PMG Innovation Challenge Inspires New Alli Technology Solutions
At PMG, we champion innovation and new ideas, and to support that goal, our engineering and product teams just completed our first-ever Innovation Challenge.
The Innovation Challenge was designed to encourage PMGers to create radical new solutions to solve our toughest challenges using our proprietary marketing intelligence platform that powers data, insights, and automation for some of the world’s most iconic brands — Alli. The more far-out and impossible the challenge, the better. We invited employees to identify big problems with sci-fi-like technology solutions that would have an enormous impact on the business, and boy, did PMGers deliver.
In the spirit of inclusivity, we wanted everyone — regardless of their function within the company — to have an opportunity to share their ideas, and we wanted everyone to take part in selecting the ideas we pursued. We received over 30 submissions from across the organization representing ideas that would solve business challenges for our teams and customers, then we came together to vote on the best ones.
One of the core tenets of innovation at PMG has been automation, so we voted to tackle manual weekly write-ups as one of our inaugural Innovation Challenge projects. Previously, search teams would manually pull together weekly summary reports to send to customers, updating them on search performance, opportunities, and trends. On average, this process would take several hours for each email write-up. While getting access to the data via our proprietary marketing intelligence platform, Alli, was easy, it was still a very tedious process to translate the data into summary reports line-by-line with each of those KPIs, including comparing the current week metrics to the previous week’s.
Our solution now enables search marketers at PMG to automatically generate the information needed for each summary report for PMG customers, analyzing everything from ROAS (return on ad spend) to clicks and spend goals. The process of pulling a summary report together now takes less than ten minutes, resulting in about a 90 percent time savings each week, allowing our teams to reinvest that energy into search marketing strategy and other projects that will directly impact a customer’s bottom line.
During the initial stages of the project, we found that we needed to scale back the scope to be a little less sci-fi and a little more mad libs to get a working solution to teams as fast as possible. In other words, we iterated on the advanced technology and systems we had in place rather than building everything from scratch.
As the engineering team presented the new features to the entire company at an All-Hands meeting, comments and excitement flooded the Zoom chat about how intuitive and useful the solution was. Everyone was eager to implement it on their own search accounts, and we are now working to integrate an automated solution into Alli, and employing deeper AI technology.
Google is famous for its “20 percent time culture,” which allows Googlers to spend 20 percent of their time on passion projects. In a similar form, PMG’s Innovation Challenge helps us continuously improve and live our value to “always change for the better” in big and small ways. By devoting 15 percent of our engineering team’s time to creating a solution, we have saved hours of time across our teams and for our customers.
The Innovation Challenge will become a regular staple among our think-tank operations, including our Advisory Council and partner co-innovation activities. Our goal is to get weekly reporting automation fully integrated into Alli so we can roll it out to more customers in the coming months.
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With our next Innovation Challenge right around the corner, we can’t wait to see what PMGers dream up next.