Down With Excel! The Globe and Mail Streamlines Yield Management

Globe and MailCanadian newspaper The Globe and Mail can forecast revenue and optimize yield across its direct-sold and programmatic inventory, using a partnership between yield management firm Yieldex and ad tech company AppNexus.

When the publisher signed up with Yieldex at the beginning of the year, it didn’t support AppNexus until The Globe and Mail requested it, said the periodical’s digital revenue manager, Michael Hagley.

Optimizing yield management had been a point of interest for the newspaper. Getting visibility into average pricing in different sections or the parts of the site that routinely sold out used to be a long, manual process.

“In the past, we had to get impressions from the ad server, pull it out into Excel, then log into SSP (supply-side platform), run similar reports and do a matching exercise,” Hagley said. “It was labor-intensive and it wasn’t very visible.”

With the new system, The Globe and Mail can see revenue and impressions from both the “premium ad server” which has direct-sold impressions, and the performance supply platforms, which has programmatically sold impressions. “We can bring all the digital revenue that we bring from multiple sources into a single interface, and now how the full business is performing at any time,” Hagley said.

Streamlining this process gives more staffers insight into The Globe and Mail’s revenue streams. The finance team, product-management and advertising operations regularly benefit from insights gained from the platform.

So do salespeople. “They can see the forecast as they’re building the proposals, and when they go into highly targeted areas, it’s highly accurate,” Hagley said.

By better forecasting, the team can manage sold-out areas much better.

“One of the challenges we’ve always had is that we’ve had areas of our site that are in high demand, and we sell them out from time to time,” Hagley said. “We would either undersell the areas, or then oversell and spend a lot of time managing campaigns to make sure they deliver. Now, we don’t have to guess anymore, and don’t have to manually optimize campaigns.”

Hagley is turning to exploring other areas of the Yieldex platform. Up next is use of another one of Yieldex’s features, “a price review of direct-sold inventory, determining if we should make changes to rate card.”

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