California State University Northridge publishes the Sundial, a free weekly newspaper delivered on campus. It features lively articles about University life and local events. Produced almost entirely by students learning about journalism and the media, it has a steep learning curve for young people who want to make a career in the industry.
Advertising sales are part of that process – a team of three students sell print and web ads, supervised by General Manager Jody Holcomb. Their old software was clunky, and dated from the 1990s, so Holcomb needed to find a replacement, and chose ADvendio, particularly because it works seamlessly with Salesforce, which was already in use by the University.
ADvendio installed the application in June 2016. It is much more user-friendly than the previous system. Students are able to master it quickly and concentrate on their core task of advertising sales. The end-to-end automation means order numbers, account totals, and workflow are easy to manage.
The built-in comms system is versatile, and allows managers to supervise progress on accounts, and users to write notes to each other. Jody says, “It increases students’ professionalism – they can add reminders and prompts to themselves to keep on track with their clients.” The legacy software couldn’t communicate with the University’s central invoicing system, so it was difficult to keep track of whether a client had paid or not. ADvendio completely solved that problem.
ADvendio is popular with the student sales reps, particularly those who had to struggle with the previous application. The result is significant improvements in efficiency. It is flexible enough to move with the expansion of Sundial into sponsored social media content and apps. It will be able to cope with convergence with other student media such as the campus TV and radio stations.
Jody Holcomb continues,
Overall we are more efficient. We know how much people owe us, whether they have paid. We are able to communicate better, it improves our professionalism.
With the new flexibility offered by ADvendio she is exploring additional revenue streams, such as sponsored content and creating T-shirts based on students’ illustrations. She says, “I love that we have all these options. We can use the software that ADvendio provided, and we can use Salesforce, so I think we have the best of both worlds.”
This is a guest article by journalist Julian Jackson. He is a writer whose interests encompass technology, the environment, as well as photography and film.