It is a very exciting time to be a media rep.
When there is change there is opportunity. And the current cultural communication revolution offers media reps loads of opportunities. Today more than ever media reps need to transform from sales people to marketing people. Gone are the days when a sales person walks into an advertiser representing a single medium that offers a solution for that advertiser.
As media’s digital content distribution system expands, the number of advertising opportunities grows and advertisers want to know where the best places for them to reach their target market are. Advertisers are experts in their respective businesses and they expect the media rep to be an expert in the advertising business. It is much like the investment business.
It used to be that we bought stocks from stockbrokers. Today we buy stocks, bonds, insurance, IRA’s, 401-k’s, REITS etc. from financial advisors…people who find out what our financial goals are for kids college, retirement etc., what our time horizons are, tolerance for risk etc.. Then calling on their knowledge and understanding of the investment business they work with us to develop a plan to achieve our objective on a specific timeline. Sounds like what media reps need to do with an advertiser.
It starts with developing a relationship and becoming the preferred supplier to that advertiser. And we do that by proving to the advertiser that we have the multi-media knowledge and understanding to help them invest their ad dollars. We are not just a print, broadcast, outdoor rep.
When you go to see other professional problem solvers like doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, etc. you see their certificates on the wall. But with media reps we don’t have those certificates hanging on the wall. If we have anything it is a couple of initials on our business card. We have to impress our clients in other ways…and that includes our knowledge of marketing and media. Not only what we know is important but also how we communicate that in person or in emails, letters etc. and other helpful ways.
It is a highly competitive world out there, not only for the products we sell but also for the media rep trying to develop that preferred supplier relationship. It starts with knowledge.
It all starts with us. Here are some guiding thoughts…
- We need to put ourselves in the advertiser’s shoes
- Help them by figuring out not only what they want to know but also what they need to know
- Be knowledgeable and share what we know about their business, eg who their competitors are, are they growing or declining
- All of their media alternatives…the strengths, the weaknesses, the synergies
- Everyone knows the advertising world is changing fast. So we need to keep our advertisers abreast of the changes
Note that these suggestions focus on the advertiser and not on the media we represent. When we see other professionals, doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, they are sales people too. They want to sell their services to achieve their financial goals. BUT they are focused on US. And the more they focus on us, the more credibility they develop.
The world around us is changing fast and this means big opportunity for those of us who are prepared to take on the challenge of change. Advertisers are looking for media reps who can help them understand all of the changes, the media opportunities and help them meet their business goals by investing their ad dollars in the right media. Advertisers don’t want to be left behind their competitors. Advertisers have a lot of things on their mind and they want media reps who will help them.
For media reps this means increasing our marketing and multi-media knowledge and using multi-media and marketing tools such as The Media Audit to keep us on top of our game. The more we know about our local markets the more we can help our advertisers.
By focusing on our clients and using The Media Audit to know more about our local markets (retail and media) we will become the preferred supplier and build revenue for our clients our media companies and ourselves. It’s a triple win.