Shrinking Ad Sales Staffs Should Check Their 'Marketability' Scores

End-of-the-year predictions are nice fodder for growing TV/media executives.  A recent Borrell Associates webinar offered a few interesting, if head-scratching ideas:

1. With the continued growth of programmatic buying, there will be far fewer advertising sales executives. Instead the emphasis will be on creative advertising efforts. We are already seeing some of this, not directly because of programmatic, but largely because of advertising dynamics that are changing due to digital media. For example, Fox, Discovery and others have already been looking to reduce their ad sales staffs.

2. All consumers will have “marketability” scores – based on every action they take -- that will be linked to programmatic buying. Marketers will glean that data to grab those consumers to make the desired purchases.

3. As digital media becomes “video-centric,” broadcast licenses as we know them will cease to exist. Already, as media content sellers increasingly find new platforms to sell their wares directly to consumers, local TV stations are seeing less business. They will need to find ways to sell lots of pre-roll and native advertising, according to Borrell.



Much of that will be tied to an increase in local news and other programming, with less emphasis on content from network partners.

Local radio will also have a difficult time. Borrell believes half of all terrestrial stations will disappear, due to digital audio options in cars and on smartphones. 

Media executives should note that prognostications are always welcomed this time of year when thinking about end-of-year bonuses, and general industry flights of fancy -- perhaps to new careers.

4 comments about "Shrinking Ad Sales Staffs Should Check Their 'Marketability' Scores".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Rocky Kurland from The Magazine Guys, December 3, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.

    There is a difference in sales and order taking. The media companies that are to heavily engaged with the program buying services are going to learn the difference when they see the bottom line deminish. That will hurt all aspects of their business no matter how it is served to the consumer.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 4, 2014 at 10:54 a.m.

    Of all of the media that might be affected----note, I said might----print is probably the most interesting case. With only one paper in so many large metro areas, is there really a need for local ad sales forces of the current size, as opposed to special task forces "selling the medium" to local accounts? Also, many magazines maintain relatively large sales organizations, including offices in key client-located cities. They are also organized on an account by account basis---with exceptions, here and there----which means that three, four or five sales execs----sometimes more----, plus the ad directors and associate publishers call on different planning groups at an agency, while virtually all of the buys are made by a single buying specialist group. If programmatic buying comes to print media, which I can see as a distinct possibility--- one wonders what changes will be mandated. The obvious solution will be to eliminate the account by account approach and go to agency by agency assignments, with a single unit---or person---assigned to "telling the publication's story" to everybody while a "selling desk" deals with the agency's "trading desk". This is likely to be bad news for a lot of local eateries and bars, unless the programmatic folks find a way for the selling machines to take their buying counterparts to lunch. I wonder what kinds of food---or booze---a typical trading desk prefers. And what about parties or attending sports events? Will a publisher still need to fete all of the buyer's trading desks at a big annual gala? Will a publisher still feel the need to buy season tickets at the local ball park so his selling desks can dole them out to the buyer's trading desks. And what kind of sports do computers like, anyway? Only time will tell, I guess.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, December 4, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

    Ed. In answer to your last question. They prefer retro games ... like Pong, Tetris and Space Invaders.

  4. Gannon Gray from Television, December 11, 2014 at 3:57 p.m.

    I truly think this is a time when the rubber meets the pavement as they say for sellers and buyers.

    As a television executive for many years, I have seen all types of sales people come and go, however those who have a passion for the business posses something no machine or automated system can and that is creativity.

    Any owner of a small market station or a multicultural one will tell you they wouldn't trade their conceptual salesman for anything.

    He/she gets more than the fair share of market the station usually has, constantly creates ideas for new revenue streams we didn't know existed, and 9 times out of 10 can do it in less time.

    If this comes down to dividing up the preverbal pie based on some fixed formula without individual passion and creativity, everyone looses.

    The digital space is going to offer us never before capabilities to speak directly to the consumers, I hope there are salesman I've known there to come up with a branding idea to cut through the never ending clutter.

Next story loading loading..