A Silver Lining In The Looming End Of DoubleClick Sales Manager

The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Denis McFarlane, chief executive officer at Infinitive.

Google’s recently announced deprecation of DoubleClick Sales Manager (DSM) has caused some consternation in the publishing and mar tech worlds.

After July 31, 2019, DSM users will no longer have access to the tools and data in the system, which help publishers manage digital channel sales.

The reactions range from frustration to resignation to denial. For scores of affected organizations, the search for a replacement order management system must begin, whether they are happy about it or not. And like other deprecations, it’s something publishers must get past.

So, the question becomes how to do so least disruptively and most effectively for the actual business of selling and serving ads.

Step Forward, Not Sideways

Publishers should view the replacement of DSM as a clear opportunity to improve sales workflows and ad operations and, ultimately, generate the value from investment in a new order management system. That means seeing the big picture.

Many DSM clients were early adopters of the platform. As such, they have now likely had the time to find an equilibrium in their order-to-cash processes and to work through initial process speed bumps. Those lessons learned can – and should ­– be used to step forward into a more robust order management system, as opposed to stepping sideways into a replacement system with the same or very similar requirements.

To achieve the additional value, organizations will need to invest time in evaluating more features and functionalities, defining requirements, mapping to existing workflows and product portfolios and linking to future growth strategies. If those steps sound time consuming, consider they typically produce the biggest payoff from ad tech investments – and likely save time down the road during the crunch of implementations.

A More Advanced Order Management System

When it comes to the order management system landscape, the options today are much more diverse, numerous and powerful than they were whenever publishers last upgraded their systems. A lot has changed in terms of the products and the buying process.

Publishers should take the time needed to evaluate options and make a smart investment in their ad stacks by making sure they understand what functionality comes at a premium and what is standard.

With Implementation, Know Where The Risks And Rewards Are

“Rip and replace” is always a risky approach to technology deployments, but especially so in the world of complex and interconnected ad tech stacks. But publishers that wait too long often end up with no other options. Ensuring end-user adoption through effective training and communication will be an essential step taken by publishers that get through the DSM deprecation most smoothly and realize the greatest value.

July 2019 Isn’t That Far Away

If DSM deprecation isn’t necessarily a burning platform today, it will be relatively soon. Thus, now is the time to start planning discussions.

Publishers must consider how lengthy vendor selection, procurement and contract negotiation processes can be. And those activities are only the precursors to configuration and implementation. Add in historical data mapping and data migration and activities, and the two-year runway on deprecation starts to look a lot shorter than it did at first glance.

Opportunities In The Chaos

It’s sometimes difficult to look past urgent, day-to-day business matters to take a broader perspective of the larger landscape and what is and is not working for order-to-cash processes. An unplanned disruption, such as a system deprecation, can feel like someone pouring gas on an already burning to-do list.

But disruptions like this can also be a blessing in disguise, providing an exigent means to do some long-term business planning. There is likely to be opportunity in the sudden chaos to address areas such as product taxonomy redesign, CRM integration or account data cleanup, which may not have been cost-effective or timely enough to fix on their own. Publishers could see this deprecation as yet one more obstacle to overcome or as an excuse to finally take their ad stack capabilities to the next level.

The order management system is often viewed as a basic administrative system – not at all cool or sexy, especially when compared to other monetization technologies­. But using an order management system to its fullest potential can help the business in many ways, such as reducing or eliminating the manual re-keying of data, limiting rework through workflow and approval automation and improving the tracking of buys and performance. The DSM deprecation represents an opportunity for organizations using order management systems in a limited fashion today to boost their overall order-to-cash performance.

Follow Infinitive (@InfinitiveRocks) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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