Patricia Kill, News International on transforming Media Trading Strategies
01/11/2011 - Category: other
A more systemised and consistent approach to trading press
Patricia Kill, News International process transformation director, says over the next two years, agencies and publishers alike are compelled to either start, or continue investing to replace existing print-centric systems as the demand for multimedia campaigns intensifies...
Having spent the last few years trying to understand the subtle to overt resistance to a more systemised and consistent approach to trading press, I am pleased the discussion is both gaining momentum and actual financial investment.
News International has recently announced £3 million investment into an automated advertising sales system to deal with multi-platform, campaign-led business, which will ultimately result in customers receiving one invoice no matter what the platform.
And many other publishers are also transforming their media trading strategies. The Guardian's replacement of its print-based advertising system with a multimedia campaign system is telling - as is Northcliffe's plans to use MediaEquals' system. Like NI, both companies intend to exploit automation to support business transformation.
National press has many instances of demonstrating its ability to collaborate and we are now building on this further. Our joint funding of the Newspaper Marketing Agency and the Newspaper Publishers' Association's Futures Research Group feeds our shared thinking and informs our strategic intent. And although press has not yet organised itself around a common system in the way TV has with CARIA, we do find ourselves making similar demands for automation to our systems providers.
Today, we see incumbent print systems providers such as ATEX and digital players such as Operative developing ways to bring web and print trading and processing closer together. This is in direct response to the development requests of their customers - us the publishers.
So, although we may not all at this point be openly saying we will move to new trading metric, if more than NI alone are driving the research and development lab activity of a number of media sales systems providers, it's not a stretch to believe we could all end up in the same place.
In the most recent meeting of the NPA's Operational Working Group, it's clear that national commercial and operational leaders in national press have a shared appetite to bring about process transformation.
The first of a number of initiatives from this group is already in progress: research has been commissioned to surface the processes and procedures publishers need to join up on to underpin the success of our individual system investments. David Seacombe from Aston Beck Consulting has been appointed, bringing insight from his background in financial markets and media systems.
But if the working hypothesis is that publishers are working toward a state of readiness to change trading metric, the question I find myself asking is how ready are our agencies?
We still see press and agency system developers working completely in isolation to each other leaving room for Adazzle and Media Equals to fill the gap. Both have done far more than Donavan Data Systems to reduce waste and error in ad booking and processing.
CARIA is now keen to provide a multimedia campaign delivery platform. Publishers really now need to hear from agencies on their systems and process development strategy and what roles Adazzle, Media Equals and CARIA play in their plans. What will be done over the next two years that is different to the last ten?
MediaTel Group's 'Why aren't we all trading electronically?' seminar on 9 November may well answer that for us. We may hear about intent and intention from them, and there may be some positive nods about investment but I fear that will be that. What we need is to hear, now, about their plans to match media owners' drive for 21st century thinking and practical investment.
Getting ready means starting now to agree what existing trading habits add value and indeed to who, and working together to remove behaviours and processes which erode profitability.
Over the next two years, agencies and publishers alike are compelled to either start, or continue investing to replace existing print-centric systems as the demand for multimedia campaigns intensifies.
If any of these projects attempt to preserve the existing manner in which print is traded, it will fail in both its implementation and therefore its ability to deliver ROI. It will fail because it would require far more investment to stand still than it would to streamline and frankly offers no return on that investment.
By Patricia Kill