Publisher Headache – Living Small in a Big Company

Amping Up Ad Ops in a Big Company


For those of us in the digital advertising world, there is little doubt that everyone and anyone will be consuming content digitally in the near future. Devices will proliferate, advertising dollars will shift, and at some point, magazines and newspapers as we know them will decline.


Today content lives in multiple places, both on- and offline. And no matter how many people shout about the death of traditional media, significant dollars are still going to these, dare I say, “legacy” media choices. Herein lies the challenge: If you lead a digital division within a company that has multiple lines of business, your own division’s long-term future may be bright, but revenue today and in the near-term is neither clear nor large compared to the divisions managed by your peers. What to do?


Even more, regardless of the legacy or digital argument, how do you overcome the fact that digital advertising may only be a second or third line of revenue within the overall corporation?


Many people tell me about challenges external to their business: competing sites, overall ad spend decline in the market, and social sites taking visitors and content. One item that continually shows itself is the internal conflict when digital is a small portion of the overall business revenue. It causes sales teams to “throw in” digital when larger buys are made and it causes the digital business to take a backseat when it comes to investment. As one VP of Sales put it, “I need better information to run this business, and could easily grow my revenue and cut my costs by investing a small amount in both personnel and technology, but they will never go for it.” One director of operations expressed the same sentiment with, “Our yearly revenue is a blip on the screen when compared with the television dollars the company sees on a monthly basis.”


If you’re in the ad operations or ad sales world in the above described businesses, it can be a daunting challenge to show the significance and growth within your corporate walls. Nobody wants to do work that isn’t appreciated. Yet, with the amazing amount of innovation in technology, that great business generating gobs of money could be in jeopardy should a competitor rise up in your market.


So, what is the best way to show the importance and growth in the digital landscape for these types of businesses? From talking with publishers it seems that the first place to look is to the legacy sales teams within the organization. What are they working on and how can you help them grow their deals by leveraging the web or mobile to deliver more value to those clients.


Second, look to present unique opportunities across the digital landscape that will further enhance those legacy mediums like custom rich media the reflects the same branding advertisers expect to see in magazines, casual games in mobile that promote the advertiser, or large scale takeovers of site sections.


Perhaps the biggest step is to effectively measure the results and provide those to your advertising partners, both internally and externally. Clients seeing how they met their goals because of the effect digital added to the campaign could be the driver to grow the business and further promote “Digital” within the corporate walls.


Would you like Chris to address your particular Publisher Headache? Drop him a line at chris AT aimatch DOT com or submit an editorial request to AdMonsters, and he may explore it in a future column.