The 7 Stars is the largest independent media agency in the UK, with 172 employees and £250M in annual billing. The 7 Stars work with global brands like Suzuki, Ladbrokes, Warner Music Group, and Nintendo, handling campaign planning and buying across all media channels. The company was built around core values like honesty and transparency with customers.

Spending too much time in Excel

The agency had a challenge in their reporting process. Typically, each Account Manager worked directly in the interface of each advertising platform. That meant that for each marketing report, they would need to manually download CSV files of ad data like cost, clicks and impressions and import to Excel. They would then proceed to build pivot tables that they would send to clients.

This manual reporting process involved multiple Account Managers for each client report, and entailed hours of manual labour.

“Funnel impresses clients.”

Client reports were clunky and hard to read

Not everyone is an Excel wiz, and the pivot format was unintuitive for most clients. Besides, it did not look very professional.

Centralize data in Google BigQuery

Head of Analytics Johnathan Romero had two objectives in mind: 1) Automate the reporting process for all clients to enable Account Managers to spend time on optimization rather than data collection. 2) Centralize marketing data in one place.

The ideal place to collect all this data was Google BigQuery, where he already had automatic data from DoubleClick and other Google properties. However, the 7 stars handle a wide variety of platforms and connecting them all was a challenge.

Unless all platforms were connected, Google BigQuery wouldn’t solve the problem.

Investigated various solutions

Johnathan started investigating options. He looked at various providers and even researched having the in-house development team building API connectors to connect advertising platforms to Google BigQuery. After intense research, he found Funnel.

Automatically connected all his platforms to Google BigQuery

Johnathan saw that Funnel had the biggest library of ad platform connections that he had seen. That decided it - he would try the solution with one of his biggest clients: Nintendo. Success here would have a massive impact. A single Nintendo report meant that 4 team members had to spend half a day on data collection. The project had the potential of saving 16 man-hours per week that could be spent on optimizing campaigns instead.

Johnathan used Funnel to automate Nintendo data collection from all platforms and centralized them in Google BigQuery. From there, team members accessed the full scope of marketing data, and could use it to visualize reports in their dashboard solution (Tableau). The whole setup process took less than 2 hours, and now Nintendo reporting is fully automated.

“Getting cost data into BigQuery is very complex. But Funnel easily takes care of that headache for us, even for the most obscure advertising platforms.”

“Funnel has the most complete library of advertising platforms I have ever seen.”

Business benefits

Before Funnel

Took more than 2 hours per day to onboard new clients

No centralized marketing data

No automated data exports

No automated data collection and transformation

No automated overview reports

No automated drill-down reports

With Funnel

Takes less than 5 minutes to onboard new clients

Centralized marketing data

Automated data exports

Automated data collection and transformation

Automated overview reports

Automated drill-down reports

Funnel interviewed


Johnathan Romero
Head of Analytics
The 7 Stars