Hamburg-based media agency masterplan media develops customized, holistic, effective and efficient media and communication solutions in the digital age. From strategy development to advertising impact research - masterplan thinks in terms of digital, analog and everything in between. The agency is a pioneer for advertisers and their brands in an increasingly complex communications landscape and stands for the seamless transformation of media expertise into omni-channel marketing and communications strategies. The company’s focus is always on advertising impact measuring that impact - no campaign is run without proof of impact!
The agency has relied on MMT Mercury since 2015. Thanks to ongoing advancement of the media management platform, Mercury serves as the agency's central planning tool.
Carsten Riemann-Kafsack, Managing Director at masterplan media, works with Mercury on a daily basis. For him, having a holistic view of the customer journey is at the heart of every strategy and consultation.
Processing large amounts of data and running the initial interpretation is one of Carsten’s key activities, but also one that should ideally not fill the main part of his day.
"The engine room runs thanks to Mercury. This allows us to take care of crucial topics strategically and conceptually, including holistic optimization of touchpoints, smart use of data and even new topics."
Managing Director, masterplan media
My vision, or rather our vision at masterplan, is to develop holistic, high-impact communications for individual customer goals. At the same time, this communication should really help the customer instead of annoying them by providing maximum relevance. All of our master planners have internalized this vision and incorporate it into their daily work.
The decisive factor here is looking at and analyzing the entire customer journey and its impact on the ultimate goal. We are dealing here with a highly complex interplay of diverse channels, measures, KPIs and impact contributions, all of which need to lead to a clear recommendation at the end.
In this context, we not only focus on digital channels and how to best measure them, we also look at offline channels as well as sales channels, which in some cases have a significantly higher impact on customer success than a purely online view.
We find that optimism is on the rise, even though the situation could revert to uncertain or even difficult once again in 2021. Who is going to manage to regain their footing after post-Covid-19 and who won’t? By the end of 2020, many advertisers will have again invested more intensively in communications. One thing is certain: it’s better to maintain the level you have achieved (e.g. brand awareness) than to have to rebuild it later.
At masterplan we are looking ahead to 2021 with confidence. None of our customers are active in sectors that have been hit by the crisis. Thanks to our strict orientation, we have even been able to acquire new customers in recent months and weeks. And things are looking up for us in terms of personnel, too, so all is well.
Definitely topics to which we are currently attaching great importance like being able to measure and optimize the entire customer journey - from online to offline sales, from media to creation and from strategy to optimization.
Not a new topic, but no less relevant, is the intensive advance of digitization, which has received an extra push with the crisis. Here we are very well positioned with our agency services and our digital DNA and can offer our customers effective measures.
We, too, are focusing on advancing digitization through our agile IT structure and digital work processes. "New work" is already "old hat" for us.
Time is probably the biggest challenge in terms of increasing complexity. Complex issues require a certain amount of time to be addressed and dealt with. So, we take the complexity out of the basics, like reporting and detailed planning. That’s where Mercury helps us. We invest the time we save in consulting and holistic optimization of relevant touchpoints. In other words, in areas where we really see a significant increase in impact.
We were working, as many still do today, primarily with Excel. As I mentioned before, we decided to start working with a media management platform to reduce complexity and because of increased security in data and processes.
The most important criteria are data security, flexible connectivity to other tools and systems, a direct line to a contact person who brings expertise and has a vision. The same applies to a willingness to continue to optimize and keep up with the times. We give this advice to other agencies as well.
The tool is a relevant node throughout our data warehouse. We use it to plan and report on campaigns and get digital approvals from clients, and we have connected our accounting systems to Mercury.
The in-house implementation of Mercury itself went smoothly. When it comes to connecting other partners, like ad server service providers or, even more difficult, large US GAFAs, you have to rely on the support of those partners. On this side, there is certainly still some need for clarification regarding the tool and its advantages.
"MMT Mercury is the central tool in which all campaigns and measures are mapped with, and this is probably the most important point – their true ACTUAL status"Carsten Riemann-Kafsack
Managing Director, masterplan media
We open Mercury when we get up and close it when we go to bed. It is the central tool in which all campaigns and measures are mapped with, and this is probably the most important point - their true ACTUAL status.
Mercury is an important interface towards technology and creation, because our booking and production schedules are created centrally via Mercury.
It is also our interface to the customer, because as I mentioned earlier, this is where plans and reporting are located. Our customers get their own access and are able to give approvals digitally.
Of course, Mercury is also the central tool that we use internally for all of our jobs from campaign implementation to agency management.
The advantages are hard to express in hard numbers. However, if you just add up not having to search for final media plans or constantly checking and readjusting reports, working with Mercury saves us a lot of time. And along with that, it also significantly reduces frustration levels since it only takes a few clicks to find what you are looking for.
We use the time we save to advise our customers and other fun activities like continuing education.
Of course, we rely on completely transparent communication. At the moment, our reporting for customers is still based on Excel and PowerPoint. We are currently in the process of accessing the advantages of the online dashboard.
Most of the topics are self-explanatory and can be solved by ourselves. So the good thing about support is that you don't actually need it ☺.
But if it is needed, it is there and you get help directly and quickly.
The switch to remote working was quite easy for us, as we had already changed everything about our IT structure beforehand. So our processes didn't change much, they were actually accelerated. Tools like Mercury and other project management tools are a tremendous help when it comes to getting organized and keeping track of things even outside the office.
We hope that the interview with Carsten Riemann-Kafsack has given you some insight into the way Mercury Media Technology works. Perhaps you found yourself remined of certain aspects within your own company. Feel free to contact me to set up a personal meeting to discuss your individual challenges and learn where we can support you with MMT Mercury, our leading media management platform.