Full Sale Ahead: 7 Things You Can Learn From Media Buyers
With tough times in the media sales business, I suddenly have two close friends who are working as marketing directors at companies they used call on as sales reps. What do these veterans from the media sales world say about their new view from the buyer's side? Here is what Mark and Ed (names changed to protect their identities) have to say.
Mark told me, "The hardest part was realizing there were some basic things I never understood in all the years I sold media." Here are the seven main things the sales veterans shared with me:
1. Your client's job is harder than your job.
First, digital media has fragmented every market, making the marketer's and media buyer's job harder. With business-to-business, there used to be a handful of trade magazines to choose from in every market, and advertising in a few of them assured market coverage. But today's media landscape often includes hundreds of media options including blogs, websites, e-newsletters, magazines, forums, digital magazines, and events. Finding a way to cover markets with a dizzying array of media is just harder than it used to be. But to be effective, your clients have to learn them all. In many markets, it is a job that almost can't be done.
2. "They need you, but not like you think."
Ed told me, "I've heard the old cliché a million times, 'If you can help your media buyer look good in front of their boss, they'll buy more media space from you.' While some parts of this may be true, the deeper truth is different."
Marketing is now a very measurable function. Today, that "look good in front of their boss" quote is dated. It's really not about sending them cute articles, or a nice note to their boss. It's all about performance, specifically helping them boost measurable performance. As you sell them digital components of your brand's portfolio, you need to give them advice about what kinds of messages appeal to your specific audience and how to best reach it. You need to talk in as specific terms as possible about the kinds of results achieved.