As a result of the Internet, differentiation between media companies is blurring. Newspaper photographers now shoot video due to their websites. Broadcast companies offer classified ads on the sites. Bloggers report local news, and news reporters blog.
However, as it pertains to advertising on these different media, the available technologies still cater specifically to a single medium. Newspaper software differs from television software which differs from radio software which differs from online software. Because I’m most acquainted with newspaper software and online software, I’m going to concentrate on the difference between those two.
Newspaper business systems (e.g. AdPro, Mediaspan, SCS) reference themselves as ad-tracking software. Although they’re correct insofar as they keep track of the booking, pricing, sizing and billing of ads, they don’t track the effectiveness of the ads. That’s an important difference from online ad-tracking systems. naija news Another major distinction is print publishers are those paying for and managing the newspaper software, whereas online publishers piggyback on someone else’s software, usually free to them.
Although business software is the most complex software employed by newspapers, here’s a simple exemplory case of how it works. Once a newspaper gets a method up and running (which takes lots of customization, training and money, by the way), the system knows the rates and ad sizes for many publications provided by that newspaper. Someone at the newspaper then enters an insertion order in to the system. Like, let’s assume the ad is really a 4X5 ad (four columns by five inches tall) that costs $20 a column inch. The ad-entry person finds the advertiser inside their system, enters a brand new 4X5 ad for them, the system prices it at $400 ($20 X 20 inches), and saves it. Unlike online ad-tracking systems employed by publishers through affiliate networks, newspapers control what they charge for ads running through their system.
Because the company system contains an accounts-receivable system, it’ll either place the ad on hold if the advertiser doesn’t have sufficient credit, or approve it. The ad-entry person also can enter a payment for that advertiser and apply it to the ad. The system allows newspapers to send out a regular bill to the advertiser showing all of the ads that ran and the sum total due. After the advertiser remits payment, an accounting person will enter that payment into the system and apply it to the right ads or invoices.
Some business systems likewise have modules for managing the particular creatives (the ads themselves), as well as monitoring the orders for online ads. But they often don’t manage the uploading of these ads, or tracking the customer responses to those ads. That’s where online ad-tracking systems come in.
Online publishers who would like to place ads on the sites often use affiliate networks to manage the ad tracking for them. Networks can either be open networks or exchanges (e.g. Commission Junction or Share A Sale), where the publishers are in charge of choosing which advertising campaigns they would like to run, or they may be closed networks (e.g. AvantLink or Affiliate Traction) where the networks manage the campaigns for the advertisers.
Whichever kind of network the publishers join, they will use that network’s ad-tracking software. Each network uses either an ad-tracking system they built in-house, or a commercial tracking system (e.g. Direct Track or LinkTrust). The networks allow publishers to log into their tracking system. If your publisher joins multiple networks, the publisher may have access to any or all the systems employed by those networks.
Once logged in, publishers grab the HTML code for whatever ad campaigns they opt to run. Once they paste that code into their websites, the code refers back to the tracking software to pull in the creative for the ad, direct users to the advertiser’s landing page when clicked, and track the impression, click and ultimate lead or sale.
The publishers are also in a position to see the stats from the campaigns they run so they can see the amount of impressions, clicks, sales and-most important-the commission they expect for as a result of running that campaign. Unlike newspaper software where only the newspaper has usage of the system, both publishers and advertisers have usage of online tracking systems so that they both understand how successful the campaigns are. Online tracking systems also vary from newspaper systems for the reason that the advertisers are the ones that dictate what the expense of the campaign will be, and the particular payout isn’t known until following the campaign has been running. With newspaper ads, an advertiser knows exactly what the ad will definitely cost prior to the ad runs. With online tracking systems, even though advertiser and publisher have an idea of what the fee for every lead or sale may be, the sum total cost is determined by how the ad actually performs. That’s why affiliate marketing can also be called performance marketing.
Online tracking systems execute a very good job of tracking ad performance (unfortunately you will find still methods to defraud the systems, but that’s another topic), and they are able to let you know what the payout should be. But that’s where they stop. Unlike newspaper business systems that have robust accounts-receivable features, online systems don’t handle billing, receivables, etc. They expect one to export that data (or enter it manually) into Quickbooks.