Case Study: MightyHive

MightyHive uses Switchboard to Cut Through the Noise of 6OB DoubleClick Transactions a Month to Build
Programmatic Advertising Titan

Higher programmatic ROI, accelerated R&D cycles, and lower fraud rates powered by better, faster data from Switchboard.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Switchboard’s Cloud-based platform prepares and normalizes data from 60 billion transactions per month for real-time analysis of programmatic performance
  • Deployed in just a single day, Switchboard saved MightyHive an estimated $400K for a turnkey solution vs. building in-house
  • “Force-multiplier” reporting capabilities—MightyHive went from producing one report per day to 15 reports for 15 different clients per day–an increase of nearly 225x in reporting capacity
  • Slashed fraudulent activity by 85% through sophisticated heuristics enabled by Switchboard-prepared data

Access to growing amounts of data should be an asset, not a liability. Publishers have an unprecedented opportunity to grow their business by taking a scalable, automated approach to managing their data. We hope you find this paper helpful and we welcome your thoughts and feedback at sales@switchboard-software.com.

CHALLENGE

Programmatic advertising is a challenge for publishers and advertisers alike because it radically changes the scale, speed, and reach with which advertising is bought and sold. As one of the largest media buyers on the DoubleClick stack, MightyHive needs to consume data related to billions of transactions per day across multiple systems.

While MightyHive’s programmatic campaign management and DoubleClick expertise fueled company growth, the volume of data became too much to manage in-house. In particular, massive impression-level DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) data transfer logs required essential MightyHive engineers to get ‘pulled off the line’ from customer projects to manually process data.

“Alongside military, scientific, and financial domains, digital advertising is one of the few industries with truly massive amounts of pertinent transactional data,” said Chris Martin, COO of MightyHive. “Programmatic advertising requires full stack visibility. That pushes data requirements for storing, normalizing and analyzing a lot of data from heterogeneous sources–if you’re not already doing this as an advertiser, you could be paying a huge cost due to media inefficiencies.”

With billions of impressions creating enormous data transfer log files from multiple systems, MightyHive was forced to expend valuable engineering resources for data extraction on an ad-hoc basis. This would consume one full-time engineer for as long as 2 days for a single report. “Even getting raw data was taking us 8 hours for a single client,” said Lexi Viripaeff, VP of Engineering at MightyHive. “Normalizing this data was mind-numbing, error-prone work that was sapping the energy of my team, when what they are passionate about is experimenting with data to drive programmatic ad performance.”

With the prospect of spending millions of dollars and unknown time to produce a system that could parse 100s of billions of transactions in aggregate, MightyHive reached out to Google’s BigQuery team for advice. They referred them to Switchboard because of the company’s deep expertise in leveraging big data for publishers and advertisers.

“When we got the call from MightyHive we knew this was a challenge we could sink our teeth into,” said Ju-kay Kwek, CEO of Switchboard Software. “Enabling companies to focus on unique data-driven insights rather than distracting highly skilled employees with bespoke data management. That's the problem my co-founder and I witnessed after launching BigQuery together at Google, and the reason we built Switchboard.”

Ad Yield

Trend

SOLUTION

Switchboard has empowered MightyHive engineering leads, front-line analysts, account and product managers to isolate and study business variables such as behavioral traits, time of day and more with data flowing into BigQuery. Within BigQuery, they run powerful custom SQL queries and plug in Tableau dashboards against Switchboard served data. This approach slashes days and dollars from customer expenses. component of their platform because Switchboard offered deep integration with all of MighyHive’s business-critical data streams. “If you’re trying to do what Switchboard does on your own as an advertiser or publisher–you’re doing it wrong,” said Chris. “It would have cost an estimated $400K+ and at least six months if we built this ourselves; not to mention maintenance and ownerships costs.”

Switchboard’s turnkey system was configured in just one day now, major programmatic data sources are automated and monitored constantly. A set of highly enriched and analyzed data is then made available immediately for consumption by MightyHive teams. Pulled together continuously from massive ad servers, bid manager and programmatic exchange logs, the combined dataset reveals insights such as spend and bid patterns across multiple suppliers, transaction volumes compared across multiple audience segments, and time from initial impression to customer conversion. MightyHive now can conduct novel ad hoc analysis, research, and reporting on complex campaign and audience patterns that were ‘impossible’ to look at previously.

“Programmatic advertising at its simplest form is a multivariate equation with three main inputs: creative, target audience, and inventory delivery parameters in a feedback loop,” said Chris. “If you don’t understand the relationships, at scale, between these variables, you’re flying blind.”

“Switchboard enables MightyHive to provide both top-down and bottom-up benefits for customers. From the top, we improve ad effectiveness, and from the bottom, we reduce inefficiencies and attack fraud,” added Lexi Viripaeff, VP Engineering at MightyHive. “This lets us function as a programmatic intelligence backbone that produces digital marketing insights for our clients.”

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RESULTS

Switchboard has empowered MightyHive engineering leads, front-line analysts, account and product managers to isolate and study business variables such as behavioral traits, time of day and more with data flowing into BigQuery. Within BigQuery, they run powerful custom SQL queries and plug in Tableau dashboards against Switchboard served data. This approach slashes days and dollars from customer expenses.

“A single client report used to take us days to produce. With Switchboard we can generate reports 15 times per day for 15 different clients—this is a force multiplier for us that is building customer loyalty for MightyHive,” said Chris. “I liken it to the invention of the electron microscope. Switchboard provides unparalleled magnification into advertising data that lets us see deeper into trends than we ever could before.”

By using Switchboard to power MightyHive’s proprietary programmatic advertising platform, the company has achieved three key business results:

  1. Improved Ad Performance: Switchboard delivers ‘force-multiplier’ capability in terms of data aggregation and normalization. This empowers MightyHive to provide clients with granular data that optimizes ad spend in powerful new ways, such as improving bid/ask spread across programmatic campaigns, and increasing the accuracy of audience measurement.
    “In addition to helping us pinpoint hot and cold user trends, with data from Switchboard we now study complex affiliate marketing networks that were previously impossible to analyze,” said Lexi. “With verifiable conversion rates, our clients rapidly identify and eliminate under-performing channels then reinvest spend into channels with proven results.”
  2. Accelerated R&D: Using Switchboard, MightyHive achieves rapid testing by leapfrogging ‘normal’ times. Where it took one engineer days to manually generate a single R&D report, now as many as 15 different reports for 15 clients can be generated in a single day.
    “Data integration provides a common language to drive business results,” added Lexi. “We now map customer conversion rates across multiple exchanges against variables like cookie pools or differences between native and display ads. There’s always another layer waiting for analysis if you care about maximizing performance.”
  3. Dramatic Fraud Reduction: Data from Switchboard combined with MightyHive’s analytical expertise and sophisticated heuristics.

Campaign

ABOUT MIGHTYHIVE

MightyHive is the leading solution for programmatic advertising. Programmatic methods have already had a major influence on advertising, and it’s still the early days. For example, IDC forecasts that programmatic TV spending, which includes digital display and video ad spending, will total $988 million in 2016 and increase to $11.5 billion in 2019, which will account for 13% of the total U.S. TV ad market. Over the next few years, keep your foot on the gas and hand on the wheel, and enjoy the ride.

ABOUT SWITCHBOARD

Switchboard eliminates the need to navigate a complex chain of legacy BI and ETL tools, and the need to invest in massive infrastructure by delivering real-time visibility and operational maturity on top of the latest data management technologies. This approach frees IT and Dev resources to focus on achieving business goals. Early customers in advertising, gaming and retail rely on Switchboard because the company’s agile self-serve MightyHive platform empowers analytics teams to focus on what they do best—driving business performance.

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