Unified Data: The Key to Unlocking Smarter Ad Sales and Operations

By Christopher Hession

For media companies, the fragmentation of content and audiences across a multitude of platforms and channels isn’t just a content distribution challenge – it’s a major advertising revenue management obstacle as well. With audiences consuming media everywhere from linear TV to streaming, websites, apps, and more, tracking ad campaigns and managing the order-to-cash process is an increasingly complex ordeal.

Why Data Unification Matters for Ad Sales

When audience data is siloed across all these different distribution points, media companies lack a unified view of ad delivery, campaign performance, inventory utilization, and audience reach. This flies blind approach to ad ops leads to inefficiencies, revenue leakage, and undervalued inventory. Meanwhile, media buyers are frustrated by disconnected data and reporting that fails to show the full picture of their cross-platform investments.

This is why unified data has become a mission-critical priority for media companies’ advertising businesses. By combining ad data from all distribution platforms into a centralized system, media companies can finally gain an accurate, holistic view of ad operations across their entire organization.

A platform & data unification solution like Operative’s CloudCore acts as the central source of truth, integrating ad delivery data from linear TV, digital, streaming, podcasting, and any other ad-supported platform into a unified repository. Media companies can see all of their orders and performance data in one place, gaining insights into:

These unified insights enable smarter yield management, better inventory forecasting, more effective ad sales strategies, and streamlined ad operations.

Whether it's smarter selling, smarter buying, or smarter operations, unified ad data is quickly becoming invaluable for media companies looking to maximize their advertising revenue across linear and digital distribution models.

How Ad Data Unification Enables Smarter Selling

Beyond simply improving operational efficiency, unified ad data positions media companies to actually sell smarter product packages to advertisers and marketers. With holistic audience data on media consumption behaviors across channels, media companies can create differentiated, data-driven ad packages tailored to meet specific campaign goals.

For example, let’s say a movie studio wants to promote an upcoming action film release to adult men. With unified reach data, the media company could potentially build a cross-platform package that combines a traditional TV ad buy, streaming ads, digital video units, social media components, and sponsored content reaching the exact target demographic.

The media company could price this unified package based on the true incremental audience reach across platforms, rather than just selling TV, streaming, digital, etc. separately with overlap in many of the same audience members being counted twice.

Being able to define and quantify the precise, de-duplicated audience reach deliverable across any mix of distribution channels creates more compelling, data-driven ad products that directly align with advertisers’ core KPIs. This smarter packaging also unlocks new premium inventory opportunities and higher CPMs that can significantly boost ad sales.

Streamlining Ad Ops with Unification

In addition to enhancing processes around ad sales and packaging, unifying ad data in a system like AOS also drives major operational efficiencies. With a centralized ad order management system, tasks like:

…become streamlined rather than disconnected workflows across incompatible systems and teams. Simply put, centralized ad data means centralized ad operations for a more efficient, scalable business.

Unification Delivers Critical Business Insights

By bringing together siloed data sets into a centralized repository, unified data platforms such as Operative’s STAQ enable media companies to gain a holistic view of their business performance across different channels and content types. Sophisticated analytics tools within STAQ allow data analysts to slice and dice the unified data, uncovering valuable insights around content engagement, audience behavior, monetization trends, and marketing efficacy. Armed with these cross-channel insights, media companies can make more informed, data-driven decisions to optimize their content strategy, ad sales approach, and overall business operations.

Whether it’s smarter selling, smarter buying, or smarter operations, unified ad data is quickly becoming invaluable for media companies looking to maximize their advertising revenue across linear and digital distribution models. And as we’ve discussed in other articles, data is the lifeblood of AI. Any new AI project requires comprehensive visibility into all advertising data across all platforms.

The time for action is now. Those that fail to unify will be left behind, unable to adapt their ad sales strategies for the modern media landscape. Data unification represents a transformative opportunity for media companies’ ad businesses to upgrade how they package and monetize audiences in this era of fragmentation.



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