After 22 years, Paddock Publications is updating its print and digital advertising sales platform. To do so, the Arlington Heights, Illinois-based publisher of the Daily Herald selected Lineup Systems' Adpoint media sales solution. The system is on track to go live in late August and Paddock will leverage the new platform to drive efficiencies and revenue growth across its newspapers. It's hoped Adpoint will help the publisher reduce IT costs, grow ad revenue, improve customer service and increase operational efficiencies.
"We're replacing an ancient, 22-year-old, mainframe Atex system," Stu R. Paddock III, senior vice president of digital technology and information systems at the Daily Herald, covering suburban Chicago, told News & Tech. "With home-spun customization to fit several third-party programs, it has served us fairly well over the years, however, the multitude of workarounds to sustain today's technology and the needs of the business has become overwhelming. The workflow diagram is a plate of spaghetti."
Paddock will implement Adpoint for CRM, order management, accounts receivable and reporting for all of the company's media properties, including its flagship Daily Herald; Reflejos Bilingual Journal; Daily Herald Business Ledger and Town Square Publications.
The buy will also help the publisher streamline operations of the numerous newspapers it has acquired during a phase spanning the past several years.
"We're buying other community newspapers and other business to stabilize our revenue streams," Paddock said. "The primary benefit with Lineup is that we will be able to assimilate the operations of other businesses more easily into one framework."
Adpoint will allow each entity to set its own business rules, commission structures and invoicing options. Furthermore, Paddock's finance department will have all line items reporting directly into its general ledger for better reporting and analysis.
No more silos
Paddock will use more than 50 seats on Lineup Systems' cloud-based, multi-channel solution across sales, management, IT and finance departments. The new system will help the publisher eliminate information silos by allowing users to cross-sell, bill and report on advertising sales.
In addition to better visibility across companywide ad sales operations, Adpoint will also provide lead-generation opportunities by funneling information through the platform's CRM.
"We're not a business that requires great sophistication in its CRM," Paddock said. "We need to get the job done, easily and efficiently and Lineup is a great tool to have in our arsenal."
Once the transition to the new system is complete, multiple ad orders will happen more seamlessly, particularly in the digital advertising realm.
"The complexity of digital ordering can be mind-boggling, with all the variations and possibilities," Paddock said. "Besides the dimes on dollars for digital orders, finding efficiency and streamlined ordering within that realm is an absolute must."
Paddock said the advertising transition is the publisher's main focus for the near future, and after 22 years on its legacy system it will take some time to assimilate. He said he's been impressed that the staff at Lineup Systems has gone to great lengths to understand the publisher's unique operations and to help through what will certainly be an anxious transition.
The publisher is looking forward to taking advantage of the ability to conduct proper analysis on accounts and sectors, which will add a layer of accountability within sales.
"Those items are going to be our near-term focus. That said, I know this company will never sit still,” Paddock said. "We are constantly evolving. It will be nice to have a single system to move these ideas into rather than my team spending hundreds of hours custom-coding a square peg so it fits into that 22-year-old round hole."
Lineup System's Adpoint solution currently supports 1,600 media brands, including Gannett, Time Inc., Bonnier Corp., Toronto Star, Metro and the Telegraph Media Group.
Adpoint now available on Salesforce AppExchange
Lineup Systems in February announced that its Adpoint App is now available on the Salesforce AppExchange. The company said the move will empower media businesses to connect with their customers, partners and employees in new ways.
The Adpoint App delivers a comprehensive media sales solution on the Salesforce AppExchange and Adpoint's lead-to-billing functionality within the Salesforce Sales Cloud environment, including Adpoint CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote), complex pricing, workflow and invoicing visibility.
"Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected," Kori O’Brien, senior vice president, ISV Sales for Salesforce said in a statement. "Companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees. By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, Lineup provides media customers with an exciting new way to unlock the power of Salesforce for their sales organizations and achieve efficiencies in the sales process."