3 Ways Media Companies Can Achieve an Exceptional Advertising Sales Experience

Maximize ROI for advertisers and revenue for your own organization
 
June 13, 2021. 7 MIN READ
For many media companies, filling advertising inventory and then measuring and reporting results back to their customers has become a complex juggling act. Relevant information lives in dozens of disparate systems – media companies, on average, use 23 marketing/advertising platforms to run their business. The complexity of the system affects the entire lifecycle of advertising sales, from media planning to campaign execution to optimization.
 

The average number of marketing/advertising platforms used by media companies.

Source: Salesforce Marketing Intelligence Report, Salesforce, 2021

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this complex system makes it difficult for media companies to maximize their revenue. Misses and mistakes lead to lost opportunities and revenue leakage. For example, sales can slip away if inventory information is outdated. Sales cycles can stretch out if processes are complicated and manual; time to collect can also lengthen. And disconnected data limits visibility into campaign performance. That means campaigns can’t be optimized along the way.

A converged advertising management system using digital tools can solve these problems. The solution shows all relevant information on a single platform. That allows media companies to provide brands with fine-tuned campaign planning, execution, and measurement. Here’s how it improves your business every step of the way.

Optimize campaign planning through a converged platform

When teams and data are siloed at a media company, a lot gets missed. A team member on a sales call with a brand manager or their agency might know about recent campaigns but have no visibility into past ones. And they might not have up-to-date information about campaign or channel success at their fingertips. They often have to wing it. That’s why media companies need a single platform that aggregates all campaign information and metrics in one place. With a single view of truth, the sales team has constant access to timely and relevant data so they can better manage their accounts and intelligently offer relevant packages. Here’s how:

Get unified visibility into advertising inventory in real time

When your teams know precisely how much advertising inventory is available, they can adjust campaign offers to optimize price and revenue. If customer interest increases or market conditions change, such as when consumer channel preferences shift, they can quickly tweak their proposals. And they can also discover opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

Plan campaigns more effectively

Every past campaign helps improve future ones. Historical analytics uncover actionable insights by benchmarking current performance against past actualized results. This can help you understand what channels are underperforming, which audiences have increased their reach, and much more. To complement insights from your teams, artificial intelligence (AI) analyzes your data to surface in-flight optimizations so you can spend less time on data discovery and more time on data action. You can use the data to ensure you are optimizing the impact of each campaign to improve performance and overall ROI.

Forecast more accurately

A converged system also improves your ability to forecast. Seeing your inventory while planning the campaign lets you propose buying packages that will maximize ROI for you and the advertiser. Then, you can monitor how you are pacing toward your commitments with in-flight forecasting. If you identify areas at risk, you can move inventory around to protect yourself and your customer.

Execute campaigns flawlessly

Once the ad campaign has been approved for execution, your teams can spring into action to ensure smooth delivery. Different people get involved to finalize the contract, fulfill the order, and execute the campaign. Their reliance on legacy systems, however, leaves room for error. Just one mistyped number or out-of-the-office team member can gum up a process.

Industry-specific automation speeds and streamlines approvals and workflows. That creates consistency and drives operational efficiencies. It also frees up team members for higher level tasks. Since they spend less time processing documents, they can focus on the needs of each customer and on improving the performance of their campaigns. Here are some ways automation helps:

Digitize information and automate manual work

A manual process can delay things by days, weeks, or longer. Take the signing of a contract. If the right person isn’t around, or the paper contract gets buried in a pile, the whole process goes on hold. Enabling a digital signature solves those problems. Digitizing manual roadblocks lessens the burden on advertisers and internal teams. It also shortens sales and contract cycles.

Keep an accurate view of the state of all campaigns

Campaign orders might come in through in-house sales reps or self-service channels. They are likely to have varying start dates and durations and target different audiences on different channels. It can be challenging for team members to keep it all straight. A single platform can show all campaigns in one view and allow team members to see the big picture. They can also dig into the details of each one.

Manage campaigns automatically

It’s not always easy to predict ad performance, and you might need to change plans in-flight in order to fulfill your contracts. A converged platform reveals real-time results so you can see what’s working and where you need to adjust. If, for example, your client’s video buy isn’t generating the expected video views, you have insight into other channels or ad formats that will perform better. This ensures that both the seller and the buyer get the results they anticipated.

Monitor budgets and stay on top of billing

A single system gives sales teams up-to-the-minute information about whether a campaign will deliver on its targets. Plans and actuals are reconciled for an always-accurate tally. If a campaign is falling behind its expected pacing, the system surfaces opportunities to optimize client budgets. This protects you from revenue leakage and helps ensure the advertiser achieves all the results they expect. Billing happens automatically too, and payments are confirmed in the system. This gives your finance department a true system of record at all times.

Use data and analytics to optimize campaign performance

Historically, it has been difficult to get a complete view of advertising performance. Each advertising channel and device has its own system, creating a patchwork of technology to assess performance and optimize revenue. This makes the campaign reporting process time-consuming and labor-intensive. And it leaves a lot of room for error as account managers consolidate metrics, manually add them up, and normalize them across channels and ad formats.

A converged advertising management system allows all aligned teams to have visibility into their performance KPIs. This gives you operational efficiencies and allows you to use all of the data you collect to glean insights that help you protect current revenue and optimize future campaigns. Here’s how:

Establish and measure your KPIs

It’s smart to be clear from the start about campaign targets and metrics. Advertisers typically seek to maximize their reach, lift their brand, and see lots of clicks, shares, and, of course, conversions. Establish precise goals for each campaign at the outset. What actions will the audience take if it is successful? These might include using coupons, visiting a physical store, or completing transactions. The converged system can track each of your chosen metrics.

Automatically generate reports on cross-platform campaign performance

Once you have the data, you need a way to communicate the results to all stakeholders. Visualization tools let you display and customize the information. The resulting reports provide insight into various aspects of the campaign, from planning to forecasting to optimization and reporting. You get a deeper understanding of yields that can lead to new ideas about how to optimize them. Share reports with internal teams and with advertisers themselves for greater transparency and alignment, which might even lead to more creativity for future campaigns.

Discover inconsistencies between actual and planned inventory

Always-on reporting gives you snapshot views of inventory at any given moment. That creates opportunities to offer advertising space to new customers or to expand existing campaigns into channels with availability. This ensures no loss of revenue or performance and helps with future forecasting.

Optimize campaigns in-flight

The real-time analysis lets you see how your campaign is performing across channels and understand ways to instantly improve them. Revenue-pacing features reveal if campaigns are on track to meet target metrics, and if not, surfaces areas of opportunity to make adjustments. You can also optimize based on performance. For example, AI can suggest which audiences will generate greater conversions or project what combination of ad size and audience will have the biggest impact on revenue. These insights reduce the time you spend on data discovery so you can spend more time on data-driven optimizations. This way you can create the campaigns that achieve your customers’ expected outcomes.

See one company’s astounding results

The Salesforce Advertising Sales Management solution combines the power of Media Cloud and Datorama so you can grow advertising revenues. You can sell smarter, maximize your cross-channel revenue, and optimize campaign performance for your customers.

Here’s how it worked for one multiplatform organization with 534 ad products. The company lacked real-time and unified visibility into ad inventories across their various channels, and measuring campaign performance was a challenge. Salesforce worked with an internal team to create customizable reporting templates, which empowered sales reps with access to relevant data. The solution integrated third-party data to bring ad product and campaign performance into a single view. It included a custom sales app to provide a lens into campaign fulfillment and delivery processes. The converged system resulted in a 30% decrease in sales cycles, 90% faster end-of-month (EOM) reporting, and a 70% increase in trackable leads.

 

decrease in sales cycles

 

faster end-of-month (EOM) reporting

 

increase in trackable leads

This purpose-built solution solves the most difficult challenges around data for advertising sales. Through revenue-pacing and performance-reporting, it reveals immediate actions you can take to stop revenue leakage and provide an optimal advertising experience. With a converged ad sales platform, media companies can stop juggling and start serving their customers better than ever.
 
 
 

Discover the Advertising Sales Management Solution

Discover how you can use data to:
 
  • Plan advertising based on accurate inventory
  • Optimize campaigns in-flight
  • Create reports for internal use and to share with advertisers
 

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