For the past two years, the Measure Hackathon has been our premiere client event and the manifestation of our most important core principle: being customer first.
Every Hackathon, we connect a dynamic group of clients with our product and engineering teams in a collaborative, 24-hour code marathon to solve problems identified by our clients. To ensure that we’re not grading our own homework, the clients select the winning project in a Shark Tank-style pitch session the next day after lunch.
The Measure Hackathon has been a great success for both clients and Quantcast. Two previous winning projects have been developed into successful products. For the third annual Hackathon, we wanted to shake up the traditional format focused on publishers, so we invited everyone: marketers, agencies, and publishers.
You see, for years at Quantcast, we have conducted customer discovery and product development in silos with marketers and agencies on one side and publishers on the other. Q, our artificial intelligence and data platform, is the foundation of everything we do. We’ve embarked on a journey to leverage Q to bring together the buy and sell sides of the digital ecosystem. The Measure Hackathon 2018 was a first step in that journey.
We were a little nervous about this new approach for a few reasons: many of these groups sell to each other, and the tolerance for sharing and establishing alignment was unvalidated. Could we all work together to solve common problems? What were the risks involved with doing so? Were there even common problems between the buy and sell sides that Quantcast was in a place to solve?
After the clients and product teams mapped their pain points and narrowed down the possibilities to their best ideas, we left the intrepid coders to their all-nighter. Take a look for yourself:
Partners were placed in teams of either publisher and marketer or publisher and agency. The marketers and agency representatives in the audience during the project pitches were able to provide feedback, and that gave us a lot of the missing perspective and helped the engineers pick up on the important nuances in product function and user experience. The winning teams excelled at addressing all the stakeholders in the room.
Measure Hackathon 2018 was a milestone in the Quantcast journey to a true multi-sided platform where publishers, agencies, and marketers have a more common language to sell and purchase media.
Scott Messer, vice president and general manager, media at Leaf Group, was on the winning team, but was more focused on the benefits of the experience. “Bringing together marketers, agencies, and publishers to have a real discourse about process, hurdles, and flow meant that we could together forge realistic solutions. With the trust established during our structured conversations, led by Quantcast provocateurs, we waded well past the traditional canned and guarded answers and well into the depths of honest, myth-melting truths. I have a new perspective and path forward on how I understand the way marketers and agencies rationalize and behave.”
After some much-deserved sleep, the product teams are evaluating how we might be able to incorporate these ideas into our product road map, and the rest of us are already gearing up for 2019. Until next time.