Video Producer Makes AdWords Sizzle with Google BigQuery

The video production company Sightly uses Google BigQuery to make Google AdWords campaigns much more engaging and effective. The company creates videos for corporate clients and manages the promotion of the videos through AdWords, Google’s online advertising platform. BigQuery, which takes advantage of Google’s vast infrastructure to analyze enormous datasets, allows Sightly to target the ads more effectively. This helps improve viewer engagement significantly and reduce IT costs.

Challenge

John Zdanowski, co-founder and chief financial officer of Sightly, wanted a more powerful analytics tool to sharpen his AdWords campaigns for clients. He knew his team could gain important insights by combining AdWords performance data with customer-specific information, such as location and business type. Sightly’s current analytics platform – Microsoft Excel and SQL Server – was not powerful enough for the task.

“It took two full-time employees to manage the platform, and they still needed to compile and analyze AdWords data manually. That alone required around 80 hours per month,” Zdanowski says. “We needed a solution that would let us combine all our data and give us insights quickly so we could apply them to targeting our ad campaigns.”

Solution

Zdanowski learned about Google BigQuery through data visualization provider Metric Insights, a Google Cloud Platform partner. Zdanowski’s engineers were able to implement the platform in just a few days. They now collect AdWords data using the AdWords API, combine it with information from their customer database and load the results into BigQuery, which analyzes millions of rows of data within seconds.

“We’re able to see and act on trends to help us target the right consumer with the right video at the right time. This has helped increase engagement with our ads by 300%. We are delivering more value to our customers, and growing faster and more profitably as a result.”

John Zdanowski co-founder and chief financial officer, Sightly

The system allows Sightly to look at impressions, cost-per-click rates, cost-per-impression rates and other metrics for different customer types and locations. This makes it easier for his staff to compare campaign performances in different geographic areas and learn which business segments perform best.

“We can now identify the specific factors that lead to the most successful campaigns and apply what we learn to other campaigns,” Zdanowski says. “Because BigQuery allows us to analyze data so quickly, we can start using the insights we gain right away.”

The company uses software developed by Metric Insights to permit Zdanowski’s entire staff to take advantage of BigQuery’s powerful processing capabilities. For example, sales representatives are able to serve customers better by accessing up-to-date specifics about the performance of their accounts.

Results

Since Sightly began using BigQuery in May 2012, viewer engagement with its clients’ ads – measured by click-throughs, mousing over ads to expand them, playing videos within the ads and other metrics – has increased dramatically. Zdanowski attributes this to the extraordinarily fast analyses his team can do.

“We’re able to see and act on trends to help us target the right consumer with the right video at the right time. This has helped increase engagement with our ads by 300%,” he says. “We are delivering more value to our customers, and growing faster and more profitably as a result.”

The company is also saving the 80 hours per month that staff members would spend compiling and analyzing AdWords performance using spreadsheets. In addition, Sightly has stopped maintenance tasks, such as scaling its computer system and backing up data, since these are handled by Google.

“BigQuery has given us abilities we didn’t have before while freeing up time so we can focus on other aspects of our business,” he says. “It clearly has been the right choice for our company.”

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