3 phases take advertising offerings from raw products to profitability

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


With Sean Stanleigh’s interview and how he approaches advertising business in mind, I was recently watching one of Jodie Hopperton’s excellent INMA Product Meet-Ups (part of the INMA Product Initiative) and it got me thinking.

Once we have the product — be it in content marketing or whatever— is there a “set” ad sales process we should all follow that then takes the product and applies a business case to it whilst allowing for the very best user experience?

A great advertiser user experience is key to ad profitability.
A great advertiser user experience is key to ad profitability.

Innovating business case/profit models always find new ways to turn a media company’s offerings into revenue. Great ideas reflect deep understanding of what the customers actually love and where new revenue opportunities might be found.

Such models often challenge the media industry’s old assumptions about what to offer, how to price, and how to collect any revenue. In many industries, the prominent profit model often goes unchallenged for many years.

So, I came up with the following with regards to try to think beyond the product itself:

We start with the notion that we want to firstly apply a business case model centred around innovation where certain assets need to be configured, usually all differently, to capture maximum value, i.e. the first phase of a three-part process. The chronological three phases each have questions to be asked before moving onto the next phase.

Phase 1: Internal configuration

What network do we want to tap into? Agencies? Advertisers direct? Both? How do set up for success re: using communication channels, target audience planning, etc.? This is all about the internal workings and resource of a media company and its business systems. What structure and processes do we already have in place, and is it optimal to achieve our goals? 

Phase 2: Ad offerings

This is all about aiming for “actual product range of offerings” focused innovation. Do we need to reinvent the offerings we have already to create value? In essence, are our ad offerings able to demonstrate performance KPIs effectively, and do our systems/processes allow us to change and tweak if need be based on client demands or changing trends/marketplaces?

Phase 3: User experience

Are we concentrated around giving the advertiser the best possible experience? Again, it’s all about what value do we offer in terms of:

  • Service (advisory, bespoke, attitude, etc.).
  • Range of offerings (is it enough?).
  • Brand (trust, reputation of our brand, and what we’re offering).
  • Customer interaction and engagement (can we prove what we offer is wanted and loved by the target audience)? 

The above is meant to be a short “ready reckoner” to how you should approach your clients. Keep it handy as a sense check as to how you take your ad products forward from basic/“raw” to profit.

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About Mark Challinor

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