Your magazine's health depends on growing your audience and increasing your ad revenue. At the center of all of these goals is the lifeblood of your business operations: your magazine management software.
In this post, we're going to evaluate the factors magazine managers should consider when evaluating publishing CRM/ERP software. Specifically, we suggest asking these 10 questions if you're considering the switch to a new publishing platform.
1. Will this magazine management software support where I want to be in the next 5, 10, or 15 years?
- You want software that is ready to manage where the publishing and media industry is going.
- Consider the support for digital products—such as Google Ad Manager (DFP), e-newsletters, and programmatic digital.
- Evaluate the reporting quality—can it track the data you need to stay agile and drive your business forward?
- Finally, think about how your software can aid your marketing and audience development.
2. How does the CRM portion of this software help my ad sales reps beat their goals?
- Your sales software is only as powerful as your reps' willingness to use it.
- With this in mind, look for automation features that can help make their jobs easier—such as email campaigns, prospecting lists, and in-depth reporting.
3. Does this magazine management software offer full, real-time integrations with the platforms my business uses?
- Consider how data flows between your magazine management software and the platforms you use for production, accounting, and delivery.
- Also ask about any delays or manual data pushes that limit the usefulness of the software integrations?
4. Will this software sync all of my teams together to help everybody get their work done faster?
- It's easy to justify a CRM for your sales team. But can it also improve your operational efficiency across the board?
- To clarify, ask to see how each platform can help jobs move faster across teams.
5. Will this software increase quality of ad production, print production, and customer service?
- First, think about the steps an advertiser must take to buy an ad from your business:
- Contract signature
- Artwork submission
- Ad proof approval
- Finally, ask yourself if there are automation features to help assure top quality for your final product.
6. Will this magazine software manage the types of advertising my advertisers might want in the future?
- Most magazine management software is primarily geared toward print publishing—which is suitable for helping you sell issue-based advertising.
- Moreover, think about the ways may want to diversify your ad revenue in the future, and how well your ad sales software will handle dozens of types of ad products at once.
7. Will this software increase my ad revenue potential for both existing and prospective advertisers?
- The ability to package in-demand ad products together can increase both your advertiser appeal and your overall ad sales revenue.
- For example, you could bundle a live event sponsorship with an e-newsletter placement and website display ads.
- For this reason, you want magazine management software that can automatically bundle different types of advertising: issue-based, CPM-based, and more.
- Also, you want to make it as simple as possible to sell diverse types of advertising. This can help incentivize your magazine ad sales reps to work outside of their comfort zone and push digital, events, and more.
8. How does this software help me increase the value of my digital offerings?
- One hurdle for magazines that want to increase digital advertising sales is ad management.
- Therefore, you want magazine management software with integrated Google Ad Manager support.
- Likewise, you also want to look for in-software programmatic sales if you're looking to compete with digital agencies.
- Finally, ensure each platform your evaluate is capable of reporting digital campaign results in a way that easily demonstrates advertiser ROI.
9. Does this software natively support billing for all of the types of products my advertisers want?
- Traditional magazine management software focuses on issue-based advertising. This can mean extra work for your accounting team if your ad revenue falls outside of these boundaries.
- For this reason, you should consider a publishing CRM that is able to mix and match different types of advertising billing scenarios.
10. What automation features does this software have to reduce any existing strains on my accounting team?
- The A/R process can be a huge resource hog for magazine accounting teams.
- That said, automation can reduce the amount of manual steps it takes to seek payment from your advertisers. For example, automated email campaigns with electronic payment links.
- Support for payment plans and flexible payment options can reduce bookkeeping headaches while enticing your advertisers to increase their overall spend.
While there are many more factors for magazine managers to consider beyond this list, these questions should provide a good overview of a platform's compatibility with your business goals.
See Why We're More Than a Typical Publishing CRM
At Ad Sales Genius, we produce CRM software that helps magazine publishers like you grow their businesses. If you want to increase sales, production, and accounting efficiency, we're here to help. Schedule a personalized demo now to learn how our software automation features can unlock your magazine's full potential!