Facebook and Amazon have proven that automating the sale from marketing through e-commerce and distribution makes placing an order easier and more affordable.
But aside from classifieds, available front-end advertising platforms for publishers often do not support an end-to-end solution.
“A lot of software companies will support e-commerce, but they don’t build the ads. Or they have a front end system that builds the ads with no or very limited self-service.” says Brian Gorman, co-founder and CRO of iPublish Media Solutions.
What differentiates iPublish Media’s software from other self-serve platforms is that it offers a single solution that “follows the complete sales process” from selling to creative to fulfillment – beginning to end. There is not another solution for the newspaper industry that designs, sells, and schedules ads for multiple channels all on one platform,” Gorman said. “And for the digital channels, it also automates sending the customer ad performance metrics.”
Streamline Campaign Creation
Gorman saw the impact an end-to-end platform had when he visited a major metro and they demonstrated the previous way they went from customer engagement to publication. “They had a call center rep walk me through their process to sell a recruitment ad campaign as a preset package price of $1200 for print and a digital ad campaign,” Gorman said.
The rep took the order on the phone and typed it into the AdBase front end system. Then that rep had to get on another system from Paper G – the only one in the company trained on Paper G – to create a digital display ad.
Another admin took both components and transferred them to an outside digital agency to fulfill the programmatic component. The entire process involved the customer, or more employees and multiple software platforms that required different expertise to operate.
The Power of End-to-End Solutions
Here’s how the same process would work with AdPortal Classifieds Plus
- Either the customer or an inside sales representative uses the automated ad builder to design the ad which “scrapes” the Google Business page belonging to the customer, capturing a registration, artwork, and key details about the business. A draft of the ad(s) is automatically rendered where the customer or inside sales representative can adjust the colors, logos, images, and messages, creating a final proof on the fly.
- An ad campaign schedule is selected by the same user. That schedule may include any one or combination of a print campaign, O&O digital campaign, programmatic campaign and/or Facebook campaign. These schedules are predetermined by the publisher, including types of ads, length of the campaign, and any audience targeting.
- The same user then enters a credit card and checks out.
Integrations automatically send the artwork in multiple formats to the right channels.
The entire process takes minutes, and the call center is now in a follow-up and support role.
The fact that the process is virtually hands-free is another advantage in the current environment shifting to “no contact” sales and remote offices.
Finally, end-to-end makes the ads affordable to SMBs and profitable to publishers at very low prices.
As Gorman often notes, “You can sell a $99 campaign and still make a profit. You are never going to send one of your reps out there to sell a $99 campaign, much less process a complicated multi-media order.”
The cost of 4 or 5 people involved with the sales and fulfillment of a $99 campaign makes it nearly impossible for the newspaper to make money using the traditional sales method. However, a $99 campaign is both affordable to small businesses and can drive margins in the 50% range for the newspaper using automated methods.
“Best of all, that customer buying the $99 campaign is seeking to grow their business; a sales manager can review the orders and assign the accounts that could spend significantly more,” Gorman said, “It is the ultimate lead generation tool.”