The media sales industry is currently facing one of the fastest-evolving environments of the 21st century. Continued digitalization, growing regulation in the industry, and constantly evolving consumer demands, all put a strain on the media industry as it adapts to the ever-changing digital landscape.
Forbes notes that consumers are creating “mind-boggling” amounts of data on a daily basis and with the current pace of digitalization, consumers are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data on a daily basis. With strict regulations on how that data is managed, the European Union recently took the most aggressive action to date in the form of General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This digital privacy legislation impacts the media sales industry at large and ad sales management in particular by requiring them by law to institute “data protection by design” in all products and technologies. Essentially, all businesses are now required by law to protect all that data they generate and collect each day.
Combine the current pace of digitalization and GDPR with challenges such as consumer demand for real-time reactions from media companies, faster responses, and competition for consumer attention, it is evident that the media ad sales industry needs new tools to tackle these ongoing challenges to stay up-to-date with media trends. With the right enhancements available, any media company can meet these ad sales management problems head-on and succeed.
Salesforce for Media Ad Sales
Salesforce aims to provide every department within an organization with a singular view of the customer base in an integrated platform. This ultimately means that any media company can more effectively personalize the consumer experience with the use of artificial intelligence, boost productivity through automation, and keep data secure within a trusted platform.
Companies across the media sales industry from small to large, print to digital, OOH to DOOH have leveraged the benefits of Salesforce to fuel growth, boost automation and productivity, and even streamline their ad sales management. For example, Financial Times has adjusted to competition in the digital age as they adopted a channel-neutral strategy to help departments within the company to connect to both their readers and advertisers needs anytime, anywhere and on any device, ultimately increasing their flexibility while successfully reaching their daily readership of 2.1 million.
Spotify has also grown beyond its startup days as the company has a catalog that contains millions of songs and boasts approximately 10 million active users across 15 different countries. Spotify has benefitted from Salesforce® by improving customer service for both their listeners and ad sales clients, ensuring customers continue to hear their favorites while providing a 360-degree view of customer activity to ad sales teams to promote to clients.
Media-Specific Salesforce Enhancements
Salesforce along with enhancements of native app solutions enable media companies to manage their entire advertising processes smoothly and efficiently. With media-specific ad sales enhancements added to Salesforce, media companies are afforded the perfect solution to optimize the standard functionality of the Salesforce platform for their specific advertising-selling demands. In turn, streamlining ad sales management making it more effective and valuable.
These enhancements include:
1. Cross Media Capabilities
The effective management of various media channels is one of the major tasks of today’s digitized and data-driven media industry. Salesforce enhancements that support cross-media ad sales by seamlessly integrating all channels in one system enables you to keep track of your ad inventory, build powerful cross-channel campaigns, and significantly increase revenue. These solutions ideally enable a single, optimized, and combined process for all media types, from order and sales management to reporting and billing.
2. Data Analytics
The amount of data being generated on a daily basis is astonishing. Attempting to manage this mountain of data manually with hopes of extracting tangible value is an all but impossible task. That is where big data & analytics capabilities are crucial to understanding your business better. Intelligent data visualization & reporting enhancements provide real-time actionable information on all kinds of data, from accounts and media campaigns to revenue and sales rep performance.
The key issue driving media companies to assess the potential of big data analysis is the ever-growing need to reduce operating costs while simultaneously maintaining high revenue outputs in a hugely competitive market landscape. Combining the invaluable data available within your CRM system with artificially intelligent systems such as Einstein Analytics, provides the opportunity to reap real business rewards from otherwise stagnant data. Improved targeted advertising, customer acquisition, media scheduling, and audience predictions are all made easy through the intelligent analysis of the data present within your organization.
3. Programmatic Potential
Programmatic advertising is one of the most influential developments changing the ad sales process by automating the selling and buying of media, simplifying the delivery and control of individualized and real-time campaigns, and enabling data and performance-based reporting. Salesforce enhancements provide media companies with powerful integrations to ad servers, ad exchanges, and SSPs to deliver real-time data and automation capabilities. These enhancements bridge the gap between direct and programmatic sold media, a necessary link that allows you to work efficiently with both channels and maximize advertising revenue.
Media companies that do business with multiple partners such as agencies, advertisers and third parties need contracts and agreements to build clear and lasting relationships that are not disturbed by conflicts regarding the price of a sold product or campaign of an invoice.
A Salesforce enhancement that supports the accounting and billing process makes it easy to set up well-defined contracts, easily compile invoices and credit notes, and provide customers with a transparent view of each item sold. Enhancements that provide an accounting interface that acts as a strong link to ERPs and accounting systems enable you to build a holistic billing and settlement process. However, it is vital to ensure that an internationally recognized standard such as the IFRS is supported in order to comply with international regulations.
5. Artificial Intelligence Technologies
Salesforce Einstein Analytics offers media ad sales companies the opportunity to significantly reduce the time spent on repetitive ad sales processes through smart automation. Einstein Analytics has already been proven beneficial to many publishers assisting with campaign planning. Einstein processes consumer data faster than manual analysis ever could and provides insights that can help create ad content that resonates; it studies patterns in consumer reactions and predicts outcomes. Most impressively, it can suggest the next step for sales teams to streamline the campaign planning process. Einstein is a Salesforce native enhancement, allowing you to make the most of all your cross-organizational data to improve collaboration and transparency across all business units.
6. Self-Service Communities
Salesforce Communities provide media companies the ability to share information and collaborate with those who are key to business processes including Salesforce Org users outside the normal application such as customers and partners. With the introduction of Salesforce enhancement for self-service, communities can be customized for the specific needs and requirements of media companies, providing ownership to customers, agencies or partners to manage tasks themselves as they have the ability to communicate with publishers within a single portal.
This ultimately streamlines workflows and processes with customers resulting in reduced manual efforts. With the additional configurable and customizable web interface, media companies can now also gain deeper insights regarding campaign performance. The main benefit of this Salesforce enhancements is that self-service can support each customer’s specific needs and requirements by providing them with the ability to self-serve clients.
The Salesforce AppExchange® is the marketplace for application developers to provide their own enhancements in which other brands can use within their Salesforce system to enhance their ad sales and drive greater revenues. AppExchange® provides media companies access to enhancements to customize the standard functionality of their Salesforce system to address their various needs across various media channels. Many native app solutions, which blend seamlessly into the Salesforce platform, offer additional enhancements to support and improve media ad sales approaches, are all available on AppExchange®.
Enriched Media Ad Sales
Salesforce is designed to help companies stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing digital environment. Enhancements such as ADvendio offer native app solutions that build on the future-proof media ad sales features of Salesforce to enable media companies to gain better insight through analytics, streamline ad sales management from start to finish, and efficiently individualize products for each individual customer.