7 Questions To Drive Media Company Ad Revs

As a prominent media client often says, we are in a “built while flying” moment. As media companies contemplate this moment of unprecedented disruption, they juggle critical issues, such as the balance of creativity and data, the tension between humans and automation, and transformation of the business.  

Right now, media companies face the near-term strategic question: How can we drive more advertising revenue today?

Asking better questions frames how they can improverevenue potential to create supply:

  • Audience strategy: can we convene audiences at scale and engage them meaningfully through the experiences we create? Media has moved from mobile-first to everywhere-first, and it has massive impact on how content is created and distributed.  A/B testing, search optimization and social integration are simple antes to be in the game. Optimizing content for distribution – not destination - reaches consumers where they are, driving changes to content management, editorial process, tagging, real-time analytics and business development.  
  • Advertising experiences: do we have the right advertising models where we engage audiences to improve revenue potential? The acceleration of mobile consumption, digital ad blocking and even TV ad-skipping dramatically challenge the current model.  For example, on mobile devices, the screen size doesn’t even allow for ad adjacency, accelerating the importance of native and video advertising. Product teams must be empowered to drive substantive innovation at scale in this constantly evolving landscape.
  • Go-to-market strategy: what is the organizing principle across advertising solutions to maximize demand?  Despite growth in audience- and data-driven solutions, most go-to-market strategies still rely on the power of brands and context. For media of scale, newer approaches must accelerate to embrace dimensions beyond context.  The right strategy also moves seamlessly across B2B marketing and the actual cross-platform inventory taxonomy. 



Another set of critical questions dominates the discussion of how media companies can improve revenue impact by capturing demand:

  • Buyer-centric approaches: are we in a position to serve advertisers with offerings they want to buy as opposed to products we want to sell?  Buyers’ needs are the obvious starting point.  Segmentation by advertising category, marketing objective or investment level quickly yields insights on solutions with the most value to the buy-side. The changing landscape also begs us to understand what data advertisers want to use to inform decisions and evaluate performance, how they want to manage it, what third parties offer additional insight and how to measure impact. These emerging asks require investments in talent and technology with longer lead times. 
  • Sales channels: do we have the right sales channels to connect with different buyers of media?  Ad sales teams deploy highly evolved models for coverage across regions, accounts and categories.   However, as cross-platform solutions continue to gain traction, newer challenges involve the balance between multi-brand, cross-platform or corporate approaches balanced with the power of specialized expertise or brand knowledge.  And, human channels must now be blended gracefully with more automated channels. Advanced analytical approaches are critical to managing revenue across this increasingly complex channel structure.
  • Alignment: are our sales channels effectively aligned to improve revenue impact?  Organizational design, compensation and incentives must make it easy for advertisers to buy. A close look at internal structures, from organizational structure to financials, becomes materially important to realizing revenue objectives. Inertia is generally the obstacle because these people-related changes are often the hardest messages to deliver.

Finally, at the intersection of supply and demand, media companies use operations to maximize revenue:

  • Marketplace optimization: can we connect supply and demand to optimize revenue across all channels?  At the heart of supply and demand sits critical platforms, people and processes that connect the marketplace. They enable advertising solutions to be planned, priced, reserved, booked, trafficked, delivered, managed, optimized, reported and ultimately billed.

These workflows deliver best when they combine market-leading technologies fit for purpose, with thoughtful analyses of process and organizational dynamics to improve revenue impact.  A disciplined approach – from master data management to reporting and analytics – allows companies to extract the most value from their products, customers and people.

Media executives must apply a very current perspective in an ever-changing marketplace. Leading organizations embrace transparency, adaptation, education and continuous improvement. By keenly focusing on the marketplace and applying an agile, data-rich, customer-centric approach to revenue strategy, media companies can aggressively drive revenue in the near-term, to fuel investment in the future.
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