Many publishers work with both local and national agencies and advertisers and they both provide unique challenges. Our presentation in Portland offered some insight into how we approach these challenges:
Be a Consultant to Sales. The knowledge you have about your site and its products goes a long way in helping sales reps manage expectations with their clients. Speaking up early not only prevents operational issues, but also helps increase renewal rates. For example, will spending a client’s minimal budget on a few thousand impressions a day in an area that gets hundreds of thousands impressions a day perform well enough to spark a renewal? Probably not. Use your expertise and insight to share knowledge about forecasting, product type, placement and success with sales reps to help the business have long term success.
Build Ads that are Unique to Your Site for Local/National Advertisers. Put a lid on the back and forth with creative that doesn’t meet spec by offering to build ads for the client, especially ads that are unique to your site. Most clients insist on building creative themselves just so they can track it on their end. Clients can still track impressions and clicks themselves by providing publishers with the appropriate pixels to put into their rich media system. Your accounting department will love you for getting the extra revenue from creative services, but even if you don’t charge, at the least you have avoided a lot of back and forth fixing a broken ad.
Use Publisher Specific Query String in CTU (Click Through URL) to Satisfy Google Analytics Users. Local advertisers often use their web analytics solution to track performance and don’t trust third party reports. How many times have you heard something like ‘your report doesn’t match my website analytics report’? You can reduce the number of times you hear this statement by appending a publisher specific query string in the click through URL. For example, if the client supplies you with http://www.adv.com, use this URL in your ad serving system http://www.adv.com/?from=pubname. The Pubname can easily be looked upon in Google Analytics. We’ll provide more specifics on this approach in another blog post.
Reapply Successful Campaign Techniques. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Pull performance, delivery and share of voice reports on categories of business that you have. Work with sales to make sure you are on the same page in defining success for your advertisers and analyze the data. Create a document that shows optimal spend, placements and share of voice by category for advertisers to have a successful campaign on your site.
Monique Watford-Prim is the Online Yield Manager for the Austin American-Statesman family of Web sites and is responsible for analysis of site sell-out, pricing, revenue and expense. Monique also evaluates vendor contracts and takes the lead in preparing the annual budget. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising, Monique enjoys watching Texas football (Hookem), playing tennis and karaoke.
Mohammad Khan is Advertising Operations Manager at COXnet (a division of Cox Newspapers), where he is responsible for overseeing ad serving solution administrations, advertising technical support, rich media testing, ad trafficking, and inventory management for all of Cox Newspapers sites.