Choozle’s Campaign Manager Unlocks Growth for the Company and Its Clients

When CEO Adam Woods joined Choozle, he had an ambitious vision for the company’s core platform. Built In learned how the Choozle team brought it to life.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Mar. 13, 2023
Choozle’s Campaign Manager Unlocks Growth for the Company and Its Clients
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For over a decade, Choozle has helped its clients create dynamic and innovative digital marketing experiences, and as the digital media landscape continued to grow, Choozle’s tech kept up. But when CEO Adam Woods joined Choozle’s executive team in 2020, he had an even more ambitious vision: to launch an industry-leading platform that offers clients increased volume and engagement for the same budgets, with a streamlined interface and clear, actionable data.

“Choozle has always been out there to bring enterprise capabilities into the mid-market while making those capabilities intuitive and approachable,” he said. And Woods knew that with the right team, Choozle could build a brand-new platform to provide even more value to their clients.

His vision came to life with the launch of Campaign Manager, which fully launched in January 2023, but before rebuilding the platform’s architecture, Woods needed to build a team.

“This is the culmination of two and a half years of work to get the product and engineering teams to a place where I knew that they were going to be successful,” he said. And on the way,  talented leaders like VP of Media and Client Operations Katie Harker and SVP of Engineering and Product Joe Forrester signed onto Woods’ mission.

“Creating an exceptional team that can perform at a higher level unlocks the growth of what we see and what we can do over the years to come,” he said.

Built In learned more about Choozle’s road to launching Campaign Manager — and what’s next on the horizon for their growing team.

 

THE UPGRADES

Within Campaign Manager, Choozle customers have innovative tools at their fingertips. Some of the most impactful changes include:

  • Predictive clearing — Machine learning adjusts bids to purchase impressions at a lower price whenever possible, resulting in more impressions for the same budget.
  • Enhanced reporting — In-platform reporting has expanded to include more detailed data regarding geolocation, browser, device type and more.
  • Koa – Built on top of The Trade Desk’s optimization engine, Koa, campaign manager users can now adjust bids for sites, geos, time of day, creative, audience and SSPs. Koa automatically optimizes across those parameters, enabling advertisers to focus on creative that performs best at a specific time of day. 

 

 

THE VISION: “Make better decisions faster and more actionable.”

Adam Woods, CEO: When we decided to make this upgrade, it was a full rewrite of our platform. The original intent was to learn what we could do with a fully modern platform and technology set underneath it. For our customers, we wanted to bring integrations to technology platforms and partners faster, power the best media buying capabilities for our advertisers and make data an integral part of the experience so people can make better decisions faster and more actionable — and then wrap it in an intuitive user experience. 

Katie Harker, VP of Media and Client Operations: We wanted to be sure that the experience and overall functionality complemented what clients are familiar with across other platforms, whether it be programmatic or extended channels. We've really carried that feedback — both from our end clients and internal teams — through to the overall experience. There's a lot of give and take of things that clients really like for other platforms of performance wins that they typically see from a structure standpoint. 

Joe Forrester, SVP of Engineering and Product: Through our technology partners, we want to give clients a consistent view, whether they're with Provider A or Provider B. They go through the same workflow so we hide a lot of that complexity behind the scenes, so clients have a unified experience and know what they’re doing every time they go into the marketplace with our tool.

 

A photo of Choozle's office living room featuring modular blue sofas and looking toward the kitchen with a large island and flags hanging over the counter
Choozle

 

BETA TESTING: “Change doubters into believers.”

Harker: The beta test mentality was trial and error. On my team, there was some skew toward the error side, which led to some doubt around the migration. But the teamwork mentality between our client-facing team and the product and engineering side helped us maintain open communication about feedback and see solutions come to life. As we crossed the finish line with clients asking to move faster over to the new platform, it proved our success. The doubters aren’t doubting anymore.

 

“As we crossed the finish line with clients asking to move faster over to the new platform, it proved our success.”

 

Woods: Last summer, an account manager called to tell me about some of the problems she was having with the beta platform. We organized the product team, and they listened to her — not just to hear her challenges but to create solutions from it. Then, a week or two ago, I saw the same account manager raving about a feature because it was exactly what she had asked for. It’s crucial that we give our teams the opportunity to voice their challenges; it's a good way to change doubters into believers. 

Forrester: We aligned our product managers back to the account management side, and we set up some dedicated communication channels where they could provide feedback. By bringing to light the issues that were being discussed, we opened up visibility to the thought process and how we were prioritizing components in the back end. As we committed to high-priority items and getting those designs out to the marketplace, product and engineering would deliver that committed functionality or feature to the field on schedule. That helped build trust, and our teams felt comfortable asking for changes and modifications to the platform.

 

Colleagues laugh while sitting in Choozle's reception area, decorated in blue and teal tones
Choozle

 

MIGRATION AND BEYOND: “They wanted to jump to the new platform now.”

Harker: When we started the migration process, the client-facing teams were getting excited when they saw just the volume of feedback that the build team had addressed granularly. As we got our strategic partners aligned with the upcoming changes, we had a lot of clients raise their hands and say they didn’t want to wait — they wanted to jump to the new platform now. 

Woods: That moment where key accounts were asking to move faster was really cool. Usually we see the human resistance to change, but we saw the shift from reluctance to saying, “Oh wait, this is a way better buying experience, and I'm going to get better media for it. I wish I had it sooner.” At that point, we were certain we had gotten the thing right.

 

“At that point, we were certain we had gotten the thing right.

 

Forrester: Having that client-first mentality allowed us to take feedback and roll changes into the marketplace. From an engineering perspective, watching client feedback come to life has been incredible. The team is set up with a great baseline, and now we can strategically plan what we can do together going forward. We can accelerate and take an enterprise view of how we build our systems to bring our clients the best possible experience. That changes everything for us. We can show our clients and our client-facing teams that feedback and good ideas can go all the way through the cycle and become real in a matter of days.

 

CHOOZLE’S TECH STACK

Behind the curtain of Campaign Manager, Choozle’s engineering and product teams are working with what Woods calls “the best technology stack I’ve seen professionally.” Built on the Google Cloud Platform, the tech stack includes Google Looker and Snowflake Data Warehouse for business intelligence and analytics, Next.js on the front end and a Golang deployment built on Kubernetes on the back end that utilizes open source messaging from RabbitMQ to ensure seamless deployments with no downtime for clients.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via Choozle.

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