Advertising revenues are an important source of income for publishers, which means that the work of the media consultant is crucial. Publishers who incorporate mobile solutions and interconnect all of their processes can avoid discontinuities between formats and media and optimize workflows in their advertising business so that they ultimately save on costs.
The range of information on offer for corporate and private customers is becoming more and more diverse. It has thus been a long time since advertisements were only placed and read in the newspaper. Media such as the internet have now developed into established marketplaces, leading to long-term losses in sales in the traditional advertising business. If publishers want to their advertising business to stay successful, they need to customize the way they address their advertising customers and provide them with contemporary advertising media and forms of communication. A deciding factor in this equation is the extent to which media consultants digitalize their operations.
Before meeting with the customer: preparation
In the past, numerous sales documents had to be compiled and prepared in paper form for meetings with customers. However, due to digital solutions such as VI&VA® , media consultants today have access to these documents – such as price lists – whenever they need them. This means that they can benefit from relevant and current information while they are on the go using a mobile app.
Consultants can also access their CRM system on the go using their smartphone and get a quick 360° overview of a customer’s history right before a meeting. They can see, for example, which advertisements customers have placed with the publisher in the past and whether there are any open invoices.
At the meeting: the pitch
During the meeting, the media consultant can present the customer with appropriate offers and interactive advertising examples using a tablet. If the advertising customer places a new order, the consultant can record the data live in the system together with the customer. It is also possible to access the planning system online, as external systems for designing and planning advertising are integrated via an interface. If the customer wants to place a print advertisement, the consultant is able to find out immediately whether the advertising space requested is still available. The customer can then reserve the advertising space in the blink of an eye. Other services, such as display advertisements on websites, can also be booked immediately using the system.
After the meeting: concluding the sale
After meeting with customers, consultants can enter their call reports straight into their tablet or smartphone using speech input while they are on their way back from the meeting, and appointments can be added to the calendar automatically. Ultimately, this solution enables the consultant to work on any stage of CRM at any time – from administering master data to managing sales activities, up to the central archiving of documents and the simple generation of letters.
All data is transmitted to the publisher immediately, where the business order is further processed. Data flows directly into the production planning system, for instance. If the customer’s print documents do not arrive at the publisher’s at the time arranged, the system automatically sends the customer a reminder email. If the customer answers by email, this information is saved by the system in an appropriate place and further processed. The communication of corrections and complaints takes place in the same way.
If the advertisement is in print or online, invoicing automatically takes place right after the sale has been concluded, as does the automatic calculation of consultant and agency commissions. Thanks to its existing interfaces, the solution can be completely integrated within financial accounting systems such as SAP.
With its completely digitalized and fully integrated VI&VA® advertising system, Lufthansa Industry Solutions has provided publishers with a comprehensive solution. It improves media consultants’ sales success by providing them with information from all areas via central data storage, and adapts flexibly to changing business processes. In addition to this, our solution makes everyday tasks easier with mobile access. It prevents discontinuities between formats and media and involves the customer throughout the entire process. This service thus strengthens customer retention.
VI&VA®: the SAP-based publishing solution
VI&VA® stands for “Verlags-Information und Verkaufs-Anwendung” – publishing information and sales application – and is a complete, technologically and functionally state-of-the-art publishing application for advertising, project management and sales. VI&VA® has a modular structure and unites all stages of the advertising, insert and sales process under one joint user interface. This central data basis reduces the error rate and the effort needed to operate additional interfaces. VI&VA® was developed by the Gutenberg Rechenzentrum (GRZ). Lufthansa Industry Solutions and the GRZ are bound by a long-term partnership. We have incorporated VI&VA® into our portfolio as a sales partner and implement this publishing solution for the customer directly. Over the years, this publishing system has been enhanced by further functions and modules that we have helped to develop.