From Hodgepodge Systems to a Unified Advertising Workflow
Morris Media Network, the magazine and digital media arm of Morris Communications Company, was expanding digitally and in print. Multiple acquisitions in recent years had left the Augusta, GA. based publisher with a hodgepodge of production, accounting and billing systems operating around the country. To continue to grow, Morris would need to consolidate systems and workflows for its family of highly targeted, special-interest publications and websites. With a worldwide distribution of its flagship travel guide, Where Magazine, Morris needed a buttoned-up, end-to-end, web browser-based workflow solution to support its global centralization initiative. That solution would need to integrate tightly with the CRM suite from Media Services Group, which was also a part of the expansion.
“In this new age of publishing, we think of ourselves not as print publishers or digital publishers, but as content creators,” said Reab Berry, Chief Strategy Officer, Morris Media.
“We looked at our advertising workflows from sales through billing, and asked ourselves if it would facilitate growth and accommodate the ever-changing landscape of digital. It was clear we needed one tool, for print and digital, that would consolidate assets, centralize ad operations, and improve communications across business units.”
After looking at multiple ad management systems, Morris selected Breeze Advertising Solutions from CNI Corporation. Breeze offered Morris a comprehensive web browser-based workflow and asset management that would enable resources from around the country—and around the world—to effectively coordinate advertising operations from proposal, through ad creation, and billing.
Dennis Kelly, Morris’ Chief Financial Officer commented, “With Breeze, someone in the field can create a proposal, turn it into a contract, and, with the push of a button, send the IO to the accounting people. Those same users also have access to advertiser history and creative library. Now, sales staffs can pick-up the creative and view proofs. Sales reps have a greater sense of control and trust in our operations. It’s truly the end-to-end system that we were looking for.”
Seamless integration with the CRM software “creates a very efficient workflow,” Berry says. “Double entry of data and jumping from system-to-system is a thing of the past.” according to Berry. “CNI and Breeze have been instrumental in helping us achieve that unified workflow.”
Breeze allowed Morris to manage its advertising resources efficiently, regardless of their physical location. The web browser-based platform has enabled the company to consolidate production operations for its magazines in Augusta, GA., and at the same time, facilitate a print and digital ad production outsourcing initiative. “
Our production staff is very pleased with the results,” Kelly said. “Prior to Breeze, work was assigned to individual designers. Now, we have a queue where ads that come in first go out first—there’s no waiting. We get a higher utilization of resources.”
Less paperwork translates to a more effective sales force, says Kelly. “It frees them up to do their job—which is to sell, not fill out paperwork and oversee orders.” Once a rep submits the IO, they request creative and move onto the next account. With Breeze, sales can work from any- where, at any time. Sales has the information they need from anywhere, no more waiting on ad operations or accounting.”
If a process does bog down, Breeze exposes where work is backing-up; sales, accounting, production, or ad ops. “One of the great by-products of this system is you get the metrics behind the process, and we use that data to guide our business,” Berry said. “Sales has greater confidence in our ability to execute complex campaigns.”
And there’s another welcome byproduct. Integrating campaigns in Breeze, Berry notes, has helped Morris employees, trained in print, to adapt to more complex digital campaigns. “It’s incumbent on us to help them make that shift,” he said. “Using a system like Breeze makes executing an integrated campaign easier—not simple, but easier.”