Building new products with supercharged efficiency using Supermetrics

Building new products with supercharged efficiency using Supermetrics

Key takeaways

  • The First Tube team, part of Horizon Media, used Supermetrics to launch a new product, reducing time to market by 35-40%
  • This led to savings of $200k+ in headcount from a build vs buy standpoint
  • Using an already built product in Supermetrics, this led to hyper-differentiated offerings and an additional revenue stream for the agency
  • First Tube can now help its clients justify and prove the value of advertising spend

Quick facts

Industry: Media Production and Advertising Services

Founded: 1989

Size: 3000+ employees

Markets: United States

Products: Supermetrics API

First Tube is a full-service content and brand engagement agency that is part of Horizon Media. The First Tube team works with hundreds of household name consumer brands like Bacardi, Mastercard, and American Airlines to produce, host, advertise, and elevate their digital experiences.

As a leader in live media production and digital content experiences, the First Tube team wanted to drive more exposure, maximize the impacts of their clients' live events, and generate additional revenue streams for the agency; that's why they partnered with Supermetrics to bring a new product to market called Live Look-In.

Live Look-In is a product that lets brands create short clips from their live events and turn them into bite-size ads that can capture larger relevant audiences. So whether it's Michelob Ultra building an always-on fitness hub or GrubHub using live music to build cultural authority, First Tube is connecting with their massive network to help these brands reach the masses.

We spoke with Scott Hoffman, Co-founder and COO, and David Clevinger, VP of Products, to learn how and why they're using already built tools to create a better and more competitive suite of products such as Live Look-In. 

Maximizing brand exposure by combining live content with programmatic ads

David says, "We want to surface live content to the right audience, even if they aren't engaged at that moment, to drive both awareness of the event and reinforce the sponsorship branding associated with that And by using Supermetrics, we not only gather and aggregate data from our network of hundreds of social media influencers and VIPs, but also optimize the authorization process for these highly confidential accounts through Supermetrics' seamlessly integrated shared connections.”

And that's where Supermetrics API comes in. Using data from different media sources, First Tube can push everything through the Supermetrics API into real-time data dashboards, allowing clients to see the performance of their Live Look-in campaigns.

When asking Scott why Supermetrics was so important in this process, he simply said, “Supermetrics allows us to focus on the things that are important for our business without having to redo the things that you guys are really good at”. 

Supermetrics x FirstTube - Case study - Quote 1

The Challenge with Building Products

Offering a highly competitive suite of products is what every product manager is working toward, and that was no different for David. Over the past decade, there has been a shift in digital advertising from highly manicured campaigns to an almost candid & raw experience with micro and macro social influencers. While it's clear this pivot is here to stay, David recognized it's hard or nearly impossible for marketers to attribute just how effective these campaigns are, especially for live events.

David recognized the obvious gap in the market here. Giving their clients the ability to measure brand exposure by combining live content with programmatic ads would be a clear differentiator, however, he quickly met with two main challenges: Time and resources. 

Measuring the Impact of Time to Market

"We've gone from building our product backlog to going into beta in about four months. Thanks to Supermetrics, we've reduced time to market by 35-40%, and that’s being conservative."

Supermetrics x FirstTube - Case study - Quote 2

By using Supermetrics API, First Tube has been able to focus on building and shipping products instead of scrambling to go from API to API, platform to platform. This has enabled them to push Live Look-In to beta, approximately 8 months earlier than expected. That would not have been possible without Supermetrics.

Measuring the impact of time-saving comes in three vectors:

1. Faster time to market (with existing connectors and new connectors)

According to David, it took them a full four months to build their beta product. They were able to reduce their time to market by nearly 40% by leveraging the Supermetrics API. That equates to a full 10 weeks of saved engineering time. Using reasonable assumptions (more details below), the full time cost of two data engineers for 10 weeks equates to $47k of saved engineering time.

2. Lower operational downtime due to connector maintenance which results in higher customer retention.

Quantifying the cost of downtime for a B2B product can be challenging. One method we’ve seen good results with at Supermetrics is to study how it impacts client retention, and thus, customer lifetime value (CLV). 

Supermetrics has an engineering, product management and support team of over 100 members spread across three time zones. With a platform uptime over 99.9%, Supermetrics insulates FirstTube from things like data source API changes, deprecations, unplanned incidents and various other factors that significantly diminish customer experience. 

To protect the anonymity of FirstTube’s business model, we’ll use reasonable assumptions. If an average customer pays $100k per month for their service and lasts three years, the lifetime value of that customer is $3.60M. If FirstTube is able to increase the average lifetime of that customer by say 5% thanks to the operational uptime provided by Supermetrics, that results in an additional $180k in CLV over three years, or $60k annually.

3. Additional time and resources to dedicated to building market-differentiating solutions

When building a software product, it’s important to focus on your core competencies and the unique value you provide to your customers (as we do at Supermetrics). Freeing up time for engineering team members to focus on new and novel problems has a significant benefit to the organization. 

In the example above, we illustrated how using the Supermetrics API freed up 10 weeks of engineering time. In FirstTube’s case, this time can then be reinvested into more productive activities like building new and novel features for their customers, like the Live Look-in product, ultimately resulting in one of the following benefits:

  • The ability to sell to new customers, opening up net new revenue opportunities
  • The ability to sell more to existing customers, expanding existing revenue streams
  • The time to invest in quality-of-life features that prioritize customer retention 

Engineering managers like David are keenly aware of the most important of the above activities based on the stage of the business. The Supermetrics API affords them the ability to deploy their limited engineering resources as effectively as possible in pursuit of achieving the business’ goals. 

Saving in production cost

New products are expensive to build and even more expensive to maintain. 

First Tube acknowledged this right from the get go. David understood that every marketing platform and social channel stores data and updates APIs differently. Choosing to build their own product meant they were going to need at least 2 engineers who were: 

  1. Allocating their time to understanding the APIs
  2. Chasing maintenance updates on 3rd party sites as they change their features and APIs

So, we did the math here.

David estimates they'd need to add two additional headcounts from an engineering standpoint to take care of the pipelines. Considering in 2023, the average salary of a data engineer in the US is $122,222 per year, building data integration would cost at least $244,444 per year. Here's a quick comparison of home-grown data pipeline vs. Supermetrics' managed pipeline.

Home-grown data pipelines Supermetrics' managed data pipelines
$122,222/engineer/year Costs that scale low with usage


When speaking with David, he mentioned there might be other delays in the API that would've otherwise been available in real-time. Managing all that would be a chore and ultimately lead to a bad customer experience if there is constant downtime.

Additionally, he pointed out that if they added a new platform, he wouldn’t know how they could easily extract data from them.

"We'd need to hire additional backend development resources to fill in the gaps that Supermetrics has filled in. That's a significant impact on our business." David Clevinger, VP of Products.

Supermetrics x FirstTube - Case study - Quote 3

Using data to prove the value of advertising spend

First Tube's vision isn't to replace any forms of media, but rather, it's to encourage their clients to add live media to their mix to maximize engagement and impact of their campaigns. When they ask their clients to allocate budget to new campaigns, they want that extra layer of optimization and provide data-backed results. 

David says, "We can show brands the impressions and engagements we generate from different locations. We can show the value of live media compared to other traditional media like TV or OOHs ads."

With the live performance-based advertising approach, First Tube can help its clients justify and prove the value of advertising spend. As a result, the data piece powered by Supermetrics becomes a critical piece of the equation.

Supermetrics x FirstTube - Case study - Quote 4

“Working with top-tier brands means we need to bring impactful results. That's why it's important to synthesize findings from data we generate across a bunch of different platforms.” David Clevinger, VP of Products.

Data fuels your business growth in different ways. Whether you’re struggling with siloed data or looking for ways to improve your current analytics capabilities, we can help.

Contact our internal experts to learn more about Supermetrics API and other products.

Turn your marketing data into opportunity

We streamline your marketing data so you can focus on the insights.

Book Demo

Marketing Intelligence Cloud

  • Connect
  • Store
  • Transform
  • Analyze
  • Act

© Supermetrics 2024