The Exchange Lab - Powered By Proteus

Case Study


Multi-platform approach drives business-wide sales

Client Challenge

O2 is one of the leading mobile providers in the UK and is part of Telefónica. Working with agency ZenithOptimedia, the objective of the campaign was to acquire customers looking for a SIM only mobile contract or a handset, initially targeting customers through mobile devices only.


When looking at the campaign results, The Exchange Lab over-delivered against objectives on both last-touch and multi-touch campaign analysis. Zenith and O2 observed an increase of 540% in multi-touch conversions when compared with last-touch conversions. These findings were based on independent data from Visual IQ’s attribution modelling, proving that the traffic sent was of a higher quality than previously measured.

  • Based on last-touch (last click/view): beat CPA target by 23%
  • Based on multi-touch (multi-click/view): increase in conversions of 540%
  • When isolating mobile activity: multi-touch conversion increase of 1200%
  • 275% campaign upweight after second month

The original brief was expanded to include additional O2 mobile products on desktop as well as mobile, based on the success of the initial campaign.

“The success of the campaign proves once again that programmatic acts as an “opener” to sales. It exposes people to advertising, creating early customer demand before consumers convert their interest into a sale using another channel. As such, display is extremely undervalued when viewed only with a last click measurement approach which is why Zenith uses more robust measurement frameworks like attribution modelling” Eloi Casali, Client Planning Director, ZenithOptimedia.


Using a rich mix of platforms and tactics, we were able to reach and acquire new customers in places previously untapped by O2. The initial ‘mobile only’ strategy ran on two mobile optimized DSPs, utilizing their strengths in device management, targeting capabilities and unique inventory.

  • Mobile optimized formats matched device size and content
  • Campaign upweights drove performance across five DSPs which fine-tuned the media mix and delivered the best campaign performance
  • We used a mixture of tactics, including audience, device, channel targeting and reach
  • The five DSP strategy meant that The Exchange Lab could efficiently scale delivery on the best performing sites and channels, targeting 27 different exchanges

O2 Testimonial

“When we were looking to enrich our media plan further, Zenith suggested we try The Exchange Lab’s multiple platform approach and we saw instant results. We were incredibly impressed by the scale of campaign success right across the business. We are advocates for the multi-platform strategy and would actively encourage marketers to take the same approach.”

Dan Michelson, Innovation and Capability Lead, O2


Our multi-platform approach showed that there were no clear leaders in terms of DSP performance. Each DSP had strengths when it came to tactics. The campaign performed best when the DSPs were used in conjunction with each other.

Our own internal analysis from Proteus identified campaign insights including;

  • 61% of impressions were served to male users
  • The highest conversion rates were seen among customers who earned $100,000+
  • A fifth of ads were viewed by 45-54 year olds. Almost a quarter were viewed by 25-34 year olds
  • No one DSP was effective against all tactics