With the challenges in revenue, the competition from digital channels and the development of programmatic sales, magazine publishers, and the print industry must rethink how they manage their advertising operations. What used to be limited to paper has now extended into multimedia, sending publishers and media into a vast array of advertising avenues that require time, attention, and commitment.
For those used to having an ad sales management strategy focused on a single platform as a source of revenue, taking practical steps into cross-media integration can be a challenge. Here are some practical solutions to get started.
1. Incorporate Cross-Media Analytics
Adequate analysis plays an important role in successful cross-media advertising. When the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, it’s easy to let things fall apart. In fact, 59 percent of advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers, and marketing service providers, agreed that “dissolving organizational silos” is the most important step they could take to derive more value from their use of audience data, according to the IAB Data Center of Excellence and DMA.
Salesforce has found that top teams use analytics as a key tool to:
- Drive operation efficiencies
- Facilitate growth
- Optimize operational processes
- Improve existing products, services, and features
- Identify new revenue streams
To make sure all pieces and parts are working toward the same greater goal, integrate the data spread across multiple ad servers, exchanges, and ERPs into a single snapshot of your media inventory -regardless of the different publications and platforms under your wing.
This consolidation can ensure that media packages, bills, and reports are easier for your customers – and members of your own team – to understand. If your customers can’t figure out how it all fits together, your advertising package is missing something.
2. Keep Ad Sales Reps Informed and Educated
Your sales reps are the offense for your operation, going into the field, wooing customers, and doing what it takes to close a deal. However, when your reps are working from silos and fail to understand the nuts and bolts of the variety of media inventory the company has available, whether they’re a full-page spread or a banner ad, you may find yourself losing out to your competitors.
The New York Times, trained its core sales team members programmatic advertising so that they could sell any of their ad products to any type of advertiser, Digiday reports.
When your sales team is up to date, it will be much easier to leverage the synergies and return on investment of a cross-media advertising package, for instance. Educated salespersons can answer questions with confidence, regardless of if it’s not part of their portfolio. The better they’re informed, the easier it is to improve upselling.
3. Leverage the Unique Advantages of Advertising in Print Media
Most pros in the media space assume that branching out in ad sales means taking print campaigns to the web. For companies with a primarily digital focus, dabbling in print can be just as logical.
This may seem a little strange –you’re probably tired of hearing potential media buyers complain that print is dead for years now – but print is still a vital part of a comprehensive media advertising strategy:
- It can yield a high ROI within a broader media mix, the International News Media Association (INMA) reports.
- Magazines have one of the highest Returns on Advertising Spend (ROAS), with an average return of $3.94 for every dollar, according to the Association of Magazine Media,
Consumers still read newspapers, magazines, and brochures, providing a perfect way to create a well-rounded approach. With the ability to boost retention and target out-of-home advertising at events and in publications, you can sell a media campaign in print as a critical addition to digital strategies.
4. Create Cross-Media Ad Sales Solutions
Despite the growing transition to digital, many companies are still stuck in their old ways, offering media kits that fail to convey the unique selling points behind each platform, presenting an inadequate blend to understand the value per print issue and the cost per mille (CPM) in the same presentation.
A multi-platform package for advertising clients can be the asset that sets you apart, creating a dynamic opportunity that allows you to target advertising on all fronts. A multifaceted approach extends reach significantly, and the numbers don’t lie:
- B2B advertisers’ ratings of multiplier effectiveness hit 146% when digital, print, and events are used in conjunction, according to Outsell data.
- Shows that combinations of desktop and print raised campaigns aids brand awareness and are a driver of brand consideration, MNI Targeted Media reports.
5. Have Everyone Working on the Same Information
Customers complain about having multiple counterparts in advertising sales, and one of the most common issues at any company is failing to have sales and operations representatives on the same client regarding the same client.
Regardless of the solutions that ad servers and programmatic ads provide to your order management, advertising sales rely on accurate and collaborative CRM tools.
Salesforce has run a variety of research on the effectiveness of sales processes across industries and has found that:
- 75% of sale professionals agree their company connects customers, employees, partners, and products
- Creating a connected sales experience for the customer extends beyond internal collaboration
- Top teams prioritize partner relationships, as 76% of high-performing sales teams rate their partner and customer/prospect collaboration capabilities as outstanding or very good
6. Customize for the Customer (Not the Other Way Around)
Look at it from the client’s perspective: retailers and advertisers are shopping for a select mix of tools and services which, strategically arranged and combined, can yield short, medium and long-term benefits such as brand awareness, lead generation or increased sales.
That assortment of ad inventory needs to fit them like a glove. You need to make sure the product you’re offering suits what the customer wants, not solely what you have available on your stock.
- When creating a package, focus on the things that matter most, like the customer’s goals, target audience, and budget. How you choose to combine media options will vary based on these things, so emphasize due diligence to confirm that the plan you’ve created is using the right tools to address your customer’s needs.
- Have them understand how the different ad features, frequencies, outreach and fares your media kit has are easily relatable and understandable for a customer who, in turn, has to pitch that proposal to a decisionmaker.
If you want to stay ahead rather than get left behind, making the most of cross-media integration in ad operations is extremely important. These solutions for print media and magazine publishers can help you stay ahead of the crowd, improving yield and maximizing revenue growth in a sustainable way.