Advertising Guest Columns
3 mins read

Developing a failsafe advertising strategy with CRM

The proliferation of media outlets and the deluge of online content mean consumers now have much greater choice, and as a result, publishers and media owners are battling for share of voice and sight. Long gone are the days of selling column inches, today’s publishers must offer multi-channel advertising models comprising everything from roundtables, events and end-to-end digital campaigns, if they are to capture the attention of companies.

At the same time, advertisers have started to demand a clearer return on investment (ROI) and proof of engagement, which has required the tracking of metrics such as clickthroughs, dwell times, and viewable engagement. As a result, advertising sales has become a much more complex business, yet many publishers are still reliant on rudimentary processes and systems.

The multi-channel nature of advertising sales means that all the different areas of a publishing business need to be integrated to work together effectively and create visibility across the sales, marketing and finance functions. Publishers must unite teams to boost advertising revenue, increase content engagement and demonstrate clear ROI.

Managing a multi-channel offering

As advertising has evolved, the business case for a multi-channel advertising solution has strengthened. Advertising can now comprise digital, events and live experiences as well as more traditional published advertising, with elements often managed by different internal teams. It is therefore important for the sales function to be more closely linked with the different systems these business areas use. Additionally, the sales end of advertising focuses around marketing, lead generation, qualifying leads and getting sales over the line, but when advertisements are sold, this needs to be linked with delivery, invoice generation and financial systems.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms can play a key role in ensuring teams across the business know the status of each delivery item at any one time, as well as providing alerts as deadlines approach. In today’s competitive landscape, the delivery of any product sold by a publisher needs to be seamless and efficient. By relying on disjointed processes or spreadsheets, sales and production teams risk communication breakdowns and issues around specification, delivery and invoicing; failures which could ultimately lead to a loss of revenue.

Engaging your audience

In a world of multi-channel product bundles, it is important to not lose track of the basics; fundamental to successful ad sales is an engaged audience for companies to advertise to. A multi-channel offering is only a success if those channels can be effectively managed. Joining up processes and uniting teams enable publishers to meet the changing demands of end customers, growing their audience and therefore the advertising opportunity. Keeping up with rising subscription rates, for example, can be incredibly difficult without a joined-up way to manage each customer throughout their lifecycle. Billing errors, late renewals, and losing track of customer concerns become increasingly likely, which can result in irreparable damage to the relationship, impacting both reputation and revenue. 

The delivery of any product sold by a publisher should therefore be seamless and efficient. If sales and production teams rely on manual processes, problems can often occur around specifications, delivery and invoicing. In a complex multi-channel, multi-revenue stream media and publishing environment, an end-to-end CRM system that can manage the sales and delivery cycle across the board, and integrate with other elements of the business, can solve these issues.

Proving ROI

With greater choice on how to spend traditional advertising budgets, publishers need to demonstrate ROI in order to secure investment. Advertisers now demand metrics such as clickthroughs, dwell times, and viewable engagement to evaluate effectiveness. These data points enable publishers to create brand loyalty and increase transparency. Positive results reaffirm their value proposition while allowing advertisers to fine-tune their campaign.

Advertising is still the single biggest driver of revenue for publishers and media companies, so ensuring the advertising sales process is slick, efficient and – most importantly – integrated with all key systems across the business, is vital. CRM can help publishers to manage the ad sales process efficiently and effectively. With shared processes and the right technology, publishers can continue to innovate and meet changing buyer demand.

John Cheney
CEO, Workbooks 

Workbooks delivers cloud-based CRM and Marketing Automation applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price. Its mission is to help businesses operate more successfully, by working consultatively to address their unique challenges and outcomes. Founded in 2009, Workbooks is headquartered in Reading, UK, and has a presence in Connecticut, USA. The team enables hundreds of customers across the world to get closer to their clients and run their businesses more efficiently.