Google Sunsets DoubleClick Sales Manager, Gives Publishers A Blessing In Disguise
Despite the fact that change can be hard, Google’s retirement of DoubleClick Sales Manager (DSM) is a blessing in disguise for publishers. The internet advertising powerhouse is focused on their profitable products such as DoubleClick for Publishers, AdX, AdWords, etc. DSM’s sales management and booking workflow tools were simply not generating enough profit, so Google’s options were to invest in the product or cut it. And cut it they did. As of July 31, 2019, DSM will be removed from service.
DSM has become a legacy product -- a digital solution built to manage digital advertising, but one which has not evolved to keep pace with the needs of modern media sales. Due to Google’s lack of investment in product development, DSM has not kept up with current sales practices and has no ability to sell any non-digital or non-Google products.
So, where does that leave a media company using DSM? In a good place. This is an opportunity to organize as a true multi-channel media business by selecting a replacement for DSM that does much more. Start with a replacement for digital order management to enhance your digital sales, operations and finance processes, and improve efficiency. And at the same time, look for a system that gives you modern multi-channel sales, booking, and finance capabilities. I’ve seen so many media companies build their sales and operations processes around the limitations of DSM, resulting in inefficient processes while hampering the effectiveness of sales and finance teams. Thanks to the exit of DSM, media companies are free to restructure their sales processes to focus on increasing revenue and improving customer relations, without being limited by their existing IT systems.
Boost Product Management
We all just accepted that DSM was quite rigid with its product configuration requirements and did not allow for easy creation of the bespoke digital campaigns the market requires. You can now rethink your multi-channel product offering and how your sales team presents and packages your products. My advice is to create an ideal product marketing plan supported by improved sales, operations, and finance processes -- then decide which tools are the best replacement for DSM.
DSM only works with the digital media channel and Google products. This forced some very bad practices in media companies:
- It limited smooth multi-channel selling, which is known to increase revenue across all media channels, especially digital
- It eliminated the ability to leverage other digital ad serving vendors, such as AppNexus, AdTech, Adform, and many others – all excellent choices and cheaper alternatives to DFP
- It limited the amount of programmatic bookings that could be managed within your sales order management system
Identify what’s important
So, what is important to consider now that you have a chance to rethink? Take a moment and ponder what is important for your customers, sales team, revenue growth, digital and print operations, and finance. For example, you may want to put more emphasis on downstream processes like finance and analytics.
DSM allowed you to create sales orders, as do many other digital systems out there. But, consider the problems it created by not offering the ability to handle the complex billing, revenue recognition, invoice generation and general ledger capabilities needed by finance. I’ve found that for every minute spent entering an order in systems such as DSM, it typically takes five minutes to administrate the booking and billing process, and “clean up the mess” from missing features of the system. A modern, multi-channel sales system should offer your team:
- Warm leads from historical booking and competitor data
- Relevant multi-channel packages and the flexibility to create ad-hoc bespoke bookings in seconds
- The ability to automatically handle credit control and credit card processing
- Built-in revenue recognition capabilities, including site splits, automated accrual/deferrals, billing, and invoicing
- Real-time analytics in all areas of your business
What about CRM?
Consider choosing a vendor with an integrated media-focused CRM or a Salesforce native product that can work out-of-the box. You can find solutions that are built on modern platforms and incorporate sales capabilities.
Remember, programmatic does not mean automatic. DSM really helped with AdX programmatic order entry, but it did not address the full provisioning of a programmatic campaign, which typically takes 2-3 times longer than a normal, sold and served campaign. Take this opportunity to get your programmatic Private Marketplace and Programmatic Guaranteed sales processes and bookings into your multi-channel sales order management system.
Also, think about how your customers want to buy from you and how you want to sell to them. Your company should be “easy to do business with,” and no one wants cumbersome processes in sales, operations and finance that can stem from the limitations of some legacy platforms.
Digital is the future and print is not going away any time soon. A great multi-channel sales system will nurture your existing print business, while cultivating and growing your digital revenue. Whatever you ultimately choose as your DSM replacement, you’ll want to get started now to ensure you have ample time to consider all of your options and get the new solution up and running. Change may be scary, but you don’t need rose-colored glasses to see this is a great opportunity for media organizations.
Michael Mendoza is the founder and CEO of Lineup Systems, a global media sales solutions provider that helps media organizations worldwide grow ad revenue and improve business performance.