Sjællandske Medier –
a year towards digitalization
From being print-only to becoming the digital savvy!
About Sjællandske Medier
Sjællandske Medier A/S (SJM) is a Danish publisher reaching more than 1M people a week and has +500 employees in +40 offices. More than 15.000 clients are using SJMs media channels every year. SJM's media channels include three dailies, 43 weeklies, an advertising agency, a digital agency, local radio, video production, and printing facilities.
As a go-to-market strategy, SJM introduced their own branded digital omnichannel advertising tool Targ@d to meet their clients growing expectations and needs for digital advertising.
In less than 12 months, the total digital revenue has increased by 70%, and is still growing.
The Challenge - Thinking offline while selling online
From the beginning, SJM faced two challenges.
Challenge 1: Thinking offline while selling online.
The company was not ready for its digital transformation. The key question was - how do we do that? How do we transform the company's culture, which is so print-focused?
Challenge 2: We have the perfect tool, but nobody knows how to use it.
When SJM started selling digital – they could see the potential of the Nexta platform. Still, the organization was not ready to support its employees with an internal strategy to run digital marketing sales. They also did not have a plan on how SJM and Nexta could work together.
''We did not have a plan on how we would work with Nexta. For us, it was only a sales tool. However, the education level was deficient, so we had great technology, and nobody knew about it."
Digital Specialist at Sjællandske Medier
After some time, the management realized they were missing the comprehensive approach towards this whole collaboration and transformation. The major concerns were: How can they support online media with offline media? And vice versa. How can our salespeople upgrade their sales skills? How can we simplify the digital sales process?
The SJM identified that the key challenges towards their way to digitalization:
Digital Knowledge and mindset within the organization were not present
Finding that simple product selection for everyone was a struggle
Closing the sales cycle was not happening
Solution & the Process - Know How
The solution was pretty simple – planning and then executing! However, it is hard to plan when you do not have the right know-how.
Nexta.io is more than a tool. It is a collaborative partner that helps to grow partners' digital revenue and skyrocket their digital performance. Nexta's partner activation manager Andreas joined SJM strategic meetings and supported their strategy development. Together with the SJM digital board, they pulled out a two-year plan and the roadmap to empower the digital transformation.
The fundamental initiatives were to be done during the 2020/2021 roadmap:
Packages. The first step was to simplify the tool for the sales reps, making it easier to understand and sell. That was done by creating predefined omnichannel packages distributing client budgets between Facebook, Google, and Display. Furthermore, the digital packages were matched with local print packages to ensure maximum reach in the local areas.
Education plan and training. If you want an organizational change – you have to empower it and initiate. It's all about culture and mindset – there must be a cultural change and a wish for knowledge. SJM and Nexta.io merged their teams and developed an educational cycle focused on digital learning. Their common goal was to fill the knowledge gap and create digital experts within the organization.
Execution plan. To secure knowledge gaps were being addressed, the first focus for year one was onboarding “superusers” in the Nexta platform. The second focus was to ensure the superusers had the right knowledge and support from centralized teams to advocate for digital marketing locally. The third and last focus was to utilize key sales events at scale, which consisted of multiple internal and external sales activities. That allowed the SJM sales team and their clients to build confidence in digital packages and the values they could bring.
"The basic idea of the collaboration/partnership/Activation -plan/strategy is to make local market SMBs and salespeople who traditionally have been print heavy, comfortable with the advantages and value of digital advertising."
Andreas Lauritzen, Partner Activation Manager at Nexta.io
It's been a year since Sjællandske Medier and Nexta.io pulled out the joint partnership plan. There is still a long way to go – but the results are astonishing. Early in summer 2021, SJM had made the same digital revenue as they did throughout 2020, and it was only halfway through the year.
It all happened due to Sjællandske Medier and Nexta.io being open for collaboration and co-creating a customized business plan that addressed the needs and requirements for SJM digital success.
The plan combined a mix of business goals, sales activation, product adaptation, and education.
The major won battles in one year of joint partnership:
The total increase in Digital sales 70% YoY
Revenue growth through Nexta 131% YoY
Total digital revenue for 2020 was achieved by the end of June 2021
Salespeople growth within digital advertising space
We can identify three learnings that helped to achieve such results:
Learning 1: To have a competency-driven company – the employees' knowledge and growth are essential!
It's like an engine! Every salesperson must be a hybrid. They have to know the values of both print and digital, especially the primary products within digital.
Learning 2: You need to have 2.0 salespeople.
Having an addition to your team of people who have extensive digital knowledge will help to speed up the digital transformation and processes. That would also help to challenge the clients and become a better consultancy to the clients.
Learning 3: To have the proper sales process and 360 degrees solution.
Having the right strategies and sales funnel will help increase the qualified conversion rate, resulting in higher digital and total revenue.
Digital and Regional Market Manager at Sjællandske Medier
"The main reason for the positive growth in digital revenue is the close integrated collaboration with Nexta.io and their technology. It has enabled SJM with a cost-effective solution that is attractive to our SMB customers, as well as selling complex omnichannel solutions to customers with larger budgets."