TDGA: Marketron User Symposium Review

by Jenn Cihlar, TDGA Contributing Editor

 

I consider myself a small town working girl, with simple country farm like roots, who likes to live life in the simplest terms. Most days I spend working at home surrounded by open fields, tall trees, two cows, and take breaks sitting under my cherry trees, listening to the birds sing as I watch my children run and play in heartwarming laughter. I was anxious to travel from my simple atmosphere to the very busy and tall city of Chicago to be one, among many, Traffic Professionals eager to learn more about the ways we can improve our operations back at home in our Broadcasting careers. Knowing Marketron set an agenda which would span over four days, upon my arrival, I dropped my belongings in my hotel room and went exploring, touring the amazing architecture of Chicago’s fine buildings, river, and people before settling down to embrace Day One of the 2014 Marketron User Symposium where the theme of “ease”  was fitting for this “simple” girl.

 

The day was kicked off with Jeff Haley, CEO, pumping us up with his excitement of our coming together to share the best practices of the Traffic Industry with each other. Marketron is always looking at “going beyond” to continually bring new innovative ideas to the table as the technological and societal transformation of the world demands constant change in the practices we begin to settle into with comfort and ease. Marketron goes above and beyond to advance with these demands and work hard to ensure a user friendly execution. As Deepika Yerragunta phrased it, “We position ourselves as future leaders, for what we can always count on is change”. Already I am finding myself in good company for she hit the nail on the head….Change is the one thing we can always count on. Marketron is listening to the Radio trends of 2014 and finding ways to transition the already successful products and take one more step to look at what we still don’t know yet

 

Marketron is currently rolling out the Mediascape Platform in segments as promised. Mediascape is Media’s first open web-based platform that puts you in control of your business. It is a unified process, takes into account the democratization of radio, is the first OPEN platform, which to Marketron means “nothing should stop us, keeping the partnership open to use whomever you want for your business needs to get the job done. From my personal perspective, “Ease” for us Traffic Professionals, is the key piece Marketron has in mind as they delve deep into the unfolding of Mediascape and I am anxious to learn more as time rolls on and the segments are unveiled piece by piece. In observing the endless amount of information, I was amazed at the reporting capabilities and the vision Marketron laid out for us today in hopes to make a better use of information we already have, a better route around the high volume of important data and information.

 

Currently Marketron announces partnerships with Jelli, Efficio Solutions Inc., and Imagine Communications with open possibilities to many others. Mediascapes boasts a one-stop solution for account management, orders, billing and cross-media reporting with a product suit available for multiple advertising inventory types, including: On-Air, Streaming, and Display. Features of the Mediascape Platform include:

 

Mediascape Accounts:  Account and data management from a seamless interface that streamlines cross-market business and provides consistent mulit-market reporting.               

Mediascape Insight:  Cross-market and cross-media type reporting with easey-to-understand dashboards and ad-hoc reporting.

Mediascape Campaigns:  Lifecycle campaign management helps you centralize your business across inventory types.

 

The afternoon broke with separate user groups for Virtual Traffic and Marketron Traffic. While there were four times the amount of attendees in the MT session, I was thrilled to be with 12 fellow VT users. Vicki Best and Marcia Chase set the bar high in their open approach to us as a group. I felt like a kid in a candy shop about to jump out of my chair with excitement as I learned new ways to utilize VT which will do exactly what Marketron promises, “EASE” operations! From ways to change a multi-line order by using the “batch changes” feature to change all lines of an order with respect to: rate, spot type, length and copy, product and priority code; to the familiar multiple advertisers with like product types requiring adequate separation, the gates of learning were opened. We learned optimal ways to utilize features to separate advertisers, override station default settings per order, enter and make copy changes without constantly accessing orders, working with scripts, wheel plans, station and advertiser settings…the information was rolling out in waves drenching our minds with useful information and there was never a dull moment as the room was constantly bursting with laughter making a passerby unaware we were there to work. Two key points in the VT system touched on today were the Extended Order Manager, and Electronic Orders and Invoicing.

 

EOM lets you allow your sales associates access to enter their own orders, look at reports or copy information with system access restrictions the Traffic Director and Management puts in place. Orders can be set parameters that follow a chain of approval before reaching final Traffic Director acceptance and being sent to the logs. For those who work in multi-station environments and wear many hats as most of us do, this feature proves to ease your stress in time management and sales needs.

 

EOI coupled with Pay Now promise effective results in streamlining communications with Agencies and executing results in Collections. No more do you have to accept the “I did not get the invoice” excuse for non-payment. You can track invoices sent electronically, receive payment (or pre-payment) directly through Pay Now, and Advertisers can access their own invoices and payment options through their Advertiser Portal. If you use EOI and want to know more or have specific questions you are encouraged to send your inquiries to eirequest@marketron.com. Through EOI, Agency orders can be accessed and downloaded into Traffic eliminating the redundant task of deciphering and re-typing orders through partners such as Donovan, STRATA, Katz and AEInbox. Tools for Network orders, such as those through Westwood One, were unveiled and the wealth of information we uncovered in our 4 hour session, ALL of which I personally found to be worthy of sharing to my fellow peers, was overwhelming in a good way. Any Traffic Professional knows that there is always more to learn and endless ways to streamline our operations, too many to write in one article touching on one exciting day. Marketron listened and heard our voices asking for more; more time and more information, and they responded. Day Two promises to be even more exciting as we learn new ways to optimize our billing and accounting practices and listen to the Super User winners share their stories of success with us all.

 

We ended our day with pizza (and no, I did not yet get that famously talked about Chicago deep dish pizza…yet), bowling, and networking as well as friendship building and now we prepare to rest our full bellies and heads in anticipation of what tomorrow will bring. I have a feeling it will knock our socks off!!!


Original article link: http://www.tdga.org/marketron-visual-traffic-symposium-day-one