Online platforms for media buying and planning got a boost this week. Arbitron and Marketron are integrating two of their main products -- Arbitron's Tapscan Web, an online sales proposal and analysis system, and Marketron's Exchange, which handles media transactions, to create a fully automated, Web-based sales and traffic platform for radio advertising.
The service covers all stages of the sales process from initial proposal through fulfillment, ratings information, and invoicing.
Set to debut on February 1, the Arbitron-Marketron platform mash-up aims to make "business processes that are manual and very labor intensive instantaneous and completely accurate, eliminating discrepancies that result in millions of dollars of lost revenue," according to Marketron CEO Steven Minisini.
Arbitron's Tapscan Web is currently used by more than 17,000 radio sales personnel, enabling the distribution of over 400,000 proposals to radio buyers per year. Marketron boasts over 7,000 radio station clients -- representing about half the 14,000 radio stations operating in the U.S.
Arbitron Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Carol Hanley said the integration should make it "easier for radio sellers to access sales data any time at any place, providing them with a more efficient way of managing the sales process."
Radio is just one of several media where new Web-based platforms are offering greater efficiency in the media-buying process. Also this week, Telmar announced that it is prepared to roll out a new, fully automated media-buying platform for the out-of-home industry, incorporating market-level data covering specific sites and locations in each market, with ratings conforming to the new Traffic Audit Bureau "eyes-on" metric introduced in 2010.