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SPH Launches New Advertising Booking System (ST)

BackDec 09, 2010

Multi-language platform lets agents book ads in English, Malay, Chinese

BY FRANCIS CHAN

COMPANIES CORRESPONDENT



SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has launched a new advertising booking system that will form the foundation of how it will interact with advertisers in the years ahead.

The multi-language platform, which is based at the media group's CATS Classified unit, allows sales agents to book ads in English, Chinese and Malay under one system and helps reduce training time for new and part-time staff.

SPH chairman Tony Tan said the $18 million initiative – called the Classified Advertisements Sales Hub (Cash) – was introduced to address rising customer expectations and growing ad volume.

"The fact that we invested so much time and effort into this new system shows our commitment to our clients," said Dr Tan at the launch of Cash yesterday.

"And we will continue to innovate and improve so as to constantly provide top-notch service and products to our customers."

Staff at CATS Classified handle about three million ads each year, with between 3,000 and 5,000 ads published every weekend in SPH's stable of newspapers such as The Straits Times, Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao and the only Malay language newspaper here, Berita Harian.

CATS Classified executive vice-president Elsie Chua said advertisers are increasingly looking for value and "buy into creative options with colour logos, special layouts and premium positions".

"This new system will enable us to better serve their needs and value-add in the process," she said.

"It will also give us a more flexible rating engine, so we can offer more pricing bundles for clients."

Being able to handle ads in the three main languages also ensures customer records can be kept in one place, which will cut back on data duplication and improve productivity.

Cash went operational on Sept 1, but CATS staff took only two weeks to fully adapt to the new system and bring its operations up to speed.

The system took three years to develop and is part of an SPH strategy to offer clients a more seamless process when placing advertisements across its various media outlets.

Ms Chua said SPH plans to expand its ad booking channels online.

"Moving into the next phase, we would like to offer self-service options to advertisers... so customers can make more of their own creative executions at their own leisurely time instead of having to call in," she said.