With its 47 newspaper titles, Sound Publishing is the largest community media organization in Washington State. Sound has a combined print circulation of 592,665 and 2.2 million unique visitors online. Sound employs more than 600 people in 36 locations around the Puget Sound region and eastern Washington. Sound Publishing is a subsidiary of Black Press Ltd. of Victoria, B.C., Canada.
Sound Publishing did not have a solution for offering digital display, mobile, search or social advertising in their local markets beyond their owned-and-operated inventory. Since the Greater Seattle DMA is a highly desirable, wealthy and tech-savvy location, Sound Publishing needed a more complete digital advertising suite to compete with the myriad of other companies trying to erode their base as the leader in local media.
THE AFFINITYX SOLUTION
- Advertising and Marketing Fulfillment: Sound Publishing can now offer a complete array of digital advertising, including: display (HTML5), video, native, mobile, Google pay-per-click and Facebook/Instagram. AffinityX also flights the inventory for the client’s owned-and-operated (O&O) inventory and Mixpo ads. AffinityX handles all media planning and buying, creative, trafficking, cross-media campaign optimization and reporting. In addition, Sound Publishing also secures additional investment from local businesses by selling AffinityX websites, landing pages and social media profiles for businesses, which are all fulfilled by AffinityX. As with all AffinityX solutions, these are all white labelled and sold under the Sound Publishing brands.
- Sales Enablement: To train the Sound Publishing salesforce and drive high closing rates, AffinityX has thorough sales enablement services. In addition to management-level consulting and reporting, a member of the Client Success Team delivers in-person training, complemented by a weekly virtual training program. The support team AffinityX provides to Sound Publishing includes a Client Success Manager who works with the team to meet revenue goals, a Key Account Sales Director to help on larger and longer-term customer opportunities, a Sales Coordinator who takes on the day-to-day account maintenance and service tasks so their teams can focus on spending time in-market and selling, and a sales help desk. AffinityX even provides custom proposals for every pitch.
- Marketing and Sales Support: As an AffinityX client, Sound Publishing gained access to a branded partner portal, the AffinityX cloud-based sales resource center. It allows easy access to a full suite of go-to-market sales and marketing collateral, product documentation, sales training videos and research.
- Cloud-Based Digital Marketing Hub: The AffinityX IDEA Titan system empowers client users with effective, easy, consistent procedures for ordering, proofing and tracking products. The system provides Sound Publishing with a central database to track the local businesses they pitch and store key business information to enable easier ordering of future products and capture business intelligence. Additionally, it offers sales leaders insights into the KPIs they need to manage their revenue, such as proposal orders, close ratios, average campaign size and more by sales rep and market.
After implementation of the AffinityX suite, Sound Publishing saw digital ad revenue increase 15 percent year-over-year. With a more complete offering of products, the company has been able to target and win new advertisers, both large and small, in new sectors, with these extended-reach products averaging an astounding 600 percent increase in revenue. The partnership with AffinityX has also created greater efficiency in product ordering and workflow processes.
“We considered a number of solutions, but the AffinityX platform offered us the best trafficking and sales management program of the ones we reviewed. The deciding factor for AffinityX was the beginning-to-end platform with all of the tactics that we need to compete in our markets. The relationship with AffinityX has enabled us to target customers we had no ability to work with previously, as we were viewed as a typical print-centric company. Additionally, this opened the door to a different set of budgets that we were not exposed to before. This has positioned our company to better compete and grow.”
Director of Digital Revenue