Advertising Revenue Optimization is about Customer Connection
Media and Entertainment Advertising Credit to Cash
Just within the last few years, media platforms have been expanding before our very eyes. We have seen a dramatic change in media and advertising including the way content is produced, shared and converted to cash. In this new world, media and entertainment companies who are successful in leveraging big data analytics understand the success or failure of advertising and how the personalization of content has become so crucial. The same holds true in the process of servicing the complexities of credit to cash and how the experience using analytics and automated reconciliations are key aspects and expectations of advertisers and media buyers.
As a provider of credit to cash services and 3 rd party collections, we have been working with the media industry extensively. Going back to print media when distribution and advertising were local and a few large media buyers made the difference in revenue for TV, newspaper, magazines and stores or postal carrier were ultimately the path to an end consumer. Some of the same customer needs apply even with the major advancements through digital transformation. As we have grown to expect deeper insights though analytics, transparency in billing is now the most critical component of the relationship. Our job these days is to provide the solutions and recovery to accelerate cash flow for our clients and preserve relationships with advertisers. There are similarities from the print media days but with some major differences in efficiency, effectiveness and the incorporation into digital platforms.
What has changed in credit and collections for Media and Entertainment credit to cash?
What has changed besides everything for me, as an analyst, is the risk. With so many platforms and small transactions, the risk element in credit has increased substantially. With delinquency rising based upon the aggregate amount of these small transactions, how do you recover small balances, which can equate very meaningful margin? The answer comes in the form of strategic VS non-strategic work and a wealth of automation. Top customers need the most handholding and with limited resources, much of your focus should be with the top tier of revenue producing clients. That however doesn’t mean to leave the smaller customers waiting in the wings. Today, small customers account for strategic revenue: This is where we talk about the value of outsourcing and how the non-strategic work gains benefits for a platform based credit to cash process. This also works with 3 rd party collections in an industry-defined partnership to provide a soft approach to customer collections and bringing attention to the customer, focusing on reconciliation and resolution. Besides collecting your revenue, providing a high level of customer service counts!
Why are there so many disputes in advertising collections?
We have a wealth of industry information at our fingertips and root causes come from both our outsourcing and 3 rd party collections clients. The straight answer is lack of information. Some may say disputes are a stall based upon cash flow problems, but that’s not a dispute, that a different problem entirely. Essentially, if the advertiser doesn’t see a sales spike, they assume the ad didn’t run and why would they pay for an ad that didn’t run? So it is our job to build a relationship with the customer, form trust and provide meaningful information, which results in payment. This goes beyond emailing an invoice which is the reason why advertisers will treat us with priority in both reconciliation of disputes, poor cash flow or even just as a matter of process.
Keeping the relationship alive
So let’s focus on a key equation in the credit to cash cycle: To keep your advertisers, keep them satisfied. The customer experience has to be held in the highest regard when dealing in the media space. Your customers need your platforms and quite frankly, you need them. Focus on your customers in the credit to cash process. It doesn’t matter if captive, in-house, outsource or 3 rd party collections. Finding the balance of resolution is good business. Of course all the analytics available help focus upon the customer’s ability to pay and determine probability of payment. Why not use the same to determine accuracy of dispute validity? If truly a financial issue, this is just another way to find solutions for your customers and your business alike. Loyalty comes from going the extra mile, and while it’s our job to collect accounts receivable, creative solutions and partnership bring payment faster than write offs or use of the wrong tactics. Sometimes you just have to pick up the phone and talk to your customer. A strange concept these days I know, but the most effective and appreciated.
Frank Carino, Strategic Business Development