As Programmatic Ad Revenue Grows, Publishers Adapt Sales Team Structures
A publisher’s direct salesperson convinces an advertiser to include a programmatic buy as part of a larger package. After that campaign is completed, the advertiser agrees to a separate private marketplace deal that is managed by one of the publisher’s programmatic specialists. For the latter deal, should the salesperson overseeing the account get the commission, or the programmatic specialist executing the deal, or both? It’s a riddle that publishers are wrestling with as they open programmatic to more, if not all, members of their sales organizations and as advertisers continue to automate more of their spending.
“Programmatic is not great for commission-based [compensation] yet,” said Sarah Krembs, national director of strategic sales at Accuweather. “Somebody’s got to solve for that.”
How sales teams should be compensated for programmatic revenue is becoming an urgent issue because programmatic has become a bigger and more central revenue stream for publishers “as opposed to the thing down the hall that the operations team did. Now it’s becoming real money,” said Scott Bender, head of publisher strategy at Prohaska Consulting.