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Sprint Media Buying • Moving Ops In-House for a Data-First Approach to Business

  • Client

    Sprint

  • Solutions

    EmbeddedDigital MediaMeasurement

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Revamping operations for a move in-house.

Before it merged with T-Mobile US in 2020, Sprint was the fourth-largest network operator in the United States, providing wireless services to over 50 million customers. While, like its competitors, most of Sprint’s sales were transacted either over the phone or in-store, company leadership knew that more and more customers would be interacting with the brand online—and expecting more from those interactions. To enhance the company’s ability to respond to the market in real time and curb rising advertising and customer acquisition costs, Sprint sought to revamp its digital marketing operations and gradually move media planning and buying in-house.

The Sprint team was confident that being closer to their marketing data and execution would help them win in an extremely competitive telecom space, but there were few examples of other companies having made such a change. Given our deep Google ecosystem knowledge and flexible service model, we were selected to partner with Sprint in facilitating the transition.

After a very brief audit phase, we took over Sprint’s media management and embedded our teams within the Sprint and Boost Mobile digital marketing organization. We spent the first year laying the groundwork for an effective digital marketing team—rebuilding their campaign structure, reporting and best practices. We then spent the next 18 months assisting with recruiting and hiring efforts, and then trained in-house teams to self-sufficiency.

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    Quite honestly, moving in-house has blown away our expectations in terms of how much year-over-year improvement we’ve been able to see, both from a top-line and a bottom-line perspective.
    Read on CampaignLive.com

    Pulling back the curtain.

    Before Sprint was able to more effectively activate its enormous wealth of customer data, it was crucial to gain transparency into Sprint’s digital advertising technology fees, data fees and inventory costs. We worked directly with Sprint’s external vendors to identify opportunities to decrease tech and data fees and eliminate waste from audience oversaturation. These efficiencies allowed Sprint to reduce overall ad spend while continuing to increase working media.

    With transparent service models and media spend in place, Sprint was ready to run with its wealth of marketing data. We oversaw the consolidation of disparate data sources into in-house data lakes, allowing for significantly more granular segmentation and targeted programmatic campaigns. Sprint’s newfound laser focus on precise and meaningful audience segmentation helped the brand realize increased efficiencies in its programmatic media spend and stronger campaign performance.

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      Taking the reins.

      In the early stages of the project, Media.Monks was on-site twice a month—and more frequently as the in-housing phase approached—to facilitate clear lines of communication with Sprint’s project stakeholders and familiarity with the personalities and working styles of auxiliary team members across web analytics, design and website development. We worked hand-in-hand with the team to manage the transition from their external agency and to refine their digital program. We helped identify new KPIs and measurement models, found ways to reduce waste, and created an audience framework that attracted higher-quality traffic. We also developed a multi-touch attribution model for better insights and built a system for real-time reporting.

      After proving the early results of bringing digital media in-house, we helped Sprint with the next phase of the journey—assisting in the design of their team structure, creating candidate profiles to identify the right talent to handle digital media planning and buying. In-person training—literally with hands on the keyboard together as key capabilities were turned over—ensured a smooth transition from Media.Monks to Sprint team members.

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        In partnership with

        • Sprint
        Client Words [Media.Monks’] deep programmatic expertise and advisory capabilities made them an easy choice. They’ve helped us gain the control, insights and flexibility to be able to better meet the needs of our customers and our business as a whole.
        Rob Roy headshot

        Rob Roy

        Chief Digital Officer, Sprint

        Results

        • Increased conversions by 99% and cut digital acquisition costs in half within the first year.
        • Saved $6 million in costs annually.
        • With savings reinvested into working media, 
drove a significant increase in sales through 
Sprint digital channels.
        • 1x AdExchanger Award

        Impact

        Inspiring a generation of business leaders.

        Beyond the benefits Sprint experienced over the course of the relationship, in 2020, we had the privilege of working with the Sprint digital team and Harvard Business School to create a case study on Sprint’s digital transformation success. We are humbled that our work is included in the Harvard curriculum for future business leaders.

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