DoubleClick Introduces Automated RFP Process

In its latest attempt to streamline the digital advertising process, DoubleClick has introduced an electronic proposal exchange system to help advertisers and publishers communicate more efficiently.

RFPs can now be sent via seamless data exchange between Dart Sales Manager and Dart for Advertisers, eliminating the need to transfer information between formats.

“In the display ad business, while the ads themselves are digital, the process itself is surprisingly manual and inefficient,” said Jonathan Bellack, a group product manager at DoubleClick. “One of our customers in the newspaper industry said it was three times more expensive on a process basis to sell digital ads than some forms of print advertising. That is not a formula for long-term success for this industry.”

The new process will allow advertises and publishers to exchange multiple versions of the same RFP without reformatting or transferring data, said Bellack, and still maintain a record of every version exchanged.

In a 2007 study, DoubleClick, which was bought by Google for $3.1 billion last year, found that 70 percent of media agencies said they were more likely to send an RFP to a publisher who used an automated proposal tool.

“Our publishers are always trying to figure out how they can handle larger volumes of business as more and more marketing dollars are moving online,” said Bellack. “We ultimately felt that this was a technology that hadn’t completely been done before where we could really innovate.”

Indeed, Bellack noted that the application was created on “agnostic standards,” meaning other exchanges could theoretically adopt it as well.

Meanwhile, the IAB on Wednesday released a paper called “Revenue Cycle Best Practices,” which outlines steps publishers and advertisers can take to streamline the online advertising processes.

Key recommendations include maintaining specific processes for obtaining internal pricing approval, regular meetings between ad sales staff and collection teams and increased vigilance over receivables that are more than 60 days overdue.

“This will not only increase productivity, prevent costly errors and decrease the amount of time it takes to collect payment but it also improves customer satisfaction. It ultimately means more revenue for the company,” said Christie Lay, senior credit manager for Microsoft, which was one of the working group members who participated in the creation of the document, in a statement.

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