Profile: Mike Jackson

Dec 9, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Chairman and CEO, Marketron International
Background: Mr. Jackson founded Marketron International in 1995 in anticipation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the ensuing consolidation in the broadcast business. “Stations would need more control over their commercial inventory and ways to sell multiple stations across multiple markets,” he said. “The existing sales and traffic processes were rife with errors and inefficiencies because station-side systems were not integrated. These problems would increase exponentially with consolidation.”
The company in 2000 acquired Marketron Inc., which produced traffic and billing software. Marketron International then merged with TvScan, which provided sales, proposal and research software to 90 percent of all TV markets. A year later, Marketron International bought Rep-Pak, which provided similar tools to Canadian TV stations. The combination of the companies enables Marketron International to offer broadcasters a front-end sales solution, a backend inventory solution, business intelligence reporting and a traffic and billing system. Marketron International has more than 250 employees. About half of the company’s 2,000 clients are TV stations, which contribute about two-thirds of the revenue.
Inventory optimization: While Marketron International competes with leading traffic and billing systems, such as Encoda, VCI and OSI, Mr. Jackson contends that his company’s niche is in its inventory optimization system that it adds to the traffic and billing component. “If you can’t optimize inventory, you are in trouble,” he said. “If you are a traffic director you want to make sure the station is running ads to the best of its ability.” That means reducing make-goods, ensuring bump spots are placed in the rotation and creating an electronic work flow, for instance. “A lot of companies specialize in traffic but don’t have the backend business intelligence or front-end inventory optimization,” he said.
Information please: “The most important part of increasing revenue is having access to intelligent information. Access allows stations to make adjustments to what may happen,” Mr. Jackson said.
The data mining and business intelligence tools in Marketron International’s system enable customer reports and historical analyses that can help prevent important data from falling through the cracks. For instance, a customer used the business intelligence tools to inform its parent station group that some advertisers were no longer buying. The station re-established contact with those former customers and gained two new advertisers.