Bannerconnect’s Highlights of 2015

Jess ThompsonCommunications ManagerMore about Jess

“If we could sum 2015 up in one word for Bannerconnect, it would be ‘Transformation’. We set our sights on evolving into a direct-to-marketer business and underwent some changes to make that goal a reality. We multiplied in number, hiring some of the greatest minds in digital advertising. We revamped departments according to expertise, adapting to better meet the needs of our most ambitious clients. We strengthened our people by offering cutting-edge training programs and tools to help them be the most effective they can be.

Despite putting a lot of energy into change and development, 2015 was far from ordinary. We had some great successes, like joining forces with AppNexus on alpha testing for the AppNexus Programmable Bidder. We got deeper into data and found out what’s really going on with ad blockers. And perhaps most proudly of all, we kept driving innovation by creating a new leading metric for digital advertising; exposure time. These are a few of our highlights of 2015, which you can learn more about below.

Our transformation of 2015 has prepared and reinforced us to trigger the paradigm shift the industry has been waiting for in 2016. We’re looking forward to our upcoming product, 20/20, fulfil its potential in changing the way we measure and optimise the effectiveness of online campaigns, and enhancing the performance of digital advertising.

On behalf of myself and all at Bannerconnect, we wish you all a successful, happy and healthy 2016!”

Sebastiaan Schepers, CEO

We get by with a little help from our friends
After almost tripling in size over the past year, we introduced a few new tools to build our empire. We introduced Rhythm, Lean Six Sigma, and Officevibe to support our growth, alignment and generally make Bannerconnect an amazing place to work. While each have their unique purposes, together they bring our goals closer within reach by creating the smartest, most motivated, and well-informed leadership and management teams around. The combination has helped us cultivate growth and personal development on an individual level that scales to the whole organisation.

Get perfect vision with 20/20
We’ve been in the digital advertising game longer than most and understand the struggles of marketing and advertising professionals. We felt many were missing big opportunities by focusing on stale metrics for attribution.

So we did what we do best and found a better way. 2015 saw the conception, hypothesis and testing of Project 20/20 (as in perfect vision), and found the metric to disrupt the industry: exposure time. Finding the optimal exposure time of your display ad is key in influencing consumer behaviour, and our testing found there’s a clear correlation between exposure time and campaign performance. You’ll be hearing a lot more about exposure time in 2016 and beyond, but for now you can see our Director of Strategy and Innovations, Tim Geenen, cover it at the AppNexus Europe Summit back in June, or read about it on Emerce [in Dutch].

Ad Blockers are not necessarily the end of days for advertising
2015 might be remembered as the year the ad blocker shook mobile advertising, as ad blockers became available for iPhone users following Apple’s iOS9 release in October. Like many others in the industry, we were concerned about the impact the increased use of ad blockers would have on our advertisers. We conducted a study in an attempt to form a deeper understanding of how they work and who is most affected. With some relief, we found that advertisers don’t lose out with ad blockers, the advertising space is simply made unavailable. We went further in depth with a second study to find out if ad blockers on iOS led to a decrease in supply of available iOS impressions, and whether price was impacted as a result. At the time of study, we found that the price of iOS impressions had not gone up, despite reduced availability. The effect of ad blockers and ensuring they don’t jeopardise our clients’ advertising is something we’ll continue to keep an eye on in 2016 and onwards.

AppNexus Programmable Bidder (APB)
AppNexus launched their game-changing AppNexus Programmable Bidder (APB) in 2015, and we were fortunate enough to run alpha testing. We tested APB on an active campaign against more traditional methods of campaign management to see how it stacks up.

The results were amazing. Not only did campaign performance shoot up, it also saved time on campaign set up and optimisation. Our CEO, Sebastiaan, discussed APB in more depth at the AppNexus Summit in New York with AppNexus’ Chief Data Scientist, Catherine Williams.

What the Hack?
We held our first Hackathon in March, and we loved it so much we had another one in October. The Hackathons are a great opportunity for us to work in teams that unite every part of the business – from client relations to development and everything in between. This perfect storm of perspectives enhances creativity and lends itself to better, well-formed ideas needed for cutting-edge innovation.

Hackathons are a great opportunity for us to work in teams

It’s also a great way to strengthen bonds between colleagues who don’t often get a chance to work together, and even those who do! Learning from your colleagues is infectious. It allows for better cross-function understanding, trust and alignment.

Hackathons bring out so much passion and excitement since there are no constraints or limitations – only your own imagination and determination. The reinvigoration of energy has a lasting effect. Some of the ideas and prototypes that came out of our Hackathons have even become projects that we’re hoping to expand on in 2016. But we’re not giving anything away yet – you’ll have to stay tuned for more news.

We woke up like this
As a fast moving company in an ever-evolving industry, we’re used to a lot of change. Our look hadn’t kept up, and we felt it didn’t really reflect us anymore. Our designers, Francisco and Ines, got to work putting a sleek new spin on the look and feel of Bannerconnect and all you see before you. It was a massive overhaul, from our social media channels getting an update, to presentations, templates, documents – even the office got a fresh new look that’s much more ‘us’.

Not least of all, our website got a makeover. Ines took charge of reinvigorating our site from top to bottom, transforming it into something fresh, functional and beautiful.

Core values are the real winner
Each quarter in 2015 had a theme which tapped into one of our core values; People, Passion, Mastery and Resourcefulness. If we had to choose a favourite, it would definitely be Q3 with resourcefulness. Just talking about core values doesn’t really stick. We wanted to really bring resourcefulness to life and push the limits of what could be done.

We set up an event with a brief for cross-functional teams to build a fast and furious remote control car that could overcome undisclosed obstacles and destroy the competition. We were blown away by the resourcefulness of our colleagues every step of the way, and were pleased to see this exercise in resourcefulness translated well into everyday work. Just getting people to apply alternative thinking – even to something that seemed totally irrelevant – helped enhance problem-solving skills. Q3 was the quarter we got in touch with our resourceful side and found solutions!


Our internal communications underwent a cool modernisation with the introduction of Radiator, our narrowcast system. Keeping up with internal news is easier than ever as it’s available at a glance. Radiator has helped strengthen our alignment and transparency by giving us a platform to display updates on projects, priorities of our leadership team, where we’re at with our targets, success stories, and any other announcements. Radiator circulates this info without bombarding everyone’s inboxes; something we’re all grateful for.

All these and more contributed to making 2015 an unforgettable and transformative year. We predict big things for 2016, with exposure time taking centre stage and changing digital advertising. Keep up with our blog in 2016 to stay up to date with our progress on the paradigm shift!

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