“It is the golden age of premium video content for viewers, and the height of complexity for advertising decision-makers and their partners.”
- Xandr 2021 State of Convergence and Advanced TV Report
Everything is changing: delivery, audiences, behaviors, technology, measurement, portfolios. This is a huge challenge for the sellers who have to explain this all clearly and concisely, and for advertisers who have to quickly get up to speed to understand how to effectively reach their audiences in this new environment.
The frustration and challenge for media salespeople is that this is the golden age of content – they have the best content they’ve ever had for advertisers to take advantage of – but it’s getting harder and harder to tell that story given all the changes the industry is going through. The frustration for advertisers is that just as it’s becoming easier to know which parts of their advertising spend are effective, it’s becoming harder to navigate all the choices and decisions they have to make across channels, technologies, audiences, and content.
Complexity for Salespeople
Salespeople are facing increased complexity both inside their organizations and across the media industry. There’s a lot more in every portfolio – everybody does everything – and the job of the salesperson now is to be an expert on everything the company does. Mergers, acquisitions, convergence, digital, video – the Portfolio Sales Process requires more and more of salespeople in terms of subject matter expertise as well as just being familiar with all the content their companies are producing.
Technology is also changing rapidly – both the technology they sell (addressable, programmatic, tracking, DDL) as well as the technology they use (Zoom, CRM, Cloud-based tools). The complexity of the new delivery platforms, measurement paradigms and tracking and attribution technology requires a deep understanding in order to explain it clearly and concisely. It takes far more expertise to explain something simply than to just understand it.
Audience behavior and measurement is changing – changing how salespeople talk about the value their content delivers, how it’s measured and who it’s reaching. The days of five or six main demos are gone; audience fragmentation has led to new audience definitions and ways of identifying, grouping and targeting your customers. With more and more closed content gardens and proprietary measurement and audience information, describing the unique value of their audience to advertisers is an increasingly complex job for salespeople.
Complexity for Advertisers
All of these industry changes affect the advertisers as well, making it harder for them to make decisions. Faced with change and increased complexity, advertisers are overwhelmed trying to make the right decisions – leading to longer sales cycles and more uncertainty in the sales process.
“One in three advertisers lack familiarity with the programmatic OTT buying process.”
- Xandr 2021 State of Convergence and Advanced TV Report
As hard as it is for ad sales marketing teams to figure out how to tell their new sales success stories in simple and concise ways, it’s even harder for advertisers to understand and meaningfully compare all the options being presented to them. With the constant challenges in measurement that Nielsen has made painfully clear combined with the new walled gardens of OTT/streaming audiences, it’s even more challenging for advertisers to effectively compare different opportunities with different partners. What used to be a simple comparison of ratings and CPMs has become a rabbit-hole of proprietary platforms, technologies and audience measurements.
This complexity faced by advertisers is resulting in delays in decision-making, longer sales cycles, and a reliance on existing relationships and what’s worked in the past—even though we all know that’s exactly what won’t work going forward. This is a lose-lose for both the media companies (and their sales teams) and the advertisers.
Simplicity is the Solution
First, make it easier for salespeople to find and use relevant content that covers the entire portfolio of what they’re selling. Break down silos across brands, divisions and products so salespeople can find everything they need in one place. And make it consistent and compatible with each other so it all works together and feels like it’s coming from a single brand. This will simplify the salesperson’s sales process significantly and allow them to quickly find what they need to engage customers throughout the sales process.
Second, create clear and concise content that gets to the point while delivering your brand experience. Media companies are the best in the world at creating engaging content, but they rarely apply those skills to their sales content. Huge PDFs with technical specifications, flowcharts, and technical terms are daunting to look at and often just add to the confusion rather than move an advertiser closer to a buying decision. Use video to explain complex subjects like new technology or audience measurements. Make sure all your materials are built on your brand DNA and include the elements that make your content appealing – include the videos, images, and tone that sets you apart and engages your audience.
Third, break up the content into bite-sized content that advertisers can consume throughout the sales process, making it easier for them to learn what they need to know at the right time during the sales cycle. Creating smaller chunks of content also makes it easier for advertisers to choose how quickly or slowly to consume that content and move through their customer journey.
Fourth, build this bite-size content into the entire customer journey and give buyers a self-service option to pick and choose the most relevant content for their needs. Spreading this content out makes it easier to consume, and giving buyers a way to pick what’s relevant to them allows them to engage with the right content at the right time for themselves – not just what’s convenient for the salesperson.
Bite-sized, modular content makes it easier for salespeople to engage with relevant content throughout the sales process and also makes it easier for advertisers to choose what’s relevant to them at that point in the sales process.
Clearer, more engaging content that’s easier for salespeople to find will allow salespeople and advertisers to better navigate and be successful in this challenging new environment of TV convergence and digital transformation. Specifically, this will address the challenges advertisers face in understanding the new technologies, delivery options and measurement methodologies and all the changes to the programmatic OTT buying process.
Many of the barriers advertisers face in trying to adopt these new technology-driven offerings, such as programmatic OTT or data-driven linear, are really challenges of understanding the benefits of these new offerings and confusion as to how they work. Clear, concise content delivered in engaging, bite-sized videos throughout a sales process that’s both salesperson- and advertiser-driven are the best ways to address these challenges and overcome any objections advertisers may have.
4 Steps to Simplify Sales for your Sales Team:
- Cut any sales content that’s full of jargon, bullet-points, or takes simple ideas and makes them more complicated.
- Align your sales content creators to start creating clearer, more concise content that helps explain the more complicated parts of your offering and that’s easy for clients and prospects to absorb.
- Slice up all your sales content into engaging, bite-sized chunks that clients and prospects can engage with on their own schedule.
- Create a Digital Library organized to tightly align with the sales teams’ sales process so it’s easy for salespeople to find relevant content for each step of the sales process.