced changes at the agency.
First, quick wins with flowcharts and IOs
Initially, Accountable Digital used Bionic almost exclusively as a formatting tool, primarily functioning as a better way to generate flowcharts and insertion orders. Using this small set of the software’s capabilities saved the agency roughly 12 hours per campaign while allowing media planners and buyers to get comfortable with the new system.
The largest chunk of time savings came from the ability to quickly pump out numerous variations of flowcharts. What took a couple days using the old methods was now turned around the same day. Even those most resistant to change couldn’t argue with those results.
Then, big wins with a smooth media buying process
After this initial success, Accountable Digital expanded its use of Bionic and made it the central information system for all media buys. Remember those Excel spreadsheets scattered in folders? They’re obsolete. The most up-to-date budget information is in Bionic. The time wasted figuring out pacing? Bionic pulls it up with just a few clicks. Re-entering data into systems? It’s easy to load media buy information into advertising servers from Bionic, resulting in major savings and eliminating rework.
Bionic facilitated a defined, navigable process and created an accessible hub of information.
Peter explains, “now that we have a clearly defined process and system, people are finding they have more time to think about projects rather than trying to figure out what’s the right next step and rushing to get something done. A key benefit is lower stress levels throughout the organization.”
Growth, profits, better service, and joy
In 2016, Accountable Digital saw 20 percent business growth, doubled profits, and saved about two days per campaign. Today, media plans, flowcharts and ad delivery are more efficient. Clients are getting faster, more accurate responses. The entire agency works with confidence knowing everyone is operating with the most up-to-date information. Most importantly, their clients and teams are happier.
Peter describes his agency transformation
In the following interview, Peter describes the transformation and the benefits of his new digital media buying operation.
Are you aiming to reach the next level?
Are you planning to upgrade your media planning and buying operations? Perhaps Bionic can help you with your initiative. For product information, demos, pricing, and more go to http://www.bionic-ads.com/