Rather than start the year with resolutions, I like to wait a few weeks and let the dust settle. Once the fever has broken for the classic items– going to the gym, eating more salads– I focus on the business goals that will make my new year stronger than the one that just ended.
First, an important disclosure: I don’t work in ad sales, and never have. But I work for a company that’s built powerful software for ad sales teams. So while I haven’t sold a daypart to a media buyer, I spend a lot of time talking to ad sales execs, the researchers who support them and the brands (and agencies on behalf of brands) who buy from them. Based on the conversations I’ve had and heard over the last few months, I’m suggesting three simple resolutions for any ad sales person for 2016.
- Know your audience like never before.
Every media outlet knows their audience– Men 18+ watch sports, Women 18+ watch dramas, Adults 18+ watch local news. But if there was ever a time to get to know your audience deeper, 2016 is it. Those who buy advertising, from executives at blue chip brands to high-powered media agencies, want to target their customers in increasingly sophisticated ways. Nielsen is rolling out new products, TiVo is giving away their data for free and more & more of your customers are focusing on performance rather than CPM. So spend some time understanding your audience better, because your unique value proposition won’t be A18-54 for long. Ask yourself: what more can I know about my audience? And how can I use that information to convince Arby’s to spend more money with me in 2016?
- Get smarter about your space.
Yes, you need to start by getting much smarter about your audience (see #1 above). But you should also spend some time getting smarter about the space in which you work. There is tremendous change going on around every corner, from Turner’s re-org to Cablevision’s partnership with GroupM (where they’re selling data, not buying it). And lots more is coming, from virtual reality to the new ComScore + Rentrak ratings giant. The sooner you figure out how these events and trends can impact your pitches to local hospital systems and quick serve restaurants, the better off you’ll be.
- Beat revenue expectations.
The best salespeople don’t just beat their own quota. They beat industry forecasts. And those forecasts are big in 2016. Between the olympics, the election and the strong position of the US Economy, people (including your boss) expect to generate big revenue this year. Local TV sales are supposed to be up 10% in 2016. Which is remarkable after a 4.5% decline in 2015. Cable and broadcast revenue are both expected to increase. And marketers plan to spend 34% more on traditional media this year than they did in 2015. Consider the gauntlet thrown. Your challenge shouldn’t be to hit your quota. The most successful ad salespeople will aim for, and beat, that 34%.
If you click on the links above you’ll find some of my favorite sources for industry news: Adweek, AdAge, Broadcast & Cable, AdExchanger and MediaPost. I also peruse Cynopsis, Street Fight Mag and the BIA Kelsey Local Media Watch.
If you read another industry news source that’s worth it’s salt, tweet us your find.