What is so different about selling digital advertising compared with other media?

The digital sales person can easily become more focused on the latest innovations in technology, bidding and measurement and many are guilty of forgetting about their client and their broader business objectives. In short the digital advertising sales person can forget to put the customer first.

There are some cardinal rules to being the best at selling digital media. We decide to share them with you here:

Resist the urge to blabber on about your product!

You might have the most amazing whizzy product in the world, which you are excited to tell your client about – but if you do not bother to find out what their needs are, you may as well save your breath.

As with any sales you need to focus on your client. Find out, what are their objectives? Who are their audience and what does success look like to them? This way lies the beginning of a good relationship.

Be patient with your client and educate them.

Do you ever have clients who just ‘don’t get’ the digital capabilities and therefore will not buy. Frustrating that they don’t share your passion in the amazing tech and sophisticated logarithms that your company can offer. You need to educate the client and speak to them in their language. You need to be a trusted advisor and hold their hands through the sales process.

But do be bold enough to challenge your clients. They may be stuck in less-sophisticated measurement methods simply because of a lack of understanding about newer informative methods and advanced analytics. Your clients should see you as their translator or guide around the digital world and if you always take your opportunity to educate them, you will succeed and ultimately sell more.

Don’t just focus on digital. You need to understand how digital can work for the client alongside other solutions.
Internal communication is key – it’s a team effort!

In digital there are no hiding places. Whether it’s a high impact branding campaign or a performance drive campaign it will be trackable. This means that you need to have the internal support of a great ad-ops team. You need to leverage those important internal relationships to make the campaign run smoothly. In traditional media once the deal is done, the ad appears and it’s out of your hands. In digital the deal being signed is just the start of your customer’s journey with you. From the moment the ad launches you need to monitor it, run it and make it work for the client. This means you’ll need regular analytics updates and constant monitoring and tweaks to get the best performance possible. And for this you need a great team.

Develop an understanding of how digital works as part of the whole marketing mix.

Finally it’s important that you don’t just focus on digital. You need to understand how digital can work for the client alongside other solutions. Ask them about offline success and any gaps they have, show them how digital can plug those gaps and help them achieve their overall goals as part of the marketing mix.

Ultimately you need a deep understanding of how the end user consumer consumes media and digital advertising and help your client see how they can use your products to reach them.

Put it all together and, as a digital sales god, you’ll be fighting them off.




Street Fight’s latest report on local merchants, Strategies for Selling Marketing & Technology Services, posted today. It’s a companion piece to our annual survey of local small and medium-sized businesses, that focuses on vendor strategies for selling local marketing services and up-selling add-ons or suites of offerings.

Street Fight surveyed over 250 local merchants on their marketing and e-commerce usage, effectiveness, and challenges. Over 40% of local merchants we surveyed said they would increase their social media spending. Similarly, email marketing and local sites will see bigger budgets, according to 36% of those polled. Very few said they’d cut back on any of the digital categories we offered.

Regular Street Fight contributors David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal have written a series of posts on the ideal digital marketing starter kits for SMBs. Their package would collect a website, listings management with directory support, email, review solicitation and management, and Facebook and Instagram ads for $150 per month. Paid search and managed social presence would be add-ons. This approach matches the digital marketing tactic adoption patterns our survey showed, although it ignores traditional media and direct mail.

Street Fight’s survey showed a pattern of momentum spending, i.e., the more a local merchant spent on marketing, the more likely he was to increase. And that pattern held true regardless of budget. So it’s worthwhile for a supplier to get in early and grow along with the customer. Still, the best targets spend more than $25,000 annually, and comprise a little under a third of the survey respondents. They use a broader variety of channels, media, and management services.

And while it’s desirable to be a one-stop provider of a suite of marketing services – both for revenue volume and customer lock-in, as well as for the customer’s ease of integration and campaign coordination and optimization – it appears that most local merchants already work with multiple suppliers and are fairly comfortable doing so.

The figure above shows that the plurality of local merchants work with three or more suppliers or agencies, and that figure is three-quarters for those with bigger marketing budgets. The average local merchant we surveyed works with 2.7 suppliers, and if you strip out those that say they do it themselves, that rises to 3.7. From an attitude perspective, the plurality (40%) said they preferred to work with multiple companies to get the best solution or price.

On average, survey respondents said they need the most help with search: with SEO (50% of all respondents) more than with paid search (33%), as far more have websites than use AdWords. Another 29% cited social media needs – reputations monitoring and review generation – as among their Top 3 needs.

Suppliers of marketing tech and services can tune their sales strategies by taking advantage of the following:

The figure above shows that those local merchants with larger budgets need help even more than the little guys, and on a broader area of marketing tactics.
Our analysis suggests it’s wise for suppliers to aim to add services to or integrate programs and campaigns with the two most prominent tactics: social media and email. There also may be rich opportunities in selling them social video services, direct mail programs, and local broadcast media.
The top digital marketing objective for the average local merchant is new customer acquisition, but many are also highly interested in customer service. Social video and direct mail could complement email for this.
The new report presents “cheat sheets” based on attitudes and marketing adoption patterns to help with positioning and selling local technologies and services to local merchants.

David Card is Street Fight’s director of research.

Radio sellers looking to extract a larger share of back-to-school ad budgets may find a more receptive audience among retailers this year. Back-to-school spending is on track for its second-highest spending level on record while back-to-college spending is expected to hit an all-time high, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.
Total spending for school and college combined is projected to reach $83.6 billion, a more than 10% increase from last year’s $75.8 billion. Rising consumer confidence and more young people in school are the primary drivers behind the increase.

“Families are now in a state of mind where they feel a lot more confident about the economy,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “With stronger employment levels and a continued increase in wages, consumers are spending more and we are optimistic that they will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year.”

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to shell out an average $688 on school supplies, electronics and clothing, up 8% from last year, the NRF says. That amounts to a total of $29.5 billion for the second-highest in the history of the survey following a peak of $30.3 billion in 2012.

Parents may open their wallets a bit wider for clothing than for laptops and calculators, the NRF says. Shoppers are forecast to spend an average of $238.89 on clothing, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes and $114.12 on school supplies. And while consumers plan to spend more across all categories, shoes and school supplies are expected to have the highest increase.
For the first time, the survey asked consumers what types of electronics they plan to purchase. Among electronics shoppers, 45% said they would buy a laptop computer while more than a third plan to purchase a tablet (35%) or a calculator (35%). One in four said they’d purchase electronic accessories such as a mouse, flash drive or charger.

“Schools are changing their classroom experience to include more technology, including laptops and tablets,” Prosper principal analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “That is why many parents, specifically Millennials, are spending more during back-to-school season and taking advantage of retailers’ best deals to stretch their budgets.”

In welcome news for sales departments trying to increase third-quarter profits, more families will tackle their back-to-school lists early this year, with 27% beginning two months before the beginning of school, up from 22% last year. But not all shoppers are early birds—21% will wait until the last week or two before school starts, about the same as last year’s 22%. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Back-to-School survey, 71% of back-to-school shopping occurs during an eight-week period—July through August. “As the medium used closest to the moment of purchase, radio can help influence where they can get the best deals,” the Radio Advertising Bureau said in a new blog post.

Recent research from USA TouchPoints provides dry powder for sales reps playing up radio’s proximity to the consumer point of purchase or what’s known in Adland as “recency.” The cross-platform measurement service found that 13% of the time that purchases were being made, radio was listened to in the same half-hour, compared to just 3% each for satellite radio and streaming audio. And 45% of the 18-64-year-old population made a purchase and listened to radio in the same half-hour during the week, which is five times higher than internet streaming audio.

Consumers are shifting from shopping at larger department stores and specialty channels to mass merchants and off-price venues, per the Deloitte survey. And one-in-five Deloitte survey respondents had not yet decided if they would shop in-store or online and “might be persuaded by targeted promotional efforts.”

According to Scarborough data, radio reaches 94% of parents with children under the age of 18 who, in the past 3 months, shopped at a clothing, book or footwear store. In fact, radio has the highest reach when compared to other media. Separate research conducted by GfK MRI shows parents with children under the age of 18 are 17% more likely than the general population to listen to a broadcast radio stream and 21% more likely to visit a radio station, radio program or radio personality’s website.

Looking to lure early bird shoppers, campaigns from Office Depot and Lands’ End have been running for a few weeks already and they look to be joined soon by others according to AdAge. And in a boost to brick-and-mortar retailers disrupted by online sellers, nearly six in ten parents in the NRF study (57%) say they will shop at department stores, 54% at discount stores, 46% each at clothing stores and online, and 36% at office supply stores. Furthermore, Market Track, which monitors traffic trends at malls and shopping centers, predicts that 53% of consumers will do most of their shopping this year at big-box retailers, such as Walmart and Target.

College students and their families plan to spend an average of $969.88, up from last year’s $888.71. Total back-to-college spending is expected to be $54.1 billion, up from $48.5 billion last year and surpassing 2012’s record of $53.5 billion. The increase in spending is driven, in part, to growing college enrollment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college enrollment has steadily increased during the last five years and is projected to reach nearly 21 million this fall. Also similar to K-12, more back-to-college buyers are shopping early. This year, 32% will start two months before school compared with 26% last year. And only 21% will leave shopping until the last week or two before school starts, down from 25% last year.

The NRF survey of 7,226 consumers asked about both back-to-school and back-to-college plans and was conducted June 30-July 5 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

A couple of weeks ago I discussed why some small businesses prefer to DIY their digital advertising and why others prefer paid assistance, such as Agencies — based on information from our Local Commerce Monitor™ survey of small businesses (Q3/2016). As you can see in the infographic below, these two diverse groups of small businesses differ in numerous ways.

So it was not surprising to get differing results when we asked the small businesses in our survey about what marketing tools they aren’t currently using, but would like to start using in the next 12 months. The DIYers wanted some assistance in lightening their workloads and expressed interest in marketing tools to replace activities that they were doing in-house, including reputation monitoring, ad ROI analysis, and video production. Service providers looking to sell to small business DIYers should keep in mind that these SMBs typically prefer solutions that allow them to do much of the work themselves, rather than rely on someone else. These SMBs are cost conscious, but want the service to be intuitive and easy to use.

Small businesses that prefer to work with agencies, are looking to add to or enhance current marketing tools. They wanted assistance with lead tracking, their digital presence, and reputation management (as opposed to just monitoring, which the DIYers wanted). Agencies or service providers should look at ways to add additional services or upsell existing services to these SMBs.

Suzanne Ackley
Local Commerce Monitor, Online/Interactive, SMBs

MediaRadar’s 2016 Consumer Advertising Report, analyzing ad spend, formats, and ad buying patterns among marketers, found that programmatic ad buying declined 12% in Q1 of 2017 vs. Q1 2016.

According to the ad sales intelligence platform’s data, 45,008 advertisers purchased ads programmatically in Q1 2016, while in Q1 2017, the number of programmatic advertisers dropped 12% year-over-year, down to 39,415.

“For many years, the transition of dollars from direct ad buying to programmatic seemed inevitable, and impossible to roll back.  But the near-constant drumbeat of concern over brand safety and fraud in the first six months of 2017 has slowed the tide. There is more buying of direct advertising, especially sponsored editorial, and programmatically, there is a ‘flight to quality.’ Investment is moving actively into private marketplace programmatic,” Todd Krizelman, MediaRadar’s CEO and co-founder, shared with Digital Daily News via email.

In general, researchers have been bullish on programmatic ad buying projections despite ongoing woes over fraud, a lack of transparency on pricing, consolidation in the ad tech space, brand safety, measurement, and other concerns in the beleaguered digital ad sector. An eMarketer forecast estimated that nearly four of every five U.S. digital display dollars will transact programmatically this year, amounting to $32.56 billion.

The MediaRadar report identified the top programmatic advertisers by number of placements in 2016 as Ford, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Exponation, Toyota, Verizon, Comcast, Procter & Gamble, National Amusements, NSGV, and the United States of America.

Notably, Media Radar found the number of high-CPM ad formats increasing, especially in mobile and native (which tracked the biggest gains).  The number of native ad buyers rose 74% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, representing the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format. In addition, demand for native has nearly tripled since January 2015, which logged fewer than 1,000 buyers (981). In January 2017, there were almost 3,000 (2,882).

“Advertisers will keep spending because native outperforms traditional ad units,” Krizelman said.  “Audiences look at native ads more frequently than non-native ads. Similarly, the click-through rate on mobile native is also four times higher than it is for non-native.”

He added, “Overall, native is a knockout for publishers. It helps them win more ad dollars from brands.”

The top 10 categories in 2016 for native advertising were media and entertaining, professional services, financial and real estate, technology, wholesale, home, travel, apparel and accessories, food, and toiletries and cosmetics.

The top five native advertisers by ad placements in 2016 were Secco Squared, Answers Corp., NextAdvisor, Potential Investments, and JPMorgan Chase.

When it comes to video,  Comcast, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Toyota, and Verizon ranked as the top five brands by number of video ad placement in 2016.

The top five brands in mobile by number of placements were Brown-Forman, Time  Warner, Anheuser-Busch, Simplisafe, and Liberty Interactive.

For the report, MediaRadar analyzed data from 266,324 advertisers in 2016 (and through Q1 2017) and examined patterns in their buying of digital, native, mobile, video, email, and print advertising.

by Tobi Elkin  @tobielkin, July 10, 2017

Powered by Strong Growth in Mobile, Social and Local Video, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Updated 2017 Local Advertising Forecast

Mobile Replaces Radio in the Top Five Media; Direct Mail Remains Dominant Player

CHANTILLY, Va. (July 12, 2017) – In the midyear update to its U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2017, BIA/Kelsey forecasts the overall local media marketplace to experience consistent growth from 2016-2021, reaching approximately $174 billion by 2021 (Compound Annual Growth Rate: 3.8%.) This growth will be driven by double-digit increases in mobile and social advertising and local online and mobile video, all slated to experience at least a 17 percent increase by 2021.

For 2017, the firm has slightly decreased their advertising estimate to $147.9 billion. An overall weaker than expected economy in the beginning of 2017 has led to softness in advertising revenues. However, future growth in online/digital advertising revenues will be higher than originally predicted, with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 11.9%. Over the same period, traditional advertising revenues will see a slight decrease in the 2016-2021 period with a CAGR of -0.6%.

“We are on the precipice of different advertising channels taking lead positions in the local advertising marketplace,” said Mark Fratrik, chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “Although national and local businesses still utilize a mix of digital and traditional advertising platforms, the opportunities afforded by mobile, social and video advertising are incredibly valuable due to their measurability, adoption by consumers and enhancements by technologies such as beacons and data attribution that blend extraordinarily well with today’s mobile consumer.”

According to the forecast, the top five media (revenues and share of market) contributing to the local media pie in 2017 are:

• Direct Mail: $37.1 billion (25% share)
• Local TV: $20.9 billion (14% share)
• Online / Interactive: $18.6 billion (11% share)
• Newspapers: $16 billion (11% share)
• Mobile: $16 billion (11% share)
• #6 is Local Radio: $15.6 billion

“Mobile has replaced radio in the top five media this year, but the dominant player continues to be direct mail,” commented Fratrik.

The BIA/Kelsey U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2017 is a five-year forecast that delivers a national overview of total U.S. spending in local markets and includes individual forecast breakouts for the following media: direct mail, local video, online/interactive (i.e. local search and local display), newspapers, mobile, radio, out-of-home/OOH video, directories (i.e. PYP and IYP), social and local magazines. BIA/Kelsey defines local advertising as all advertising platforms that provide access to local audiences for national, regional and local marketers.

Access to the forecast is available by purchasing the report or by subscribing to the firm’s local advertising dashboard, BIA ADVantage. For more information, email sales@biakelsey.com.

Generation Z, comprised now of young people between the ages of 14 and 23, has already eclipsed Baby Boomers and Millennials in size, and it will soon be the cause of a major disruption of media as we know it today.
Gen Z has grown up in a connected world where access to information is readily available online, and they are the youngest adopters of smartphones and other mobile technologies. Also referred to as “founders” by MTV, this ascendant generation relies heavily on mobile devices for everything from social media and communication to news sources, dating apps, and online banking and utilities.
It should come as no surprise that large media conglomerates are already feeling the effects of the evolving behaviors of this massive group given that they ingest more media via their mobile devices than through television and OTT combined. This marketplace disruption is having an impact on major content providers like ESPN, which continues to lose subscribers after having already lost 12 million subscribers over a six-year period.

This hemorrhaging of customers has ESPN’s parent company, Disney, working tirelessly to come up with new solutions to meet this demographic’s needs. Recent talent layoffs at ESPN and rumors of Disney exploring the ad-tech space — trying to figure out more effective ways to reach Gen Z consumers — demonstrate that they are shifting their focus and positioning themselves to compete with Google, Facebook, and other major players in digital media.

Verizon can also be seen chasing the opportunity to become a top digital media provider, evidenced by its slew of acquisitions ranging from AOL to Yahoo and its reported deal talks with Comcast and Disney, among others. The behaviors of Generation Z have signaled a paradigm shift in media consumption, and for today’s media leaders to keep up, they will need to re-position themselves before the momentum of Gen Z becomes overwhelming.

One area where the shifting behaviors in media consumption can be clearly recognized is retail, an industry that depends on media advertisements as the lifeblood of its sales. With Gen Z’s annual spending power of $44 billion, the consequences of effective media marketing are monumental. The key behavioral change of Generation Z with regard to retail is a preference for speed and familiarity. While previous generations were driven by finding the best deal and the most appealing in-store experience, the shopping experience of a Gen Z member can be boiled down to a few clicks on a mobile device. And as Gen Z focuses more and more on who they consider to be peers and what their peers will think of their purchases, massive celebrity endorsements are falling out of fashion in favor of micro-influencers on social media platforms.

These trends are merely the first signs of a drastic change in the media-retail relationship. Recognizing the importance of the all-powerful device in the Gen Z consumer’s pocket, retail outlets will be forced to focus on how to make their products as appealing as possible in short bursts of attention. Is it any wonder that two of the most significant social media platforms impose hard limits on user content? A single tweet can be no longer than 140 characters, while a successful snap tells its story in 10 seconds or less.

These restrictions force content creators to distill their message to the most compelling, concise version, mirroring Generation Z’s preference for efficiency. The demand for efficiency is already proving itself in retail performance and entrepreneurship: mainstream fixtures like the grocery store, an institution that has remained unchanged for a century, are now giving way to convenient alternatives like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh as efficient, user-friendly experiences become the driving force behind purchases.

“In with the new” means “out with the old,” and the disappointing recent retail earnings season demonstrates the stakes of resisting change in the fight for Gen Z customers. Media formats that used to work for retail marketing, things like the 30-second commercial, direct mail and weekly newspaper inserts, must be reinvented into branded digital content in the quest for creating new brand-loyal consumers. Whether it’s the sponsored Instagram post of a micro-influencer or a 10-second video placed on a popular website, the media choices that drive retail sales will need to be as short as possible and as targeted as possible.
The sooner media companies and retail businesses fully realize what the changing behaviors of Generation Z mean for their business models, the sooner they can adjust and respond to what will likely be their most important customers for the next few decades.

DATA MINING IS such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.

But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”

The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)

The day the story broke, Facebook quickly issued a public statement arguing that the premise of the article was “misleading” because “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state.” The social network also promised that the research on younger users “was never used to target ads.” The analysis on minors did not follow Facebook’s research review protocols, the company wrote, so Facebook would be “reviewing the details to correct the oversight,” implying that the analysis had not been sanctioned by headquarters in Menlo Park.

A spokesperson for Facebook tells WIRED that the research had been commissioned by an advertiser. But Facebook’s public statement did not make that clear or explain how the research on minors ended up in a presentation to potential advertisers.

The statement said only that the analysis had been conducted by “an Australian researcher.” But the leaked presentation obtained by The Australian was prepared by two Australian Facebook employees, both managers who connect Facebook to ad agencies.

Privacy advocates and social media researchers, some of whom signed a public letter to Mark Zuckerberg about the ethical implications of tracking minors, tell WIRED the leak arrived at a crucial time in their campaign for stricter guidelines around consumer surveillance. Between the political fallout of psychographic profiling on Facebook and recent fines against the social network for breaking European laws about data collection, they hope this controversy could have lasting implications on the way the $400 billion behemoth tracks sensitive data.

Welcome to the next phase of Facebook privacy backlash, where the big fear isn’t just what Facebook knows about its users but whether that knowledge can be weaponized in ways those users cannot see, and would never knowingly allow.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg
Five years ago, Facebook conducted a mass experiment in manipulating emotions on nearly 700,000 unsuspecting users. The company tweaked News Feeds to show random users more positive or negative content, to see if it made those users happy or sad. In that case, there was no leaked document, no smoking gun: The results were published openly in an academic journal in 2014. In response, there was an outcry over what seemed like social engineering; the company said it had been “unprepared for the reaction” and strengthened its research review process accordingly.

A spokesperson for Facebook tells WIRED that the research referenced in the newly surfaced document complied with Facebook’s privacy and data policies, such as anonymizing the data by removing any personally identifiable information, but it did not meet those enhanced research protocols, which are supposed to require additional review for studies of “sensitive groups,” like minors.

PHILADELPHIA — Hey, America’s Advertisers: You got some good news last week, didn’t you?

Facebook, where you are increasingly placing your advertising, says it will do more to keep live killings, streaming suicides and terrorist videos off its site.

With any luck the 3,000 new content monitors Facebook says it is hiring will be able to remove those sorts of hand grenades from its news feed before any can roll up next to your ads and blow your public images to kingdom come.

That followed similar news from YouTube, owned by Google, where you are spending even more of your advertising money. It announced it was looking for ways to give advertisers more say over where their ads go, after The Times of London recently discovered an automated system had inadvertently put ads from L’Oréal, Nissan and others into videos featuring the anti-Semitic stylings of a hatemonger whose name I will not publicize here. Read more

There once was a time where the path to generating revenue was clearly defined. Publishers relied on one circulation management team to deliver one newspaper to one reader at a designated address, and told that story to advertisers. Now these same companies are multimedia news organizations that have competitors of all shapes and sizes, face complicated issues such as fake news and ad fraud, and are tasked with reaching readers across many print and digital mediums. And newspapers do all this while focusing on the stories that matter to their local communities.

In a media landscape that’s complex and often uncertain, local news media brands see these challenges as a fresh opportunity to market themselves as a credible source of information for readers and a trusted place for advertisers to place their messages. Read more