Better Ad Sales with Better Data Analysis

March 5, 2015 John Gorup


The Super Bowl always attracts a lot of conversation about advertising. But while those whacky or disturbing ads might get a lot of attention, the real story in the economy is about digital advertising. Mark Glaser wrote for Digital Content Next “In 2015…the U.S. ad market should see the biggest year-over-year boost over the last ten years, as one in every three ad dollars spent will be on digital media. Additionally, digital sales are forecasted to outpace TV ad dollars as soon as 2017, taking in $72 billion, while print ad sales will come up short compared to digital.” The future of advertising is digital.

The reigning king of digital advertising appears to be Facebook. According to recent reports, they have been able to raise prices while lowering the overall number of ads. This statistic is key to their strategy. Too much advertising would irritate the users, while ineffective ads will irritate the buyers. Facebook is also succeeding at shifting their ads to mobile, where the majority of their users now access the site. As Ad Age reported, “84% of the company’s daily audience visited on a smartphone or tablet, while 69% of the company’s advertising revenue came from ads shown on such devices.” Facebook has been able to raise their revenue from mobile ad sales, which was once seen as a potential threat.

Of course, Facebook is able to overcome their ad sales challenges with a big, well-funded data analysis team. Very few organizations have the resources to do what Facebook is doing. To get useful data analysis, one emerging strategy is to use a community. Appirio has seen success with using communities for analyzing data for doing things like finding asteroids. But really, communities can be used to get insights to any set of data at a reasonable cost.

When it comes to ad sales, though, time is a critical factor.  Ad sales teams that can prove the value of ads to customers quickly, respond to issues fast, and cut processing time will get a competitive advantage. Especially for organizations using Salesforce for a CRM system, we are excited about the potential for Salesforce Wave to empower ad sales teams. In this demo, Appirio’s Prabhu Palanisamy shows how an ad sales professional could use Wave to navigate a lot of ad sales data. With little training or technical wizardry, Prabhu is able to navigate statistics like:

  • The total booked value by sales person. This would of course be useful to management to see how a team is doing.
  • For a sales person, how they are selling by ad type such as agency vs. direct sales.
  • The book value for each advertiser. This is important data to have in sales meetings.
  • For a particular advertiser, what types of ads are they buying. This will allow salespeople to highlight trends and promotions
  • Physical sizes of the advertising, in pixels.
  • Average impressions, average clicks, average delivered value per ad by size. This can give the customer an understanding on the relationship between the size of the ad and the value they get from it. And of course, all of this can be grouped by date, so salespeople can show key moments in the advertisement’s lifespan.

Certainly the world of ad sales is changing. Companies that can navigate the data and show value to customers will win market share. The next best thing to having a staff of data scientists like Facebook is giving salespeople tools to help them navigate data. The great thing about Wave is that it puts the power data analysis in the hands of the people that can most benefit from it.

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