Over a decade ago, we witnessed a surge in early digital media adopters who wanted to leverage Salesforce to manage both sides of their business. The traditional ad sales side focused on insertion orders. The publisher network side’s mission was to build revenue-share relationships. We were able to invest a majority of our energy in creating sound architecture and UX. Salesforce for digital networks was an excellent place to start before taking on the complex nature of traditional print publishers.
Having completed projects with many digital networks, our clients began facilitating conversations and sharing their success stories. Display advertising was becoming more prominent. However, print was still the clear cash cow–and marketers were trying to figure out the long-term play for mobile. Referrals and endorsements led us to win business with well-known print publishers. This includes a project to deploy an end-to-end Salesforce architecture and design across 20+ distinct print titles and digital properties for one of the world’s largest publishers of magazine media.
Mixed media publishers were posing the exciting challenge of how to architect Salesforce in a manner that worked for both print and digital sales and integrated logically with disparate order management systems. We discovered that formal management consulting focused on process improvement and change management was critical. Deep consulting workshops were highly effective before finalizing designs and building prototypes.
These larger media clients operated with a firm commitment to corporate governance, providing our team access to formal and informal executive steering committees. The result was that our teams were able to tackle large-scale deployments involving multiple integrations, large data sets, multiple code bases, thousands of users, prospect-to-cash flow improvements, extensive testing, multi-regional end-user training, and consistent change management activities. In an industry where projects are often under-scoped, we proved that it was possible to deliver CRM for ad sales not only on time and within budget but also without business disruption.
After setting a high watermark for success with some of the larger print organizations, we took on additional segments: agencies, ad tech, sports, television, out-of-home, radio, streaming, content acquisition and rights management, and business information providers, among others. Salesforce had now become mainstream for ad sales organizations regardless of size. Media has proven extremely complex and nuanced compared to other industries looking to leverage a platform like Salesforce for ad sales. We have enjoyed the challenge of developing designs to apply to different industry segments and revenue models.
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