In India and beyond, premium publishers increasingly rely on programmatic — an automated approach to buying and delivering ads — to sell their digital advertising inventory. This ongoing shift has enabled them to increase efficiency while helping brand marketers use data to reach the right audiences and design more compelling, effective campaigns. But to fully embrace programmatic and unlock its true potential, publishers can benefit from rethinking their ad sales strategies and transforming the way their internal teams work together.
That’s what New Delhi Television (NDTV) Limited discovered when demand for programmatic buying began growing steadily among their new and existing advertisers. Founded in 1988 as a television media company, NDTV operates one of India’s leading online news sources, NDTV.com, which averages more than 119 million unique visitors per month. They also own a number of additional websites focusing on everything from weddings to technology, including Gadgets360 and CarandBike.
Going all in on programmatic to meet advertisers where they are
As NDTV’s programmatic offerings moved to the core of their business, they decided to create a seamless workflow across their programmatic and direct sales teams.This approach gives advertisers a single point of contact within NDTV’s ad sales department, empowering them to move fluidly between programmatic and direct. Integrating the two channels also allows for more effectively aligned incentives and clearer revenue attribution.
In late 2017, NDTV made all of their inventory available through Programmatic Guaranteed deals in addition to traditional direct sales. With Programmatic Guaranteed in Google Ad Manager, NDTV and their advertisers can manage both reservation and open-auction media buys programmatically using a single platform. Another benefit of consolidation: A consistent rate card for both programmatic and direct that gives advertisers the flexibility to choose a channel based on the goals and requirements of each ad or campaign.
A united team with shared goals and incentives
When NDTV decided to incorporate its programmatic specialists into its sales organization, they created a single, consolidated sales team to handle both direct and programmatic deals. With help from Google, NDTV’s leadership upskilled the direct sales team, training them on how to offer and manage Programmatic Guaranteed. Now, instead of prioritizing direct deals, the system now rewards sellers for the revenue they generate across channels.
NDTV is seeing early success in its experiments with programmatic buying, which are helping shape our sales strategy for this financial year already.
, Group CEO, NDTV
Since the overhaul, NDTV employees report more seamless operations and higher advertiser satisfaction. The sales team now spends less time on administrative tasks such as managing campaigns, uploading creatives, exchanging agreements and orders, dealing with billing issues, and reporting. And along with more freedom to choose the channel that works best for each situation, NDTV’s advertisers have gained a comprehensive view of their campaigns and more control over reach and frequency.
Boosting revenue through the benefits of programmatic and the power of choice
Following the restructuring, NDTV has seen 72 percent growth in its programmatic direct revenue. “This is primarily due to the ability to sell better with an audience data-driven value proposition to the brands on NDTV,” explains Rajesh Kumar, NDTV’s global head of sales. “Programmatic has enabled us to add new advertisers that were previously dormant on NDTV, resulting in incremental revenue. It has also allowed us to consolidate existing business that has migrated to programmatic.”
Five takeaways from NDTV’s ad sales integration
Here are five key learnings from NDTV’s experience to help pave the way for other publishers considering a similar reorganization:
- Combining their direct and programmatic teams into a single sales team enabled NDTV to streamline their internal organizational structure and processes.
- Parity on rates across programmatic and direct channels helped to meet advertisers’ new expectations and improve their satisfaction.
- Because all advertisers and brands have access to programmatic deals,they can select the inventory they want with greater transparency.
- All inventory is available via both direct and programmatic deals, giving advertisers more control over how to run their campaigns.
- With this new, streamlined and integrated process in place, new as well as existing clients have executed campaigns successfully on NDTV, driving incremental revenue through programmatic.