I’ve just completed a report with Neal Polachek on the future of local media sales: Local Media Sales 2020 — Platforms, Profits or People?
Based on interviews with executives from Google, Yellowbook/Hibu, Dex Media, Web.com, Hearst, Buzzboard, ReachLocal, Yodle, newspaper sales executives and others, it looks a few years into the future and tries to engage in a conversation with some of the challenges in the local market today.
Here’s the paradox or dilemma facing traditional media sales organizations:
- Audience fragmentation and the loss of major distribution/traffic has forced newspapers and YP companies to become “agencies” for their advertisers buying lower-margin digital media from third parties
- This creates “structural” pressure that makes it harder to support an outside salesforce. Accordingly many are calling for a major migration to inside sales to reduce costs
- Inside sales are cheaper but generally lose the benefits of in-person, face-to-face contact with advertisers
- In addition lots of companies are using inside sales. That combined with similar-sounding product lineups makes differentiation increasingly tough in this market where SMBs are getting as many as 20 sales calls a month
- Traditional media companies can no longer afford all their outside sales reps. But you can’t sell all accounts with inside reps
- What’s the right balance between premise sales, technology and t-sales?
The 27-page report is free but you have to register to get it. Read it and see whether you agree or disagree with its assumptions and conclusions.