3 Ways to Improve Advertising Inventory Management with Business Intelligence

eMarketer’s latest estimates on digital ad spend in the US suggests that it is set to grow to $42.26bn in 2013 – accounting for 24.7% of all total media ad spending in 2013. The research also found that mobile spend is expected to grow by a healthy 95 per cent – accounting for a fifth of all digital ad spending, and 5% of total media ad spending. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Internet Advertising Bureau reported that in 2012, UK digital ad spend rose by 12.5% to a record high of almost £5.5bn. Just as digital spend crossed the £5 billion threshold, mobile ad spend reached its own milestone as surpassed the £½ billion mark in 2012 – representing an increase of 148% on the 2011 figure of £203.2 million.

The increase may help many media companies for whom advertising is a key revenue stream to offset the decline in ad spend across “traditional” offline business models – and particular in the beleaguered newspaper industry where a hefty fall in circulation for six national UK newspapers has recently been announced. But maximising revenues from online advertising inventory brings its own unique set of challenges.

Forecasting and pricing of advertising inventory – digital or otherwise – is complex. The challenges of selling perishable inventory at the right time and for the right price means publishers need to deploy sophisticated, insightful analytic applications to be successful. But when you take into account the deluge of data that’s being generated from any company’s online activities you begin to see the issue that media firms are faced with in turning this data into timely – and meaningful – business insight. Fortunately analytical technologies have moved with the times and there are a range of solutions that can help media companies to make sense of the vast repository of data produced in today’s digital economy.

Below are three ways in which media firms can deploy analytical platforms like SAP Business Objects to transform raw digital data into the meaningful business information that’s needed to inform digital advertising sales strategies:

1. Optimise Pricing Strategies.

Pricing and business analysts can spend much of their time cleaning and checking data – meaning they spend less time on analysing the information that’s needed to make optimal pricing decisions. What’s more, the amount of data that is available for analysis is increasing. Digital data has the potential to offer much deeper insight into various performance metrics (e.g. video v banner), across a variety of placement options and across differing delivery platforms (e.g mobile v tablet). Analytical tools like SAP BusinessObjects can take raw data and help organisations to create insight into the possibilities and potential of inventory, and help to inform cross-selling and up-selling strategies.

2. Improve Demand Forecasting.

A new breed of predictive analytical applications is helping organisations to identify patterns in past data to inform future business strategy. This is particularly pertinent for media companies who need to optimise demand forecasting to sell inventory. These technologies allow organisations to analyse current data and historical facts helping to better identify potential future demand for inventory.

3. Reduce Unsold Inventory.

Because of the perishable nature of advertising inventory, Media sales reps need fast, unambiguous recommendations on how to price ad inventory to maximize sales – without having to sift through large amounts of data or reading through long-winded reports. Business Intelligence solutions can equip them with this information while, at the same time, allowing them to analyse high volumes of pipeline data at any level of granularity to help inform their pricing decisions. This visibility means advertising sales professionals can react more quickly to changing sales conditions, with real-time information and accelerate deals through the pipeline to reduce the occurrence of unsold inventory.

These are just a few of the ways that business intelligence solutions like SAP BusinessObjects can help media executives to sell more space for the best price. Invenio are specialists in delivering cutting edge SAP solutions for their media customers. Contact us directly for more information.