Kärkimedia Baari nominated as "Best B2B service" finalist in Grand One 2014

Mikko Viikari • Senior Consultant

Media companies around the world are quickly adapting to the digital era. It's not only about serving the consumers in multiple digital channels, but catering for the needs of media buyers as well. Kärkimedia is a sales and marketing organisation representing 34 leading Finnish newspapers. Being a pioneer of media buying automation, Kärkimedia wanted to stand out of its competitors by focusing on innovative services.

The challenge presented to Futurice was simple. Firstly, we were expected to take Kärkimedia's customer experience to the next level by creating a comprehensive digital platform for the newspaper advertisers. The other goal was to change the image of newspaper marketing in the eyes of advertisers, from old school & stiff to appealing and modern.

We answered to this by creating Baari, an all-in-one service for the media professionals. It features easy-to-use tools for analysing and planning newspaper advertising. Baari offers an outlook on how the competitors advertise, be it the ads themselves or information about which newspapers have been used, when and how. Or would you like to get data on how to design your own campaigns with an eye on effectiveness and costs of different options? That's easily done with Baari.

Focus on the users

Since the beginning, we focused on the actual users and their real needs. Cooperating closely with Kärkimedia, media agencies and other suppliers such as Citat and Documill, the development process was kept lean and focused. Sparring constantly with the end users, Baari has proved to be a highly innovative and automated service truly serving the needs of media agencies.

Systematic marketing was tightly integrated with the development right from the beginning, including demo sessions, newsletters, frequent user group meetings (Baarikärpäset, "Barflys") to ensure continuous feedback and to steer the development. This is rarely the case when building B2B solutions.

Baari's modern, responsive web UI aggregates and visualizes information from several legacy systems. We've also thought about developers' lives with cloud-based infra and highly automated deployment.

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Baari is raising the bar

Baari has been attracting attention in and outside of Finland since the beginning. It was launched on time and within the budget in August 2013, and is now continuously improved together with users. Today all media agencies in Finland are using Baari. As of Spring 2014, Baari will be also available for the advertising agencies. I am proud to tell that today Baari has been nominated as a Grand One 2014 finalist competing in Best B2B service category.

So what do the users think about it?

Here's what:

Sanna Kolamo, Strategy Director, Frankly Partners:

"Baari's development process focused straight on the actual user experiences. It's a fantastic tool for today's media channel designers, and I can easily get all the needed information from it, be it consumer information or competitor analysis."

Mats Nyström, Planner, Team Leader & Management Group Member, ToinenPHD:

"The strategic planning of newspaper advertising has been taken to the new dimensions with Baari. It's a great example of how media should serve media agencies in a modern, customer focused way."

Kimmo Laaksonen, CEO, Kärkimedia:

"Baari is something the other media simply don't have, and we haven't found anything similar outside of Finland either. Baari's service and platform design and the used technological solutions are of highest quality and I believe it would make a great product for export as well."

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