Rick sanders is the president and CEO of Brainworks Software. He’s been with the company, which has offices in New York state, Kansas and Canada, since the early 2000s.

Brainworks solutions have been installed at over 1,000 North American newspapers over the past three decades, the company says. Products include fully integrated display, digital and classified advertising, ad production tracking, video ad proofing, billing, accounts receivable, contract and credit management, circulation and a CRM system.

News & Tech caught up with Sanders recently to chat about the marketplace and the software-buying process.

N&T: what are key factors a publishing company should consider when purchasing a new advertising software? 

Sanders: In today’s rapidly evolving media environment, perhaps the most important aspect for publishers to consider when choosing a new advertising system is flexibility. Publishers need to know that their system is capable of efficiently processing many ad placement scenarios that include combinations of print, digital, inserts, e-commerce, events, commercialprinting and more.

Along with flexibility, publishers need to consider the technological experience and expectations of the front-line users. Any new software solution must be permission-based, clean in appearance, intuitive in functionality and, maybe most importantly, simple to use. Hand-in-hand with ease-of-use is a focused implementation and training methodology. Any new software installation should be delivered with the absolute minimal disruption to a publisher’s operations team. 

Another major consideration when choosing a new advertising system is the overall cost of ownership. As software continues to evolve from premise-based systems to subscription-based SaaS solutions, publishers need to know they are choosing a software system that will not only advance their strategic objectives, but also allows them to meet their bottom-line objectives. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the reputation of the software development company. Any partner worth considering should be able to prove their value in the marketplace.

N&T: How have you seen the marketplace change? 

Sanders: Industry consolidation is a major driver of change. The large amount of consolidation we’re seeing in the marketplace today can often times result in disparate software systems within an organization, which in turns leads to inefficient workflows. As larger media groups purchase smaller groups or individual publications, they need to know that their overarching software system can configure and incorporate all the data from their newly purchased publications into their existing workflow seamlessly and with as few IT resources as possible. 

Another big challenge that all media companies face, both large and small, is the ever-growing list of competition from local and national digital platforms. In order to be competitive in today’s marketplace, publishers must develop a well thought-out, strategically focused sales and marketing plan that incorporates real-time data and a nimble sales force. 

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