The media advertising industry is undoubtedly fiercely competitive. Many media companies struggle to find a competitive edge let alone realize the traditional business school notion of a sustained competitive advantage. And while chief digital officers, publishers, and others are focused on ensuring a media organization’s products and services are compelling in the marketplace, high-level operations executives obsess 24/7 over a different key question:
“How can our ad sales process run more efficiently and effectively in order to make a measurable impact on revenue?”
Our perspective is that world-class media operations executives must lead business transformation looking at four key areas across the business: data, people, process, and technology platforms.
Taking a holistic approach, media executives can solve both small-scale and large-scale challenges—such as assessing how to streamline the prospect-to-cash flow in order to reduce the time from IO signature to revenue recognition or how to better delineate job responsibilities to streamline Opportunity-to-Order entry. This holistic framework is one that V2 has leveraged working with many enterprise media clients and one that V2 has appropriately coined as D(3P).
As you craft workshops to kickoff your next technology transformation project, consider orienting your discussions around data, people, process, and platforms, and not just the technology problem you are trying to solve. Below are a few sample questions to get your team started:
1. On the topic of Data
- What are the most important data sets across your prospect-to-cash-flow?
- What data challenges exist across key systems in terms of accuracy, consistency, and timeliness?
- What data sets are the most problematic and why?
- Where could investments in technology improve the entry, movement, cleanliness, or de-duplication of data?
2. On the topic of People
- How are roles and responsibilities defined across the prospect-to-cash flow?
- Are any roles or responsibilities not clearly defined, resulting in key business activities falling through the cracks?
- Which organizational roles could become more efficient through improvements to technology?
3. On the topic of Processes
- Which parts of the prospect-to-cash work most efficiently? Which parts are broken or redundant?
- What processes typically create recurring bottlenecks or regular organizational fire drills?
- What processes, which if more automated, would likely have a large impact on ROI?
4. On the topic of Technology Platforms
- What key systems support the prospect-to-cash flow?
- How can system-based inefficiencies be reduced with more investment in people, process, or technology?
- Which additional systems do you intend to introduce in the future to best support your business?
While a single focus area (either data, people, process, or platforms) may be top of mind at any point in time for a media operations executive; only when the interconnected nature of all four focus areas is acknowledged can larger organizational issues truly be addressed and resolved.
In other words, sustainable media business transformation cannot be achieved through a band-aid approach in just a single area–it requires a holistic approach.