Behind the Build: GSTV’s Media Planning Automation

The product team at GSTV is creating new revenue opportunities for clients through more efficient and automated inventory access.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Mar. 25, 2024
Behind the Build: GSTV’s Media Planning Automation
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At GSTV, the commitment to innovation is evident in its recent strides made in product development.  

One product in particular promises to reshape the way partners engage with GSTV for media planning: the integration of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s OpenDirect API. 

OpenDirect supports Automated Guaranteed, a method of buying advertisements which automates the digital direct sale. GSTV’s OpenDirect API integration brings automation to the forefront of its business, allowing partners to access the company’s inventory on demand. This not only streamlines the media planning process but also ensures that partners can make informed decisions based on real-time inventory availability. 

GSTV’s decision to integrate the industry-standard API reflects the company’s dedication to automating processes, enhancing partner experience and ultimately generating more revenue opportunities.

Built In sat down with Director of Product Management Bill Porter — who started this project as a product manager but was promoted to director while working on the project — to learn more about the product team’s cross-functional collaboration and implementation of cutting-edge technologies.
 

WHAT GSTV DOES

GSTV is a data-driven, national video network that delivers content to targeted audiences at scale at fuel retailers.

 

What was the impetus behind your platform’s API integration with OpenDirect?

Bill Porter
Director, Product Management • GSTV

We want partners to consider GSTV when they are creating their media plans, and we want them to always have up-to-date inventory availability. Many of our partners have their own platforms for their buyers, and in the past, we provided them with our inventory when they requested it. This led us to explore the best way to automate the process and allow them to get our inventory on-demand. We chose to integrate the industry-standard IAB OpenDirect API. Making our inventory accessible gives us higher consideration and more opportunities for revenue.

 

What obstacles did you encounter along the way? How did you successfully overcome them?

Our biggest obstacle was getting alignment of our requirements because we had to accommodate the needs of several partners. To address the conflicting needs, we held working sessions to line up requirements and decide on the best universal options. We took advantage of the IAB’s documentation to establish guidelines. As the product leader, I made sure all team members involved had a chance to share their points of view.

 

What did cross-functional collaboration look like for this project?

The collaborative spirit of GSTV sets us apart from other companies in the industry. No matter what department or level you are, you always have the opportunity to participate. While we have solid processes for product development, we also allow ourselves the flexibility to adapt for out-of-the-norm circumstances. We don’t hide mistakes or place blame — we come together and focus on solutions.

 

“We don’t hide mistakes or place blame — we come together and focus on solutions.”

 

How does your product team work together effectively?

We have an established product-planning process that ensures alignment across business and technology teams. That includes a DACIS to be clear on roles and responsibilities and project milestones for every project, big or small. 

Our agile processes keep everyone aligned on a daily and weekly basis across sales, sales planning and engineering, which includes our QA experts. 

For internal alignment of product documentation, we use Atlassian Confluence. Our engineering team used AWS Cloud Development Kit, DynamoDB and Swagger for this project.

With the help of these systems and processes, the product team empowers people in the company to become an integral part of the project.
 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by GSTV.

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