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Case Studies

Kelley Blue Book: Scaling Ad Ops for Digital Growth

The Story

As the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, Kelley Blue Book has a highly targeted inventory of products on its top-rated website, KBB.com. Not only do they sell on the National, Regional and Local levels, but they also offer a variety of traditional, mobile, custom and even showcase solutions for their clients. KBB.com provides extremely granular targeting to a variety of geos and demographics, and Kelley Blue Book even builds out programs targeted to specific car models. They needed a comprehensive business management system with the capabilities to create an organized structure for this detailed inventory that would become the hub across their entire advertising business.

They wanted:

  • Unified performance/revenue reports
  • Specific revenue attribution
  • Contractual transparency
  • Automated order entry for planners
  • Dashboards for accessing critical data
  • Custom product exception rules
  • Communication between OMS, ad servers, and finance systems
  • Native billing reconciliation
  • Defined workflows from quote to cash

The Technology Solution
Enabling Sales and Automating Ad Ops

Using a blueprint of Kelley Blue Book’s existing processes, we created a custom software implementation that conformed to the realities of their day-to-day business. Their product catalog houses targeting for car manufacturer, model, year and even trim model, and is tied back to the various ad servers for delivery. With a centralized ad platform, Kelley Blue Book can ensure that the right product is sold to the right client by the right salesperson – and that the inventory will deliver on schedule. It enables them to optimize revenue across their multi-faceted inventory.

Other Benefits:

  • Sales pricing floors and sophisticated approval rules to maintain premium value
  • Automated trafficking with push-to-DFP technology for ad ops workload and error reduction
  • 1st and 3rd party ad server integrations for real-time tracking and reporting
  • Streamlined billing process with reports that compare what was sold to what was invoiced

The biggest benefit of the ad platform is allowing all products and revenue to be tied to the same workflow, which provides transparent data to Kelley Blue Book management so they can make the best deals and business decisions for the company’s growth.

Tying It All Together
Continued Growth and Innovation

In addition to the ad platform implementation, Operative and the Kelley Blue Book team sat down together to develop new ad operations processes that would allow Kelley Blue Book to handle volume and run leaner ad operations. Kelley Blue Book has since reaped the cost-saving benefits of ad ops outsourcing by shifting low- ROI activities like trafficking, QA and screenshots to Operative.

Operative’s managed services now handles 80% of Kelley Blue Book’s ad trafficking. This partnership results in a 40% efficiency gain, and allows reinvestment in their people to work on more strategic tasks like campaign optimization and product innovation. Kelley Blue Book has unlocked the potential of the employees that were doing tasks that could instead be done by systems or outsourced partners. Ad ops is no longer just traffickers, they’re a part of the product ideation process from the beginning. The ad operations team has generated revenue on their own for the first time company history, displaying a tangible impact on growth.

By creating efficiencies in sales, ad ops and reporting, Kelley Blue Book can now focus on scaling and expanding their digital business through innovative product offerings and creative collaboration with their clients.