Once you have chosen the right mix of third-party partners and digital products, it’s time for the next step: creating the operational infrastructure and workflows that will ensure delighted customers and repeat business. To break it down, three key elements need to be solidly in place before your sales teams can be ready to work its magic: digital creative execution, order entry/reporting, and invoicing. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
1. Determining Digital Creative Execution
Your digital inventory will likely consist of two types of creative assets: display ads (also known as banner ads) and video ads. Some advertisers have their own in-house creative resources, but the majority of local advertisers need help developing their creative assets for digital campaigns.
Hiring in-house talent to develop creative assets is a significant investment in both time and money. However, if your company is interested in making these hires, here are sample job descriptions that you can use as a template.
Outsourcing digital asset creation to external agencies is a more cost-effective option. Here are some outsourcing options and resources:
- Marketron Creative Services. Our digital creative team can create display assets for all platforms quickly for a nominal fee.
- Make Thunder. This creative management platform offers easy tools for making, scaling and trafficking ads for display, video and native advertising.
- Upwork. This website can help you find freelancers who specialize in graphic design and/or video creation, as well as many other job functions.
- Promo. This production platform offers tools and content, including stock videos, images and audio, for quick creation of videos.
- Video Resources Inc. This video production company offers agency-level video quality at a production-company price.
2. Set Up Order Entry/Reporting
Order entry may seem like a fundamental element in sales, but in most cases, legacy systems are not expansive enough to traffic digital orders. Entering a digital order must be easy for salespeople to execute and detailed enough to deliver an advertiser’s campaign accurately. If this process is cumbersome, mistakes will happen.
Here are some key approaches for building an effective order entry system:
- Limit the number of order input systems. The fewer software systems they have to deal with, the more efficient and effective your salespeople and support teams will be, which in turn will lead to better campaign delivery for advertisers.
- Assign order insertion to a digital expert. This detailed task is best handled by a knowledgeable expert who understands the targeting technology and pricing needed to effectively deliver campaigns.
- Manage your margin by bundling targeting. Bundling the number of targeting options advertisers can use simplifies the pricing of digital inventory. Rely on user case studies to help guide targeting best practices.
- Reconcile financial reporting with your third-party digital vendor. This step is critical to ensure campaigns are delivered successfully and clients are invoiced correctly.
3. Define Invoicing
You can use your current financial system to invoice digital third-party inventory, but to ensure accuracy, you will need to align product names, pricing and performance with the third-party systems. Simplifying the products and pricing in the invoicing system gives advertisers a clear understanding of what they purchased. Advertisers that require performance detail on their campaigns will need a custom invoice that combines your financial invoice with the third-party performance reporting.
At the same time, you will need to create a clear system for sales teams to ensure orders are entered in both your in-house invoicing platforms and those of your third-party partners. These systems should include revisions and delivery errors. This manual order and invoicing process will require checks and balances from sales, finance and third-party partners.
Once these important operational details are in place, you’re well-positioned to move ahead with developing (and then, executing) your team’s digital sales workflow. Watch for our forthcoming blogs on this topic!