How Frequence is Enabling Hyperlocal Omnichannel Media Sales
When Oliver Jacob, now the president and co-founder of the advertising automation business Frequence, came back to the media industry in about 2010 after a nearly decade-long hiatus, he found the sector “unrecognizable.” Digital, which had once been the province of designers, was becoming the focus of media organizations, and local advertisers, formerly devotees of print, were beginning to explore digital with the help of then-nascent mobile and programmatic channels.
Jacob, along with Frequence co-founders Matthew Robles and Steven Hahn, wondered who would own media relationships with local advertisers.
“We saw the opportunity to create the first end-to-end sales enablement platform for any local media organization,” Jacob said.
More than a decade and about 350 employees later, that platform is Frequence, whose customers include Hearst and Spectrum. Frequence recently won a Digiday award for helping a media company triple its omnichannel revenue with automated proposals, reporting, and workflows.
The company’s solutions are not just relevant to the publishers that constitute its customer base. They’re also helpful for the multi-location and franchise brands as well as the small businesses that depend on the omnichannel media Frequence’s customers provide.
Automating omnichannel media sales
Even today, years after omnichannel cemented itself as a digital media buzzword, efficiently and effectively packaging omnichannel media remains a challenge. Traditional media companies need solutions to seamlessly integrate owned and operated inventory across traditional channels and digital with other digital products. Then, to make their offer compelling to buyers, they also need to localize their pitch to each buyer, report results, and optimize over time.
This is the very complex process of omnichannel media selling that Frequence aims to streamline.
“We first started partnering with cable companies,” Jacob said. “We were first to market — fully integrated linear TV and digital on a dashboard so a media exec at a large cable company can go into an agency or small local advertiser and offer linear tv, digital owned and operated, and digital products. Once they have that proposal, they can execute it, optimize it, and report on it in the same platform. It’s an integrated experience.”
With Frequence, a media seller can automate not only media proposals and reporting but also advertising workflows. This is what allows the company to bill itself as an end-to-end solution, and that is, Jacob argues, one of its key differentiators.
“There’s no one else who unifies hyperlocal omnichannel advertising end to end. The reason you can have a true omnichannel proposal generator is because you have the feedback from what closes, the ideal budget allocation and media mix, how it performs. All of it goes back into the learnings,” Jacob said, so the proposal, media buying, and reporting are more effective and efficient each time.
Delivering hyperlocal media to buyers
Advertisers also stand to benefit from more readily available omnichannel inventory. It’s not just publishers who are likely to struggle with the complexity of omnichannel media planning. It’s also a formidable task for multi-location brands, franchises, and especially small businesses. Frequence’s service allows publishers to simplify that process for their media buyers.
More than a decade after Jacob discovered a media industry immersed in digitization, hyperlocal media buying remains an challenge. Advertising purchases still happen by DMA, not at the more granular level of the individual location. Reporting is complex. Coordinating between national marketing organizations and individual locations is a slog.
Jacob predicts that the industry will leap forward over the next seven years, just as it did in his aughts hiatus. The word he used to describe where the digital media industry will land in, say, 2030?