Digital Ad Portal Proves Effective for St. Joseph Media
There are cases where a previous publisher with whom they've run an ad may have fixed their ad and not told them. So then they'll say, "Oh, it ran fine in such-and-such magazine." You get into these disputes with your clients. So for us, having the ads come through as good to go means we don't have to have those conversations anymore. We don't have to be the bad guy anymore, who's telling a client that their ad needs some work.
In terms of our relationships with our ad suppliers, it's been an improvement and an opportunity to move together and do something where we all benefit in the end. There's an assurance on both sides. When their ads go through the portal, there's an assurance that the ad is good. And there's an assurance on our side as well that the ad is good, and if there is something wrong with it, the client knows and they'll have signed off on it prior to giving it to us.
The other side really has to do with the automation itself. The ad portal provides a lot of opportunities for automation. For example, we use a file naming convention. So for all of our ads, because we have several magazines with multiple regions each, we're picking up little pieces of the job ticket that the advertiser pulls out—i.e., that they fill in. So those fields are pulled out and put into the naming of the file. So when it lands on our server, it's already named. There are a lot of shortcuts that it's provided us in our production department.
In the past, it was taking us about 15 to 20 minutes to process an ad once we were told the ad had been delivered. If that involved pulling it down from our FTP or printing and preflighting it, we were spending 20 minutes an ad. Now we're spending five minutes or less on an ad.