Boston Globe Media Expands Self-Service Initiatives
Boston Globe Media encompasses six of Boston's most significant print,
online, broadcast and direct media, aligned for the express purpose of
delivering advertisers the precise audiences they need in the greater Boston
market. The Boston Globe reaches 1.8 million readers weekly and Boston.com
receives over 4 million unique visitors a month.
Our History with Wave2
We've been a Wave2 customer for nearly two years. Using the Wave2 AdPortal, we transformed
a marginally profitable real estate product into a profitable one. Our 2x40 real estate display ads
are published twice weekly on Thursday and Sunday across 4 zones. They are bundled with an
on-line listing which is also generated by Wave2. Transactions range from as little as $99 up to
Prior to using Wave2, our local real estate agents used a traditional process to buy advertising.
The agents would call into our customer service reps to communicate the listing information.
The customer service reps would generate an order and gather the listing information for a
display ad and on-line Boston.com listing. This information was routed into and out of the
creative services department and back to the agents/brokers. The constant handling of the ads
increased the cost of both selling and producing the ads resulting in low margins. Today, 100%
of the ads are built by either the customer service reps directly or by the real estate
agents themselves. We realized we would never get 100% of the agents using the
website, so we launched the program by having inside customer service reps use the
system, who then in turn trained the agents. Currently, more than 70% of these ads are
built by the agents themselves. The success of this model of targeting a low profit product
and then using inside sales to migrate contract customers over to self-service is the basis for a
much larger project that has started at the Globe with Wave2.
Analyzing our Business Strategy
After an extensive study of our sales operations conducted by McKinsey, we have moved nearly
50% of our contract customers over to inside sales and to a new self-service application being
implemented by Wave2. These accounts represent a small percentage of our overall ad
revenue so we needed a way to lower both our cost of sales and production for these ad
Self-service was the path recommended to us as a result of the McKinsey study coupled
with a focus on inside sales. By doing this we expect to be able to turn less profitable lower
value accounts and lower profit ad products into profitable ones. In addition we fully expect to
increase our share of the ad spend by the small business community in the Boston area.
This website is based on the Wave2 AdPortal and will target our small business
community. The site will launch in early 2009. Advertisers may purchase print and on-line
ad packages, print only, or on-line only packages. The packages will start below $300 and
we expect average transaction sizes in the area of $300 to $500. Our telesales team uses
Saleslogix CRM to manage their accounts and the sales process. The site will be fully integrated
with our Edgil AdPay server, our SAP Billing System, and our ad production and ad serving