Bench platform’s Analytics is changing
We’ve been working hard to enhance Bench’s Analytics. In the coming weeks, we’re releasing exciting updates to improve how campaign goals and performance are tracked.
We sat down with two members of our brilliant product team: product manager Peter Liaros and platform solutions lead Dane Yardy to discuss how Analytics is changing and why it’ll make it even easier for marketers to achieve and access their campaign goal metrics, especially now.
Peter and Dane, can you tell us about your roles at Bench?
PL: I’m a product manager, and have been with Bench for just over three years. My role revolves around the platform. I ensure it has the capabilities that allow our team to run campaigns and for marketers to be able to analyse their performance.
DY: I’ve been with Bench for close to five years. I started in the performance team, and I’m now the platform solutions lead. I act as a conduit between the client services, accounts and performance teams, and the product and development teams. I’m responsible for making sure the communication is open between the teams, and that the direction always focuses on the end customer experience. I also ensure marketers are getting the most out of the Bench platform through training, support and customer development. I work closely with the product team to make sure any issues are built into the product roadmap to be problem-solved.
You’re in the process of releasing an update to the platform’s Analytics. Did your goals or your project roadmap shift with the onset of Covid-19?
PL: This Analytics release was planned before Covid-19 as it was a huge need. That need has only been amplified because it’s important for marketers to be able to access information more easily at this time. This release makes measuring campaign goals easier and more transparent.
DY: When you’re working from home, you can sometimes feel isolated. You’re trying to connect with people – through Slack and other tools – and you also need to focus on getting your job done. That’s the sentiment with our work on the Bench platform: to allow marketers to access information easily. This is especially important at a time when marketers may feel disconnected from their own teams, and maybe from our team as well. It’s important to stay connected.
Tell us more about the new Analytics capability, and why it’s a significant change.
PL: When I first joined Bench, digital campaigns were typically a lot simpler with consistent goals. As digital ecosystems have advanced and new channels have emerged, it’s become more difficult to achieve that consistency across all channels. That means that an awareness goal doesn’t always truly reflect what it should. For example, the emergence of TV and DOOH has changed the way we set goals across all of our media. This new feature allows us to make sure each individual channel is accountable in meeting its targets. It allows for you to see how they are truly performing individually, rather than simply how the layer performs as a whole.
DY: This release speaks to how we are constantly evolving our media strategy to stay ahead of a complex digital landscape. Since introducing programmatic TV, audio and DOOH, they have all excelled at such a massive rate. This platform update is a big step forward in keeping up to date with these trends. It means that we have future proofed the platform for when new channels open up, allowing us to instantly measure their performance in a way that our customers expect. It enhances the user experience of the platform, and allows for more visibility in the measures of success.
Talk us through your process. How did you approach building this update and who was involved?
PL: The idea of this Analytics update came from a couple of unique campaign set-ups last year that utilised both TV and video. We noticed that using multiple channels was becoming more and more of a need. We started working with marketer feedback and different teams across Bench to prioritise the needs in the Analytics space. The most important need was being able to set a goal and target for every media type that a campaign runs, and from there, to track the specific targets and goals. Analytics needed to be revamped to keep up with the times and stay ahead of the curve, and that’s what we’ve got today.
DY: We made sure we had the right people in a room: the accounts team for their perspective on the marketers’ needs, the performance team as they use this tool every day to optimise their campaigns, and of course, the development team. This process allowed us to make sure we were building the right feature efficiently from the early stages. We have already received great feedback, which is a testament to the process. Access to those people and perspectives has meant that we’ve built a tool that is hugely beneficial to all users of the platform.
It sounds like it’s a significant release for the Bench platform. What’s most exciting about this upgrade?
PL: I’m super excited as it’s the first major change to our longest-running feature. We’ve worked on so many things in the Bench platform but Analytics has stayed as a cornerstone of what we do. We are using new, even more agile technology. It’s super important that we are always working to be innovative – and especially at this time when it’s very hard to do so. It’s been a real team effort to get this out, and that is what’s most exciting.
DY: It’s the culmination of a lot of work. We recently went through a big restructure of our data warehouse, and we’re starting to see the benefits as adding more complexity to the Bench platform is underpinned by this hard work. It’s not as obvious to the user as it’s sometimes hard to visualise. What I’m really excited about is that it sets us up for the future. The next time we have a new channel, data point or visualisation, the building blocks will already be in place. Even though I’m a numbers person, something I’ve always kept wanting to explore is visualisation.
This update really helps to visualise the campaign process in a meaningful way. It’s simple but powerful. We’ve added more complexity but also the ability to go more granular. For example, we’ve added the ability to look at a campaign in the context of one specific goal. As an extension of our managed services, we encourage marketers to get involved and to understand their data. A lot of them already like to be involved in the process, and now more so than ever. We give marketers the tools – to find information and insights, to solve problems, and to feel empowered to do so.
What’s next for the product team and the platform – in the “crisis” and beyond?
PL: As usual, we’re continually working on ways to adapt to changing environments. The team is still going full throttle with our product pipeline, and we’re working with customers more closely to ensure the best product experience possible.
This update is a good chance for us to really dig in and enhance the data that comes out. If some charts are being used and some aren’t, we can double down on those and provide extra value where we can. We’re also working on new ways to improve the way campaigns and portfolios are tracked. After that, we’ll do more work on campaign reporting: how we send insights to marketers and the types of reporting we can do. We’re in the discovery phase for this and are hoping to talk to as many customers as we can. The most pressing needs during the pandemic will push us in one direction or the other.
DY: Reporting will always be a pressing need in the industry. It’s vital that marketers have all the insights they need. It’s especially important at this time, which is why we’re excited about this update and can’t wait to share the full release.
To organise an early demo of the Analytics update, register for beta access or simply connect with the product team, book in a user interview session – the team will be happy to help.