At the heart of radio ad workflow is your traffic system. It plays an essential role in scheduling, tracking, managing and billing sellable inventory. These systems have been your hub for decades, representing a mature part of the industry's tech stack.
In the beginning, traffic software was a relatively simple workflow. The ecosystem is now more complex, with many variables to consider -- more programming, increasing advertiser demands for specific dayparts, a higher volume of various ad types and lengths, and requests for more visibility on available inventory. The modern traffic department is an ecosystem that involves many moving parts and users.
This complexity has changed how you use your traffic system, with a need to reduce manual processes, integrate applications and optimize workflows. You have greater expectations around what the technology should do and more awareness of any gaps in functionality.
You want to see innovation and modernization of traffic systems, but only a small market of options exists. Some providers are progressing capabilities, while others aren't investing in modernization, leaving stations to rely on a no-frills version that "gets the job done." That may be fine for now, but it may inhibit your growth and revenue potential.
A more efficient, effective and feature-rich solution will serve your needs today and tomorrow.
So, what areas of innovation should you be tracking? Let's look at what functionality will help you build revenue and streamline processes.
Your Traffic System Must Provide Integration Capabilities
The traffic system is your hub, but it also needs to connect to other applications. If it doesn't "play nice" with others, it creates more manual work and disconnections. Look for a system that can integrate with electronic payment platforms, rate optimization tools, third-party digital software and ecosystem connectors (e.g., CRM systems, automation tools).
When systems connect, you'll gain functionality and efficiency. Those things help you optimize your traffic department's operations.
Your Traffic System Should Be an End-to-End Solution
When technology captures every part of the process, you can be more efficient and reduce costs. Automation features, easy collaboration between traffic and sales, and seamless processing of network orders and affidavits empower your team to run a modern traffic department.
When traffic platforms are missing critical pieces, your team can't function as smoothly as it should. It puts you in a position of being reactive rather than proactive.
Your Traffic System Should Be Cloud-Based
Cloud-based systems offer many benefits compared to on-premises ones. Migration to the cloud has been steady in the industry and will continue to grow in this direction. This is an opportunity to reduce costs, improve accessibility and enhance business resiliency and security. With cloud-based traffic systems, your provider manages the software, ensuring you always have the latest version and layered security.
Your Traffic System Should Eliminate the Chaos of Manual Production Workflows
Innovative technology makes processes better and more reliable. Decades ago, ensuring the correct copy went to the right spot at the right time was straightforward. Now, the volume and complexity require much more time and effort. Manually doing all this can lead to errors and impact productivity. The key to modernizing is using a production workflow tool that ensures consistency, helps you avoid manual mistakes and integrates with your traffic system.
Power Your Future by Modernizing Your Traffic Platform
Innovation in traffic solutions isn't at its end. If your system lacks key functionality, it's time to modernize. You can learn more about what your traffic system should do for you by reading our latest e-book, The Modern Traffic Department: How Optimized, Innovative Technology Meets Your Needs for Now and the Future. Download it here.
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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.org/MyersBizNet.