Dimes or dollars, securing online and mobile digital revenue has never been more important.
Do you cede responsibility for sales to a programmatic partner, develop direct, building on the strengths of established relationships... or both?
Whatever the route, there's no question that competition has never been tougher, nor the need for a knowledgeable, informed sales team greater. Customers across a variety of platforms - including print, digital, radio and TV - require up-to-date information about inventory, options and offers, and the knowledge that their needs can be actioned quickly. Engagement needs to be measurable and capable of being responded to.
It is after all, what they would expect from a partner programme.
But while platform giants may be taking the largest slice of your advertisers' spend, it's the proportion that a publisher secures directly that is by far the most profitable.
So what to do about it? Responding to technology with technology is the clear solution.
It's a philosophy which has driven recent tech developments at German systems developer ppi Media in the evolution of its AdX ad manager solution to enable publishers to "think campaigns", acting in the same way as an agency... and selling more and better ads in the process.
Indeed process is key: AdX integrates the booking system and the ad server, controlling space reservation across all channels and simplifying multichannel publishing.
"Workflow is in our DNA," says Christian Finder, ppi Media's head of international sales, "whether it's print, online, mobile or broadcast."
"The reduction of process steps through automation not only helps deliver a more efficient service to clients - it also results in a better cost structure."
Part of the focus here in on increased transparency with an online planning board giving a clear visual overview. The industry's most powerful ad solution enables users to book, manage and deliver ads individually or as a campaign across all media because ad booking systems, production solutions and servers have all been integrated.
"Visually, the planning board offers you a clear and up-to-date overview of the booking situation for your digital and print media. Only AdX can do this," says Finder.
Nor do you have to take his word for it: Dirk Frädrich, head of process management and IT at Südkurier Medienhaus in Konstanz, Germany, reports "very positive results" with time on central booking processes such as booking a banner in wallpaper format reduced to a third of that previously.
Elsewhere, ROI analyses from publishing houses have shown the potential to save 28 per cent by managing online advertisements and production automatically, as well as savings of 24 per cent by creating online campaigns on the ad server and by letting AdX do the transfer automatically.
These resources enable running campaigns to be managed more effectively, as well as expanding future digital business.
10 mins: Time to complete a wallpaper ad booking, reported by Südkurier's Dirk Frädrich: "This used to take half an hour," he says.
28%: Potential savings from managing online advertisements and
24%: Additional savings by creating online campaigns on the ad server and by letting AdX do the transfer automatically.
Despite the growing importance of digital online and mobile advertising, print remains a very valuable source of ad sales revenue. AdX delivers a 360° view of a campaign and putting cross-media ad management functionality at your fingertips. Reserving material for both print and digital output channels means complex campaigns can be managed more profitably.
Implemented as a web-based system - minimising installation expenses - AdX is accessible both as an in-office system and as an intelligent and straightforward tablet app for field staff meaning the sales team can now take the game right to your customers.
Additionally, through an AdX "black box" function, orders can be transferred automatically from IS-M/AM, with the ad produced in AdMan and transferred to the DFP network without ever being directly worked on in AdX. Another ppi Media exclusive. Working directly with an ad booking system, orders can be entered in either system and - via SAP BAPI integration in AdX - users can see the price that has been calculated and offer discounts. Alternatively, the order module in AdX enables orders to be created independently.
AdX's large planning board and calendar function includes a continuous timeline, with monthly, weekly or daily views of reservations for websites - with their specific ad formats - and mobile.
A new broadcast planning board delivers similar functionality, storing dates and durations of radio and TV shows so the sales team has a clear view of each show's availability and its ad types . Direct links between different ad servers and AdX the enable AdX to transfer various and combined advertising formats such as wallpaper and more complex Flash and HTML5 elements to the server, either automatically or manually, with custom creative codes filled in and transferred by AdX.
Finally AdX integrates control parameters from ad server to enable users to plan and monitor an ad's success. Current available ad inventory can be accessed and figures are then displayed in the directory tree of the respective page on the planning board. AdX also displays information from the ad server about ad impressions and ad clicks for ongoing campaigns.
Above all, the newest module in ppi Media's suite for news media and newspaper publishers delivers a competitive edge in a challenging market. AdX joins pricing information with technical figures such as measured delivery of digital ad volumes. This makes it possible to evaluate and compare the success of campaigns and to start precise yielding activities, as other industries - such as hotels and airlines - have done for decades.
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