How Leading Media Companies Consolidate Their Digital Ad Sales

4 min readFeb 12, 2019

In such a dynamic media market, strong leadership is highly important for digital ad sales. Without the right vision and guidance, it’s likely that your strategy can go off track.

These leading media companies are key ad operations examples that can guide and help you keep your processes working like a well-oiled machine.

1. The New York Times: Align Direct and Programmatic Sales

Due to the upheaval in ad sales models in the newspaper market, it’s more critical than ever to promote innovations. One of the best-known newspapers worldwide, The New York Times, is a leader in strategically aligning ad operations practices.

Instead of keeping direct and programmatic ad operations separate, a recent move folded programmatic ad sales into the company’s overall sales organization, streamlining processes and decreasing the need for multiple sales reps servicing the same customer.

This is a fundamental move in advertising sales; while other digital media companies, such as Pandora, have taken steps toward integration, separate programmatic and direct sales teams are still on hand for marketplace deals.

In taking this step, The Times is able to:

  • Address advertiser complaints related to multiple sales representatives
  • Simultaneously increase responsibility
  • Gather cross-departmental knowledge for sales team members

2. Aller Media: Integrate Customer Relationships with Your CRM

Aller Media, a media company with large presence in the Nordic region is responsible for many of the area’s largest names in magazine publishing in Scandinavia such as Dagbladet, Aller, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE.

However, prior to a key reorganization of its advertising sales strategy, ad operations teams found themselves using a combination of various legacy systems that led to repetitive processes and internal roadblocks.

Taking steps to incorporate a single CRM such as Salesforce in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway allowed Aller to align operations, improve productivity, and enhance customer relationships.

By recognizing ineffective processes in their digital ad sales, Aller is currently managing to:

  • Improve sales efficiencies across the entire Nordic region and multiple business units
  • Save time in handling customer interactions, including sales, quoting, booking, and ad material placement
  • Reduce operational redundancies

3. Business Insider: Unify Programmatic Technology and Align International Ad Operations

Business Insider (BI) is among the most trusted digital business-related publications in the United States and around the world, but unifying this broad market of consumers hasn’t been easy. With a new innovation in programmatic technology, BI is working to develop an integrated tech product to capture a singular snapshot of users from around the world.

With a total of 17 international additions, this comprehensive approach increases the opportunities available for buyers, allowing specific targeting for ad space via a single point. If, for example, a buyer favors French-speaking readers, targeting these individuals specifically is now possible.

By pooling inventory from across European operations as well as domestic content, BI hopes to continue its sky-high programmatic growth:

  • Q3 2018 programmatic revenue grew 112% year on year
  • Programmatic revenue now comprises over one-third of overall revenue

With an eye on international development, the leaders at Business Insider have been able to cross both oceans and borders to improve the buyer experience.

4. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Let the Data Speak For Itself

Data is at the cornerstone of most marketing decisions. With a plethora of tools available, leading digital outlets are now starting to use big data and third-party analytics to improve decision-making and fine-tune content offers.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has harnessed this power in an excellent way, using data to create personalized content and ad experiences for specific audiences.

Few publishers in digital media are offering comparable data-driven revenue lines, despite the value they provide. CBC takes advantage of audience-first strategies, utilizing audience profiles and insight reports to ensure products are being targeted properly as well as keeping audiences well-informed.

By incorporating this kind of data for digital ad sales, CBC is gaining ground on the competition in a carefully calibrated way.

5. Volta Charging: Diversified Revenue Streams

Diversifying revenue streams in digital ad sales is no longer limited to traditional publishers and advertising channels. Volta Charging, the electric car charging network, is particularly dedicated to carrying this objective forward.

In efforts to build a financially viable charging network that promotes increased use of electric vehicles, Volta has disrupted creative advertising through digital out-of-home media, combining social and psychological tools with the exciting lure of free charging.

By incorporating digital billboards with a targeted advertising strategy, Volta is able to provide valuable information, tips, and relevant content to electric vehicle drivers. With the goal of making advertising useful rather than simply eye-catching, it’s possible to attract users to numerous different revenue streams.

Volta is dedicated to building a better brand rather than just screaming into a void, offering tools that can motivate audiences to take advantage of numerous services — particularly when combined with the appeal of a free charge.

Digital Ad Sales: Putting It All Together

Being a leader in the digital ad sales space takes creative, outside-the-box thinking. With pathways that push the envelope and ideas that save money, consolidate resources, and improve results, it’s possible for publishers to get ahead — and stay ahead — of the competition.

Originally published at on February 12, 2019.




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