Nov 10 2016 Lauren Furey Blog Programmatic Automation Digital Media Operations: Negotiate Partnerships with Confidence Negotiating the best partnership possible with a seller can lead to major returns for an agency or advertiser. Unfortunately, the current state of the industry and the way we’re managing our digital media operations makes negotiation difficult. Communication is disjointed. The files and formats we’re working in are outdated. And without much historical data and insight, there’s just not much to use as leverage. Most agencies lack access to a database of rates for vendors (data that would tell you, for example, that Autotrader usually sells this ad space/size for $X and Cars.com sells the same for $Y). This makes it really difficult to get sellers to drop rates, since there is nothing to base the starting negotiations on. At the same time, over the course of negotiation, the information received from sellers isn’t shared across the internal agency teams — meaning within an agency, different teams could be getting different rates on the same execution from a vendor! There is also often a communication gap between agencies and sellers. Excel does not force sellers to comply to a format, nor does it support the practice of comparing competitors in an apples-to-apples fashion. One seller might respond to an RFP by “completing” the Excel spreadsheet they received from the agency, while others will simply fill out the cells that they choose to and with information they think best. Snapshot: Negotiations are crucial to an agency’s success and should result in better rates and executing new opportunities. The problem is, without points of reference or a templated approach, agencies lack leverage and struggle to build a profitable and professional partnership with vendors. Real Concerns from Real Digital Media Professionals I’m a planner/buyer/strategist and I show my value to my team, my client, and my boss by constructing campaigns that are rooted in strategy, showing thoughtful ways to achieve the client goals. However, getting to this point is a challenge for me. My time is spread so thin across campaigns that are already live – troubleshooting, optimizing, and working with our finance teams to correct billing issues. And for campaigns getting ready to launch, countless hours are spent on more menial tasks. The time it takes to properly research and negotiate is a luxury I cannot afford. On top of all this, I know other teams within my agency have worked with certain vendors or have navigated complex new executions and I’d love their intel. The trouble is, I have no good way of sourcing that information. The Solution: Centro Platform Centro Platform improves and automates digital media operations by centralizing processes, teams, and data into one holistic platform. It provides the insight you need to negotiate confidently, and a place where buyers and sellers can come together, speak the same language, and get down to business – faster and more efficiently than ever before. With Centro Platform, you can welcome sellers into the system to complete RFPs in a planning grid that is built with a series of checks and balances designed to guide and streamline the submission process. Versions of proposals are stored for both buyers and sellers to reference at any time. All of your team members can communicate with ease using Platform’s internal messaging. Planners, buyers, analysts, and any other interested team members will be able to discuss proposals, options, and more — all in the context of a campaign. This is negotiating with an edge. This is Centro Platform. Platform Features: Buying Workflow Compare proposals from sellers as you move through the negotiation process. Centro Platform takes care of the guesswork – highlighting what was changed, what was added, and what was removed. Proposals and communication are stored for team review so nothing is lost in inboxes and next steps are always clear. Buyers and sellers communicate in the same language as they review, respond, and collaborate on RFPs and IOs all in Centro Platform. Bi-directional integrations with leading ad servers, DCM and Sizmek, automate campaign setup getting you from IO to launch faster. To learn more about Centro Platform or request a demo, visit centro.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.