With your margins tightening and expenses spiraling, you can’t afford a chink in your ad booking armor.
But for many digital publishers a leaky ad booking process is an everyday reality. One that prevents you from providing coherent ad booking – let alone a loyalty engendering customer experience.
Nine times out of ten, the root cause of this problem is the integration – or lack thereof – between your CRM and ad publishing platform.
How can we be so sure?
Well, we’ve seen the same issue with numerous customers, including the likes of Spotify and NewsCorp.
A breeding ground for inefficiency and limited visibility
Both Spotify and News Corp used a leading CRM and ad server. And, while the systems worked well alone, together their relationship was like a loveless marriage – continually undermined by their inability to talk to one another.
If you are suffering from the same problem with your CRM and ad server (hopefully not your marriage), it’s this lack of communication you need to fix. It's a fundamental flaw that breeds the inefficiency and clouded visibility that's plaguing so many media organizations today.
Here’s a few of the symptoms you might recognize.
Symptoms of an unconnected ad booking process
Unconnected platforms, and by extension ad booking processes, lead to significantly reduced productivity across both ad ops and sales teams.
Here are some of the issues we regularly hear about from digital publishers.
1. Wasted time creating duplications
Do your ad operations team have to duplicate any orders from your ad server in your CRM just to maintain your records? This manual rekeying and input is not only tedious, but also inaccurate and a waste of resources.
2. A lack of visibility across ad booking
The use of multiple unconnected platforms gives you poor visibility of real-time inventory or visibility of customers and prospects across sales and ad operations. This leads to a slower sales cycle and breeds inaccuracies, damaging your customer experience in the process.
3. Inaccurate revenue forecasting and reporting
Errors and a lack of visibility across platforms mean reporting and revenue forecasting can be inaccurate and harder than they should be.
4. Continual switching of platforms
We all know the frustration of having to continually switch between tabs or tasks. Switching platforms to complete any ad-booking process wastes time and this swivel chair ad booking increases the likelihood of errors. Having to constantly switch systems also leads to lower adoption, longer onboarding for new hires and increased IT maintenance costs.
5. Slow bookings
If your sales team need to use intermediaries to check inventory and book ads it’s slowing down your time to value for clients. When you work out the impact this could be having on your customer experience and conversion rates, isn’t it time you fixed the problem?
6. Lack of data integrity
We’ve already mentioned inaccuracy a couple of times. But, while small errors on individual orders from rekeying or switching platforms can be rectified or smoothed over with clients – repetition of these errors corrupts your data over time. With no real link between platforms your data is susceptible to human error.
7. Inability to find the error sources
Without a link between systems, finding the source of any errors and troubleshooting them can prove to a lengthy fruitless task.
If something has gone wrong, you need to find out where and why quickly so you can fix the problem fast. Working on unconnected systems using manual processes increases the chance of errors and makes finding the underlying issue a longer, more involved process.
The problems we’ve covered are all similar, yet significant. Any disconnect between your CRM and ad publishing platform not only means everything takes longer, but it makes your output less accurate.
Ultimately your customers are the ones who will suffer with a poorer end product – and you know they won’t put up with that for long.
Bridging the gap between your CRM and ad server with intelligent order management
You’ve invested heavily in your CRM and ad publisher – it figures you want to get the most from your outlay.
But if you’re struggling with a disconnect between systems, you’re not making the most of either platform’s capabilities. Ideally you want the two to be integrated so seamlessly that you have a single advertising hub – with no need to switch between platforms.
Finding a smart bridge between your CRM and ad publisher will provide tangible improvements in speed and accuracy for your entire ad booking process. So what’s the answer?
A media-specific order management system (OMS) will extend your CRM and get it speaking the same language as your ad server. With this single integrated ad booking platform you’ll get clear visibility and accurate fulfilment, not to mention the ability to cut waste across sales and ad operations.
Ultimately, connecting your systems into a coherent platform helps you boost customer retention with a better service. Better still, the right platform lets you cater to the shifting media market by diversifying your offerings and becoming a trusted advisor for your customers.