The world of streaming media is always changing and the future belongs to publishers with control. According to PwC, as technology improves, the lines between social and traditional media continue to blur, especially in the broadcasting industry. As advertising revenue streams garnered by entertainment and media businesses continue to grow, the ambiguity in managing available options is only compounded.

Without an appropriate workflow in an advertising management system, it’s almost infeasible to keep a thumb on the pulse, leading to potentially catastrophic fragmentation in ad-agency relationships.

To fulfill the full potential that streaming media can offer, it’s necessary for broadcasters to look at the gaps within their ad tech stacks – and act accordingly.

1. Provide Proper Tools to Pitch Inventory Value

The growth in how media businesses function has led to plenty of fresh advertising avenues. Freewheel has studied the value of new channels like over-the-top (OTT) add-ons as a part of streaming products. However, it can be challenging for sales to market the benefits of cross-channel advertising to address advertisers and agency concerns.

Ad operations teams now face a proverbial onslaught of several assets and sizes as a result of a lack of any kind of uniform system for handling ads.

Sales should embrace a simpler approach and access technology that provides a way to accurately pitch inventory and its value. Without a way to prepare media packages that speak to specific needs, it’s not going to be easy to reconcile cross-channel and cross-device data from both third-party and in-house sources.

2. Consolidate Information from All Integrations

One of the biggest gaps in developing multiple revenue streams in streaming media is aligning and coordinating them. This helps to provide a seamless customer experience, ensuring that all the key pieces of information pass between systems. Simply maintaining multiple revenue streams from advertising inventory can be challenging, but aligning and coordinating provides an additional layer of complication. When unorganized, the user experience is significantly compromised, creating logistical hurdles that fail to facilitate the communication of precise information.

It’s essential that publishers make sure they align their deck of integrations toward seamless execution. This ensures they can collate all key information between systems so that nothing slips through the cracks.

3. Use Data for Decision-Making

Combining first and third-party data is a big part of successful ad sales, as broadcasters with ad space need to make the most of their inventory. To succeed in overcoming measurement challenges, it’s important to make the most of KPI management to increase the value of inventory.

Agencies and advertisers both require actionable data to make educated decisions and guide course corrections to ad campaigns. It’s not practical to wait until a campaign is over to determine whether or not a strategy needs revision. Instead, technological tools must be able to provide appropriate marketing insights and targeting opportunities to help advertisers make split-second decisions.

On the other hand agencies and advertisers look for fresh measurements such as attribution. With the increase of inventory types available to advertisers, their attention span reduces. They require a better overview and analysis of revenue while monitoring their inventory-sold impressions regardless of the ad spec and billing type.

According to PwC, it’s increasingly likely that for entertainment and media companies value will come to be measured in the monetizable currency of data, as they gather information about user information and performance. However, to get the most of it, broadcasters must prove that their products have a greater return on investment for marketers it in their sales pitch and in their reports.

4. Establish Workflows for Time-Consuming Tasks

There are plenty of complex tasks in advertising, so why waste time on lengthy, less-significant obligations when there are more important fish to fry?

Automation can be a valuable tool in many aspects of business, and that includes ad sales. The pressure of managing internal workflow can be alleviated greatly with help from automated tools and resources, helping to streamline things such as:

  • Billing
  • Collections
  • Fees
  • Commissions

Wasting time on jobs that are less critical can put relationships with advertisers and agencies in jeopardy, leading to incidents such as booking errors. With automation, it’s easier to get more done while minimizing risk.

5. Improve Abilities to Sell Across Channels

Advertising is not one-size-fits-all, especially not in today’s competitive climate. Advertising spans across many channels and platforms, creating a diverse web that is hard to manage – and makes it much harder to sell.

Instead of letting ad sales team risk missing the mark due to incomplete information, make sure everyone involved knows how to best approach direct and programmatic ad sales and all media package options.

Be sure your sales pros can stay up to date on different ad specs and technologies, to be able to present the best opportunities to customers.

6. Enhance Understanding of the Accounting Process

Consolidating the accounting and billing records from various sources is a  valuable part of the ad sales process. Real-time insight into the financial outcome of campaigns is an eye-opener, offering verifiable support for operations, sales, advertisers, and agencies. A real-time dashboard for ad operations can back up the ROI of your media package and help you run course corrections in your advertising campaign including:

  • Reconciling figures associated with larger campaigns is a big undertaking and, when not handled properly, can result in many errors.
  • This is particularly true in industries where bidding and last-minute changes can throw an entire numbers game on its head.
  • When your team understands how to properly provide numbers – and revise numbers when things change – you can minimize errors and rely on more accurate reporting, and provide actionable information to customers.

7. Maintain Consistency between Sales and Operations

Consistency is the name of the game in advertising sales. If every transaction takes a wildly different direction, you can assume there are some gaps in your strategy. Whether you’re working with programmatic or direct, third-party or native advertising, or any other combination therein, your team needs to provide the same experience for every customer.

Instead of leaving room for a variable experience, ensure your inventory is powered by a CRM with a capacity for collaboration prior to speaking with customers and making deals. When you provide a consistent process throughout your operations, it’s possible to avoid misunderstandings that are better solved in-house earlier rather than mid-transaction.

Staying competitive in ad sales can make or break your ad operations for streaming media. Too many gaps can be your downfall.

By looking for opportunities to improve, minimizing gaps that exist in processes, and doing everything possible to automate, streamline, and remove space for human error, can ensure your approach to ad sales is a benefit, not a detriment.

7 Gaps in Ad Sales Management for Streaming Media Advendio