Automation Trends in Local TV Ad Sales
Implementing automation in the local TV ad sales environment has developed in bursts across the industry. At one time, the entire process was manual. Technology evolved, and so did the way sellers propose, order, track, measure and bill. Many small automations work every day to connect disparate systems. They are also great at removing repetitive, rules-based tasks that don’t need human intervention.
However, the end-to-end process of local TV ad sales could be more streamlined. Current issues include:
- Swivel-chairing between multiple systems that are often clunky, dated and time consuming to complete the entire sale cycle, including entering traffic systems to look up avails, using independent proposal applications and accessing rates
- Barriers to accurate pricing without an integrated, automated dynamic pricing tool
- Disjointed processes for management approvals of proposals
- Inability to support converged sales for multimarket and multimedia linear activities
- Lack of automation for pay-for-performance TV spot buying
- Too many manual tasks and duplicate efforts, leading to lots of human errors
These roadblocks create significant operational and revenue issues. You can modernize the selling process with a TV sales platform that incorporates automation.
Pay for Performance
Pay for performance is gaining visibility in local TV, with advantages for buyers and sellers. It changes the process byselling based on impressions (performance) agreed upon between stations and advertisers. You’ll take the role of submitting ratings to customers, which historically has been their responsibility. Buyers accept the ratings with a guaranteed percentage of impressions.
What’s so revolutionary about this shift is that makeups can occur in flight, eliminating the confusion and complexity of makegoods and credits. It creates a more reliable buy for advertisers, which can increase your sales and revenue.
Pay for performance is also a function to automate in a TV sales platform. If you can automate, you can scale and grow it. To do this, you’ll need access to:
- Enhanced scheduling to add a pool of additional spots to make up if under-delivery occurs
- Schedule tracking with algorithms that “release” that inventory from the enhanced schedule to the live one
- Tracking features to predict spot ratings on a weekly and daily basis through the most current and accurate information, allowing you to compare anticipated versus promised delivery
Multimarket and Multimedia Proposals
For stations that want to practice converged TV selling, you’ll need automation for multimarket and multimedia proposals. There’s great value in this. Your sellers no longer need to use multiple systems to create these. You’ll remove inefficiencies in the proposal stage and be able to improve velocity. If your sellers can do this and present converged proposals, your win rates should increase.
Rate Optimization with Dynamic Pricing
Rate management is notorious for being complicated, with great dependence on rate experts. Every pricing decision requires multiple steps, yet that still doesn’t guarantee you’re maximizing the value of your inventory.
Automating rates through dynamic pricing is the future. You’ll no longer need to go through a lengthy process for rates. A dynamic pricing tool sets prices based on data, including fill rates, timelines and other factors. It uses an automated approach with advanced algorithms. Pricing right is now possible for every deal. It does the work for you, but you can also set floors, ceilings and discount tolerances as guides.
More Workflow Automations
Along with these major categories, a robust TV sales platform provides more automation value. Highlights of these include:
- Removal of duplicate processes that require manual keying, such as entering customer data
- Easy conversions of avail requests and proposals in one step
- Simplification of order entry with an optimizer feature that automatically places spots based on customizable cost efficiency or placement settings
Automation accelerates how you sell across every step and will give you a competitive edge. Sellers can escape from admin work and have more time to do what they love — meet the needs of clients.