By Tobias Irmer
12. August 2020

Digital transformation demands automation

Digital transformation demands automation

Many media agency workflows are still analog, something that’s a no-go in a digitized world where you can run digital processes like collecting data on campaign effectiveness in real time. And digital workflows require software solutions that ensure high speed and agility.

Marketing as we know it has changed. And, as you can imagine, the force behind this change is digitization. Over the past decade, digital innovation has basically reset the course for the entire advertising industry. Even though everyone has been working hard to establish data-driven marketing, we at MMT find that internal marketing workflows still have a long way to go before digital standards can be introduced in the professional world. We need to rethink the entire process involved in media management. As strange as it may sound, media planning and buying often still involves manual effort for many agencies and advertisers.

In fact, the analog workflows that were established in the media business decades ago have somehow managed to survive in today’s digitized world. Using outdated workflows impedes development in the media planner’s digital work environment, an environment that has become increasingly demanding in the wake of technological developments and the growing complexity of campaign planning. Nevertheless, many agencies continue to manage their media planning via Excel sheets, file servers and email, all processes that no doubt worked in the past. In order to integrate digital media planning, however, you need to connect systems and automate and realign processes. Insufficient digitization creates challenges in strategic media planning for both agencies and advertising companies. What solutions do we need to effectively improve collaboration between media agencies and advertisers?

How analog processes lead to digital inefficiency?

The analog processes involved digital media planning basically means one thing for media agencies: extensive manual effort that leaves too much room for error, including typing and transmission errors, in a complex environment. At the same time, the fragmented nature of the digital advertising market requires greater foresight in order to keep track of the increasing number of parallel campaigns. And advertisers expect services that will permanently optimize their campaigns in real time, helping them achieve their KPls and bringing a strong return on investment. For media planners, this naturally increases the complexity of their workflows.

This combination of extensive manual effort and increasing complexity takes away from the media agency’s core business, leaving them with too little time to focus on providing their clients end-to-end strategic consulting regarding their media planning activities.

How to achieve transparency, clarity and control in media management?

Using analog processes also affects collaboration between agencies and advertisers. Although these collaborations naturally involve regular communication and reports on campaign status, success and budget, this information is primarily provided in the form of Excel sheets or presentations, which do not provide a basis for making decisions in real time. Advertisers continue to experience a lack of transparency as a result. A more intimate digital market has further increased the client’s need for agencies to explain what they are doing with the media budget, and more and more advertisers are looking for clarity and control over their own digital media activities. The main concern in terms of clarity is how their media investments are being used strategically and, in terms of control, being able to respond to the latest media developments. Advertisers need to be able to regularly assess and adapt their marketing activities. Advertisers focusing on advertising different brands or operating in an international environment especially need to be able to synchronize a variety of systems in order to implement effective strategies.

What is the solution to simplify media processes?

What kind of solution simplifies processes, enables integrated media planning, incorporates existing technology as far as possible and improves communication between agencies and advertisers? In other words, how can we digitally transform media planning? We need a solution that ensures consistent, reliable availability of investment data and realigns processes. And we have managed to do it with a technology that can be used collaboratively by agency networks or medium-sized media agencies as well as advertisers and, most importantly, by everyone involved.

It’s a software-as-a-service solution that digitizes and standardizes media planning processes. Thanks to our expertise and extensive experience in the media business, we have been able to precisely customize the software to meet our users’ needs. To put it simply, MMT Mercury automates workflows for planning, execution, purchasing and campaign optimization and offers key interfaces to your company’s existing software solutions, making integration into the marketing organization quick and easy. MMT provides direct, reliable access to current and target data as well as analyses and interpretations, making it possible to quickly change the course of a campaign and significantly increase its chances of success.

What are the advantages of automation?

The high degree of automation that a software solution can bring reduces the manual effort for media planners, practically does away with typical sources of error and reduces workflow complexity. Data and information are compiled in real time, making it possible to effectively optimize media investments. Reducing manual effort saves agencies and consultants time that they can then spend advising their clients and focusing on media planning strategies.

How could MMT help with the automation of media processes?

MMT Mercury, our Media Management Platform, can be used by agencies as well as advertisers. Clarity and transparency regarding every activity allow advertisers to analyze and evaluate their media investments in consultation with the agency. As a result, they are able to quickly respond to market conditions and, if necessary, change their strategy.


One thing is clear: The speed and agility required in the current marketing landscape can only be achieved through simplified processes and more direct control or automation. This calls for a software solution that enables and drives organizational and structural transformation. 

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