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Metro US takes flight

Metro US

The fourth largest daily newspaper in the US pilots its business with Adpoint by Lineup Systems

There’s no doubt about it. The way we consume news and entertainment has radically changed over the past decade, creating both challenges and opportunities for media companies of all shapes and sizes.

According to Wilf Maunoir, Marketing & Research Director at Metro US, a free daily newspaper published in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, the structure of the advertising market has changed dramatically, “not so much with the expansion of the Internet, but more really with the introduction of smartphones.”

Pew Research indicates that 77 percent of Americans now own smartphones and with Wi-Fi readily accessible in a vast majority of public spaces, more people are consuming their news on the go and have more options to do so than ever before.

The evolution of news consumption encouraged Metro US to transform from a newspaper business into a media company with a diverse range of print, outdoor, and digital products.

These expansion initiatives have paid off in a big way since launching the paper in the US in 2000.

Today, Metro US is the 4th largest printed newspaper by circulation and reach with over 4.5 million readers in print and online.

Metro.us, the company’s news site, has skyrocketed to 2.0 million monthly unique visitors, and advertisers are increasingly taking advantage of the company’s growing range of cross-channel advertising opportunities including print, online, native, content, email marketing and sweepstakes.

Expansion in the midst of an environment where advertising revenues are challenging to grow have pushed the company to, “keep improving efficiencies across the organization, to work smarter, and to do more with fewer resources,” says Maunoir.

A key element of the company’s transformation and ability to increase its efficiency has been the implementation of Adpoint, an advertising sales solution from Lineup Systems that manages every aspect of the advertising sales process – from lead generation to cash collections. Maunoir states that, “Metro pilots its entire commercial business with Adpoint.”

The system serves as the backbone of its commercial operations, enabling the company to manage its advertising booking, approval, invoicing, and reporting across all of its channels with one system.

ADPOINT IN ACTION

Outside of the US, Metro is published in more than 100 major cities across Europe, North & South America, and Asia.

The company originally began using Adpoint in 2005 when Lineup’s founder and CEO Michael Mendoza developed Adpoint to manage Metro’s European operations, and since that time, they’ve been able to keep a step ahead of the market by expanding system use and upgrading the system on an average of two times a year. Maunoir feels that Adpoint has continued to evolve with Metro as its business has grown and changed.

“Issues that once challenged the company five years ago are no longer problems, as the solution has evolved with both the company and the industry,” enabling Metro to successfully navigate the bumpy business of media advertising sales.

“Lineup has been a true partner in the development of our business,” said Yggers Mortensen, CEO, Metro US. “They are constantly innovating Adpoint to meet our business needs allowing us to expand our revenue streams by selling new experiences to our customers.” New channels include email marketing and content services; metroX, a digital audience extension program that gives advertisers access to advanced targeting and programmatic capabilities; and Club Metro US, an online source for the best sweepstakes in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.

CLEAR SKIES AHEAD

Plans for the next upgrade are in the works.

The upgrade will allow Metro to take advantage of Adpoint’s new UI, which will improve usability and the user experience across all functions.

The company will also adopt Adpoint Go, a mobile app that provides advertising sales teams with real-time access to Adpoint CRM on their Android, iOS smartphones, and tablets.

The solution will keep Metro’s sales reps in front of potential advertisers and make selling easier by enabling them to close deals, manage orders, and monitor sales performance on-the-go.

Metro is also preparing to add Adpoint Self-Service, which will allow advertisers to purchase ads at their convenience online, saving Metro both time and money, while creating a new revenue stream.

SHOULD YOU INVEST IN A SYSTEM LIKE ADPOINT OR NOT?

Maunoir believes that companies looking to grow should not shy away from adopting powerful technology like Adpoint, despite the investment, as technology is truly enabling Metro to do more with less today.

“If you are not a 100 million company and you cannot afford to adopt and adapt a generic set of systems to your business, you need a solution like Adpoint that is specifically designed for media companies. Adpoint delivered the workflow we needed right out of the box. We simply couldn’t have afforded to string together and maintain multiple systems.”

The convenience of having everything in the cloud is another selling point. For Metro, the cost to maintain servers has decreased dramatically.

Not having to dedicate resources to maintain the infrastructure means that Metro can “concentrate on its business, not technical issues.”

The cloud also simplifies the process of upgrades for the media company.

According to Maunoir, “Back in the day, upgrading was scary because you feared it could put your business at a standstill if something went wrong.”

Today Metro’s upgrade process involves two weeks of testing during which any issues are addressed.

The company is then able to go-live with a new version of Adpoint without any disruption to operations.

Adpoint has enabled Metro to effortlessly navigate the changing media landscape and continually add new offers like the ability to develop and deliver content on behalf on their advertisers.

The media world never slows down, and with Adpoint, Metro is sure to stay a step ahead.

“Metro US is a valued customer,” said Michael Mendoza, CEO, Lineup Systems. “The success they have had is a true testament to their ability to continually respond to changing market trends with unique advertising experiences. They aren’t tied to the ‘old way of doing business’ – they ‘continually innovate’ and that’s what needs to be done today if you’re going to stay alive!”

Some of the key Adpoint functionality that Metro is taking advantage of includes:

Lead Generation

With Adpoint, Metro is able to extrapolate and action very powerful data. One way the company uses this data is to identify ‘pockets’ of its business that are not being worked. For example, customers ‘forgotten’ due to a change in personnel can be identified via a quick query within Adpoint. From there, Metro can assign follow up tasks to a sales representative, track the follow up, and measure success.

Reporting

Adpoint includes a range of standard reporting while also enabling Metro to build reports outside the system tailored to the company’s specific needs.

The solution allows Metro to keep ‘clean’ databases and easily extract the data the company requires to build custom reports from which then can truly ‘pilot’ their business.

Invoicing

The finance capabilities of the system have enabled Metro to control credit, generate invoices, and manage cash flow.

The system recognizes revenue automatically and correctly allocates it across campaigns.

It also enables Metro to easily oversee discount levels, net price per page, and total revenue per edition.

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Lineup Systems is the world’s leading provider of advertising sales technology.

 

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