Posted by Chris Hering, Industry Manager, Advertising, Media and Publishing, NetSuite
As the industry manager for the advertising, media and publishing vertical at NetSuite, I repeatedly hear executives clamor for more data on how their business is performing. The recent iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. was no exception. Particularly, media executives there said they wanted more up-to-date and real-time data about all aspects of their operations, from sales and marketing to invoicing and project management. But almost always, their IT systems were preventing them from achieving that breadth of business information.
That's because the majority of them operate on disconnected collection of legacy systems, each with its own silo of data that can't be integrated with any other silo, at least not without painstaking programming work and constant maintenance.
Without access to current, consistent data on all aspects of the business, these executives can't pinpoint problems, identify trends, or develop strategies for taking advantage of market opportunities. As the media industry continues to consolidate, that lack of information and insight becomes a bigger and more critical threat to survival.
What these media companies need is to move off of their traditional legacy systems—which can't share data without time consuming and inevitably costly integration work—and onto a single enterprise platform that consolidates all of the data and business processes needed to run their entire media business.
A unified platform that can handle everything from advertising to the supply chain would alleviate media companies’ two top pain points: a lack of transparency in order management, and the inability to analyze and compare different sources of revenue.
For example, Tube Mogul, the fast-growing video advertising platform company, which had speakers at the event, has dramatically streamlined some of its complex processes of revenue recognition and billing by moving to a unified system. It had to manage several different billing models, including prepaid accounts, pay-per-click, impressions, customer usage and other criteria that vary by client. Having it all accessible from one system has meant significant savings in time and better decision making.
By being able to view the history of customer orders and invoices, media executives can quickly look up the history of orders and their changes, explain to customers the reason for different price schedules, and get a handle on potential problems in ordering before they result in lost customers. Likewise, media companies need the ability to evaluate and track multiple sources of revenue in order to make sound judgments about expanding or selling off parts of their businesses.
A standardized software platform benefits companies in many other ways. A 360-degree view of enterprise data also gives them the information they need to create long-term business strategies, innovative products and services, and appealing customer experiences.
Media companies need to recognize that their need for good business data will only be addressed by moving off of their legacy silos and onto an integrated enterprise platform that can handle every aspect of their business.