SendMyAd Case Study: Greenspun Media GroupJanuary 12, 2011 3:57 pm
With more than sixty years of publishing experience, Greenspun Media Group, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. has seen its share of changes within the industry. Starting with the Las Vegas Sun newspaper in 1950, today Greenspun Media Group and Niche Media, its luxury magazine division, publishes more than 15 titles embracing tourism, lifestyle, business-to-business, and arts/entertainment.
As well a growing web-publishing division, Greenspun expanded its reach a few years ago with acquisitions of regional luxury magazine publishers Niche Media and Ocean Drive. As a result, well-known premier local titles such as Hamptons Magazine, Michigan Avenue and Los Angeles Confidential fall under the Greenspun Media banner.
Today, all production is centralized at Greenspun’s Las Vegas facility. “When the economy took a turn for the worst, we obviously needed to look at ways to reduce overhead,” says Maria Blondeaux, Greenspun’s Vice President of Manufacturing. “At the time Niche Media’s production facility was out of New York City, while Ocean Drive was based in Miami, so we decided to consolidate production to Las Vegas.”
Maria was indirectly introduced to SendMyAd via Niche Media. At the time of the acquisition Niche were in the process of transitioning over to SendMyAd, after having previously used an ad submission portal that had been developed by their print provider. Part of Maria’s job involves overseeing the production workflows of both Greenspun and Niche and, while the two production units were very different in some aspects – as one would imagine – Maria noted a number of areas where she felt Greenspun could benefit from Niche’s workflow. Not least in terms of ad submission.
“It gave us the opportunity to learn more about ad portal systems in general, review our own ad submission processes, and implement improvements to our existing workflow where it made sense. We hadn’t really looked into ways to streamline ad submission prior to that, mainly because – at the time – most of our business was newspaper-derived and the vast majority of ads that were published were actually created by us, in-house.”
Before implementing SendMyAd, Greenspun’s ad submission process was a fragmented, manually-driven process. “Ads would come in from many different sources – via email, ftp upload, or as CDs that we would receive in the mail. The files themselves would come to us in many different formats and we would rarely get consistent supporting information. Our advertising contact database wasn’t up-to-date, since many advertisers didn’t give us sufficient details. Sometime we wouldn’t even have contact details of who to call should there be a question – or problem – with the submitted ad.”
Consequently the administrative side to the process required constant follow-up work, with a lot of hand-holding to educate their clients about what information Greenspun needed to have, and how best to send the file. “You’d be surprised how many times we would receive an ad with no indication of who it was from, or even which title it was for!” says Maria.
Implementing SendMyAd was a fast and painless process. Since the system is based upon a SaaS (Software As A Service) model, there’s no hardware or software to deploy. However, the underlying business model for newspaper advertising is very different from high-quality magazines. Maria went on to explain, “For our top-drawer magazine titles SendMyAd made good business sense based on the cost of ad submission as a percentage of the price of the ad. We wanted to use SendMyAd for our newspaper titles as well but the model no longer worked, due to the larger number of ads that go into a typical newspaper, that sell at a lower price. The team at SendMyAd immediately understood our needs and agreed to work with us to devise an annual subscription solution that made sense for both our companies.”
Today, submitting an ad to any Greenspun magazine or newspaper title is seamless and efficient – for both the advertiser as well as for Greenspun. “The vast majority of our Niche Media advertisers submit their files to us via SendMyAd. It’s helped them ensure that all of the ad’s associated job data – such as title, issue, contact details and so on – are correct and up-to-date,” says Maria.
Niche Media had been using SendMyAd for more than 3 years, so a high adoption rate from Greenspun advertisers is to be expected. That said, in a short space of time a large number of Greenspun’s newspaper advertisers have embraced ad submission using SendMyAd. “We’re not yet at the point of having all of our advertisers submit ads using SendMyAd,” notes Maria. “So if we receive an ad by email we still accept it. However we reply to the sender with a one-page info sheet we’ve put together, and ask them to use the portal for future ad submissions. The info sheet is a step-by-step guide as to how to submit a file to us using SendMyAd. Generally speaking, once we’ve walked the advertiser through the system they’re usually happy enough to submit future ads through the system on their own.”
Feedback from Greenspun personnel is unanimous. “Our staff absolutely loves the ad portal. They get to preview the ads easily and quickly, and it keeps everything organized for them by capturing all the pertinent information that’s required – title, issue, contact information etc. If there’s ever a question about a particular ad, any staff member can simply log into the system and find out everything that they need to know. The ad production workflow is streamlined considerably, and adopting a consistent, group-wide method to process material means that staff members can easily be redeployed to one unit or the other during busy times. Organizationally, implementing the portal has definitely saved us time, and saves us money by allowing to take in more ads with without having to increase staffing levels.”
For the future, Maria’s plans are to continue to increase advertiser adoption of the system, as well as to bring in the web advertising submission into the ad portal. “Increasing web sales revenue is one of our main objectives over the coming year, and a system such as SendMyAd, which streamlines ad submission and reduces production overhead, will be an important component to enable us to grow that side of our business.”
“We have been very happy with our experience of SendMyAd. It allows us to streamline workflows, save time and money, and their customer support department has been excellent. I feel SendMyAd, as a company, is constantly looking to push the boundaries to take magazine production to the next level. They are flexible enough to adapt to your current workflow, while at the same time continue to develop the system with new functionality that keeps the system in tune with what we as a publishing group are looking for within a technical partner.”