The media industry saw technology innovations flourish as the Covid-19 pandemic drove consumers to be more reliant on technology. From this need, a wave of change spanning new demands, use cases, and expectations washed across the consumer landscape. The developments happened seemingly overnight, sometimes causing confusion, other times chaos, and often slowing down the entire industry.
As we enter 2021, the industry has caught up to be in sync with consumers. This will be a bounce-back year for media where technology that’s been developed to meet new consumer consumption habits will deploy towards massive growth opportunities within the industry.
I predict three major trends in technology for media companies:
- 2021 is the year of the converged selling platform.
Many companies have been reducing their overall tech stack for the last two or three years and relying on usage and tracking ROI from one tool. As the CRM is a large part of doing business today, companies will turn to their CRM as their tool of choice for most functions while they consolidate. We’ve certainly seen this at Shift where we have been working alongside Salesforce to execute and sell the inventory of our clients across media including linear, digital, print, and Out-Of-Home all through one platform.
Take the example of one of our customers, a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate corporation, who came to us with the challenge of having no ability to manage their pipeline in a centralized and consolidated way. Through a complete digital transformation overhaul, we turned siloed order management, customer data, and finance systems into a completely transparent ad sales customer lifecycle within a single platform.
- These converged platforms will lead to increased efficiencies in sales
The convergence of the tech stack will help sales and analytics teams streamline their operations. This drive to be more efficient and reduce operational costs will redefine sales teams as positions that may have been considered important yesterday are made obsolete.
Teams will accept these inevitable changes, and they will experience sales growth that’s only possible from the advantages that converged selling offers including access to central, integrated account management and planning for all sales staff.
Think of the results that are seen when creating centralized account management and planning for real-time analytics. Our client, an American basic cable television channel, went from not being able to make data-driven decisions to seeing 4x faster access to client data for sales teams and 2x increase in planning speed via centralized collaboration.
- Unified analytics views will be the norm
The most competitive players will map their data and goals to one CRM. In today’s world, managing the dynamic workflows of media selling in various systems including manual sources cuts short Seller performance by the amount of time spent tracking it all. Seller success is therefore dependent on having all revenue data at their fingertips and easily called up in one place.
Just ask GMR. After Shift helped them develop a system that gave them 100% transparency across the organization, they experienced 10x faster pipeline reporting to executive leadership.
2021 will be an exciting year for ad sales. Advertisers will be able to reach more audiences than they’re getting today. Analytics will support those buys by recommending the best media to go with to achieve campaign results and goals. Sellers will be more technologically-equipped to automate their role in pushing out more revenue from advertisers. It comes down to technology, particularly the CRM, being the point of truth for all of it.