Using customer intelligence to optimise advertising sales
SAS powers granular, rapid management of advertising inventory.
1,500 campaigns per month
on one end-to-end platform
REA Group uses SAS to get a clearer view of its digital advertising
There's no place like home. Finding the perfect place to put down your roots and build your home, your business and your future is one of life’s great achievements. Based in Australia, REA Group (REA) is a leading digital property business dedicated to changing the way the world experiences property. REA has grown from humble beginnings in a garage in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in 1995 to a global success story, with 1,600 employees spanning across three continents including Australia, Asia and North America.
Duncan Procter, Executive Manager of Audience Solutions, Automated Trading and Ad Operations for REA, has seen this growth first-hand, joining the business 13 years ago. Today, Procter oversees REA’s Programmatic and Advertising Operations, with a team responsible for both residential and commercial property listings. This covers a high-profile network of websites including realestate.com.au, realcommercial.com.au, myfun.com and flatmates.com.au.
This project has been a massive advancement for REA. Working in close collaboration with SAS' consultants, this solution has solved a unique business challenge. Duncan Procter Executive Manager of Audience Solutions, Automated Trading and Ad Operations REA Group
SAS Customer Intelligence for granular, rapid ad inventory detail
As part of managing a diverse portfolio of websites, Procter and his team oversee advertising placement and inventory management. The challenge for REA was twofold. Firstly, ads in the real estate business need to be highly targeted. For instance, a person looking for a studio apartment has a different budget and needs from a family looking for a four-bedroom house. Secondly, in the fast-moving listings business where short, sharp campaigns are the norm, REA's sales team required up-to-the-minute visibility of its entire inventory.
REA Group turned to SAS Customer Intelligence to help address key business requirements and deliver across the business. This included in-depth reporting to provide a complete view of REA's advertising inventory. SAS Customer Intelligence supported Procter and his team to ensure that opportunities were not missed, offering targeting and tagging that was previously very hard to achieve. And accessing granular detail is vital when REA manages 1,500 campaigns, 7,000 line items and 4,000 pieces of creative monthly. To illustrate the sheer scale, 3.2 billion ad impressions are served up every 30 days. With that level of traffic, REA relies on SAS Customer Intelligence for granular, rapid detail so their sales teams know exactly what inventory they can sell.
REA Group – Facts & Figures
campaigns per month
pieces of creative per month
websites in REA's network
Optimisation reducing risk and turnaround time
For Procter, the level of detail enabled by SAS Customer Intelligence has been a key win. Now his team can exercise quick and easy control over property types, bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, location and access to transport using a myriad of combinations to leverage their inventory and tightly target ad space.
The level of expertise and capability unlocked required a specialist inventory manager role, hired to analyse the yield on all REA's display products. The inventory manager has been a key addition to REA's business, equipping its sales team with the detail, confidence and specific targeting to sell the right ads to the right customers.
Another improvement has been simplification of business processes. With the power of SAS, an end-to-end platform has been implemented, removing "double keying" and manual intervention. This has significantly reduced risk and turnaround time, while improving accuracy. When dealing with a large volume of campaigns and transactions, removing human intervention from the process has driven optimisation across the business.
Low latency, higher customer satisfaction
One of the most exciting steps forward for REA has been the ability to now provide self-service live reporting to customers through its partnership with SAS Customer Intelligence. Customers can now view live campaign reporting as well as pause and upload their own display creatives. SAS worked in close partnership with REA to scale the process, transitioning from a system that could accommodate 30 single server requests, to being able to handle 1,000+ simultaneous requests. Additionally, this was achieved while maintaining low latency and delivering an outstanding customer experience. “This project has been a massive advancement for REA,” Procter says. “Working in close collaboration with SAS' consultants, this solution has solved a unique business challenge.”
The ability to work in close partnership with SAS is important for REA as it continues to grow locally and internationally. “We are extremely positive about the holistic relationship we enjoy with SAS,” Procter says. “The hands-on approach SAS takes – the openness to collaborate and bring together our joint expertise to solve our business problems – ensures we continue to achieve success. That level of managed service is central to a really exciting, fast-moving partnership.”