image credit: chainarong06/shutterstock.com
Change your sales processes (i.e., don’t hamper your rate card changes before you’ve begun)!
Last week, we talked in detail about building a TV rate card of the future, built on data-driven decision-making to result in more optimal pricing. But, as we advised, making improvements to your pricing logic will mean nothing if you don’t hold people to the integrity of your rate card.
Don’t forget this piece of the puzzle! Otherwise, it’s like going to the media doctor for optimization medicine but leaving the prescription sitting on your counter. The key to implementing a data-driven rate card is not only in the use of data to calculate OPTIMIZED rates, but also in providing tools that—by way of putting controls in place—help your teams begin to shift towards more uniform, efficient pricing with ease. Of course, this can happen while still allowing for a process for individual sellers to utilize their unique understanding and knowledge of their market, to change rates if necessary. This would just be the exception, rather than the norm.
How is this best accomplished?
Let’s expand a little more on how organizations can stick to rate card integrity. Rate card adherence happens when there’s transparency across the organization. In particular, consider the following strategies:
- Offer highly visible, distributed price variance reporting. Giving everyone access helps to promote more individual ownership and self-policing over price setting.
- Hold the person—who has the ultimate authority to establish prices—accountable. Also, reconsider the way you structure compensation packages across the board to incentivize adherence.
- Reign in any rogue teams, and put controls in place to change behavior. Establish rate change control processes, to ensure that prices aren’t just being set over a steak dinner, say.
Where does Furious fit into the puzzle?
As part of our rate card module, the Furious platform, PROPHET, provides various applications to address this issue. We first and foremost provide rate change approval workflow tools that automate and shepherd rate change requests for approval and archive historical rates. This includes changes to rates by users in the AI (artificial intelligence) that is used to continuously improve and optimize rates over time.
Second, as part of our Mission Control module, we both report and monitor adherence to rate cards across a variety of parameters: market, zone, station, inventory, Account Executive (AE), advertiser, time period, for both actuals and average prices.
Each of these tools was built to give clients the reigns in moving towards higher rate card adherence—which, as we’ve seen earlier, ultimately leads to better yield optimization.
The rate card of the future will one day be table stakes. Using data, instead of our guts, to build a pricing strategy will be a defining characteristic of all forward-thinking media companies. When data science powers rate cards, and organizations are re-tooled to ensure adherence, increased revenue and yield will surely follow.