Digital Advertising Fulfillment Can Stress Out Content And Sales Teams

May 17, 2022


By Tony Silber, Contributor

In mid-May, one of the best B2B media CEOs in the business tweeted about the topic that in all likelihood singlehandedly did the most to change the nature of ad sales in the digital era.

The CEO retweeted another B2B executive, who’d said, “Ad buyers like to spend money where they get an ROI AND where they don’t have to do a lot of work.”

To which the CEO replied, “This is so important, especially when building. The more friction you can remove from the process, the more sales you will make. Too many times we add processes and hoops that make our lives easier but our clients’ harder. It bites you in the ass eventually.”

To which I replied, “This is true but so is the converse. Sellers take on ever-more tasks to create a high-quality buyer experience and ensure ROI, and they stress out their organizations. But then the campaign analyses sit in some inbox, and the leads never make it from marketing to sales.”

To which the CEO responded, “My problems are my problems…not my clients’. My clients’ problems are my problems…but also my opportunity.”

My only point in this exchange was a simple one. As someone whose career has straddled the shift from print to digital, I know firsthand how much more complex the digital sale is, especially in the post-sale fulfillment.

It used to be you sold an ad page, it came in through the portal, and the production folks took it from there.

Now, in digital sales, it falls to the salesperson to make sure everything gets done. In a multimedia campaign, that means, among other things, working with the content team on a content-marketing piece, or a native ad, or a white paper, including all deliverables and timelines. It means making sure all ad units are the right size, and get activated at the right times, and served with the right frequency, and reach the right prospects. This is even more challenging if special units are involved, such as interstitials or site takeovers, etc.

It means ensuring that the ads that are supposed to run on the same web pages as the content elements of the campaign actually do. And that newsletter ads are delivered and placed in the right slots. It means making sure the right number of impressions get delivered in the right time increments, and that the results get reported back to the client on the schedule they’re supposed to. It means delivering campaign KPIs, and leads, on time, and managing ongoing nurture campaigns.

You get the idea.

In my experience, that can stress out both sales and content teams, each of which has a primary job.

What’s your experience? Am I overstating the difference between managing digital sales and the old print-ad challenges?