How El Economista broke its advertising investment record
El Economista has overhauled its sales structure, upgraded its technology and boosted its digital activity, resulting in the best results in its history.
El Economista is Spain's leading business newspaper in terms of digital readership. Since it began in 2006, the newspaper has also gained considerable global reach.
In early 2021, following a drop in advertising investment across the sector in the wake of the pandemic, the newspaper decided to bolster this area of the business. They thus brought in Gabriel González Gómez (until then sales director at BlueMedia) as sales director.
Since he took the helm in mid-2021, Gabriel Gonzalez has restructured the newspaper's sales department, successfully boosting advertising revenues, which are currently El Economista's main source of business.
In addition to reshaping the sales team, Gabriel also oversaw a major technological upgrade project with Protecmedia, incorporating significantly more structured and automated work processes. With the latest version of Ad-on-Line, they now have a centralised information system covering all revenues from the sales/advertising area of the company: “Right now 90% of our sales revenues from advertising or advertising sales agreements go through Ad-on-Line”.
Gabriel pointed out 3 positive aspects among some of the many benefits of this technology upgrade with Ad-on-Line:
· Highly intuitive and easy navigation
· The switch to Ad-on-Line was very quick
· There are 3–4 preconfigured reports that can be queried very quickly, which gives the team a roadmap.
“The more human intervention, the more room for error. Technology is there to help, not to replace, but to simplify processes”
The team had to check 3 different sources to track the results. They had no centralised reporting system that could capture all of the company's advertising revenues.
The sales manager was unable to make a first-hand analysis, but had to rely on third parties for an overview of the results.
The team worked either through manual processes (Excel documents, e-mail threads) or their accounting system (ERP Navision). While this facilitated accounting business management, they could not track in terms of advertising revenue.
Having a common repository of advertising business information.
Integration of all sources of information into a single tool.
Change working mechanisms to be more agile and transparent.
Each executive should be able to easily access his/her sales and production data at a glance without having to refer to several parallel documents.
Phasing out manual processes, implementing a common system to manage the advertising business, where purchase orders for each campaign can be reflected.
The needs of the new commercial team to streamline and automate advertising processes were clearly defined. A more urgent need was identified for the integration of all data sources.
Protecmedia's product team implemented the necessary adjustments: Gabriel greatly appreciates the support that Protecmedia gave throughout the process: “regardless of what we needed, they gave us a solution with a very quick response time”.
An API was developed to integrate advertising production and accounting information. This process showed that their ERP (Navision) was outdated, and would require a migration to Business Central to integrate Ad-on-Line.
Internal processes were established to register purchase orders in Ad-on-Line.
The entire sales team adapted very well to working with Ad-on-Line, and the learning process went very smoothly.
The team now has a centralised reporting system covering 90% of the company's advertising sales revenues.
Production times are much faster and glitch-free. The team has managed to bring the month-end close dates forward by nearly 20 days: “It has been a huge leap for us; the important agility in terms of data helped us to streamline our work substantially”.
Ad-on-Line's sales strategy decision-making is guided by the business figures provided by Ad-on-Line.
Today, the entire sales team works with Ad-on-Line. Manual processes are no longer involved in managing the advertising business, thus eliminating the numerous checks that had to be done in the past: “Errors are now extremely low; there is absolute reliability between the data in Ad-on-Line and what is reflected in the production accounting data”.
All our executives have all their individual sales data together with the production status of the campaigns unified in Ad-on-Line. They no longer need to check several Excel documents separately. This is particularly useful when visiting customers.
As of 2023, they can now compare the performance of advertisers, which until last year was something that could not be done because the information was too fragmented.
The sales team works transparently and centrally in Ad-on-Line. This means that everyone can access all shared and up-to-date information.