I have a confession. Sometimes I work for the other side. Yep, it's true. Sometimes an agency friend calls me to make media buys or a strategy for one of her clients. It's usually high-tech, because that's my core background. And I love doing it because it's a change of pace and a good perspective shift and I always learn something.
Just recently in fact, I learned that I hate product sales sheets that don't have an immediate call to action. I want to be able reach the right sales person immediately. How hard is it? You want me to buy, right? So please provide me at least one way to move on to the next step.
Don't make me click around only to find a generic "Contact Us" form that will take you three days to see and forward to the right rep. Like all media buyers, I'm in a hurry. I've read the product description and even reviewed the specs - I know what I want to buy or I know what I need to ask to determine whether I want to buy - please let me talk to someone so I can buy!
That's the great thing about online, right? I can click to email or even click to call; I can put in my zip code and get the right name...so let me. Please, I'm begging you, TAKE ME TO YOUR SELLERS!
Here's my take: It catches the eye just fine. But my brain turned off in seconds (by the second picture) because I thought it was a makeup ad aimed at teenage girls. It's actually a Benjamin Moore paint ad and I'm a PRIME TARGET (house owner who absolutely needs to paint and loves great colors). I watched this ad in it's entirety because it's my job. I NEVER would have known it was a paint ad otherwise. I tuned out before I got to the RELEVANCY.
My advice: Put relevancy in the first 2-3 seconds if not sooner, or lose your target audience's attention.
I'm doing research on mobile advertising for a training module. It's making me sad.If you are selling a really cool mobile product, email me, would you?I wanted to get all up in Jack Marshall's face after his "The Mobile Banner: A Dog That Won't Hunt" article on Digiday.com, but I kind of agree with him. I'm just not seeing anything that compelling in mobile advertising. SMS is pretty good; I've liked a lot of what marketers are doing there. But mobile ads just aren't baked yet. Am I wrong? I'm totally okay with being wrong. Send me examples of good mobile stuff. I'll love it.
Here is an ad that uses movement and faces/body parts for GOOD not EVIL (as opposed to the icky one I posted a few months ago). Plus, they get to relevancy almost immediately (using people watching fish and then they add the logo pretty quick).
I really, really like this ad. Plus I love Monterey Bay Aquarium. But aside from that, the ad does a lot of things right.
My only nitpick is the call to action, "Dive In". It's clever, but I'm not entirely sure it has enough "carrot" (i.e. reward, benefit, lure) to make me click. Just sayn'.
See what you think:
Yes, I hate them, too.
It seems like they're everywhere and they kind of are, but they're also (sorry, I hate to say it but...) really good at catching the eye. Sigh. I wish it weren't so, because I'm sick of seeing them. And I hate much about these types of ads, but we may as well take our lessons where we find them...these ads have a 1) moving 2) face. Both of which are primary eye catchers.
You can use these primary eye catchers for good, as opposed to evil. If you have, send me examples. I'd rather post your good ones that use these icky ones.
I'm seeing so many online ads lately that feature cutsie intros that catch the eye - but don't keep it. I try to watch, because I'm in the business, but even I can't focus that long. The designer has misjudged my interest in his/her cleverness.
Online advertising can't keep attention the same way broadcast or print can. Curiosity, mystery - whatever technique you call it - doesn't work online. I get bored unless I can immediately spot what's in it for ME. I call this "relevancy". The ad should catch my eye and then immediately tell me why I care, what's in it for me, why do I want to listen.
There should be an industry standard 3-second test. If your online ad doesn't grab my eye and tell me why I want to look at it in less than 3 seconds, it needs to be reworked.
Relevancy: could be a product picture or a headline "Lose Weight," "Tattoo Removal," "Free Breakfast With Overnight Stay," but it needs to immediately reveal the interest to the target market. It's a little like calling someone by name "Hey cheap traveler!" "Hey embarrassed tattoo girl!" You get the idea.
So don't be cutsie. Be relevant. I would hate to miss a goo
I just went over some changes to sales tools that a local media client of mine is making. I did a bunch of sales sheets for them 3 months ago, and now I need to redo them. I did a quick tally of why these changes were necessary:
And apparently 4 new products will be out next month.Here's my question: Why? Why create a large, complicated, ever-changing, constantly tweaked product catalog?
- 2 Product name changes
- 7 Minor but significant product functionality changes
- 1 Major product functionality change (but no change in product name)
- 2 Size changes
Do you really need anything so robust, especially for local media sales? The clients understand a fraction, your sales team just a bit more. It's such a burden for everyone - where is the benefit? To be honest, I haven't asked management yet. Well, no, I did ask one senior digital sales manager, and she said it's what she was handed when she got there.
She had suggested simplifying it - maybe it would happen on the next redesign.I hope so, because while I applaud traditional media's embrace of complicated digital ad product, I think some of it is serious overkill and only contributes to the fear and confusion of the sales people trying to understand it.
How can you expect your sales people to NOT be intimidated? In short, the K.I.S.S. philosophy works well for product catalogs. Embrace simplicity.
Yep. I believe a digital specialist, or whatever you want to call them, is a good idea. Might be someone you already have on staff who grabbed onto digital on their own, or it might be someone new. The bigger issues are the skill set and how set up the role.
Think of the specialist as only partly a sales person, because the ultimate goal is for them to ramp up the whole team and provide back up in extra-demanding sales calls. If you create a job that is only about four-legged sales calls, they'll be burnt in 6 months. And the rest of your sales team will be 6 months closer to being outdated than they were before you hired the specialist.You want someone who can sell, train, and encourage. Look for those skill sets carefully because it can be a trick. Good sales people aren't always team players. Add in the need for training and nurturing skills, and you count out a lot of star sales performers.
But just because it isn't easy doesn't mean it isn't worth it. A whole team operating even at 50% on digital sales will sell a whole heck of a lot more than 1 person selling at 110%. Financially you have
to have someone who can ramp up the team.Then once you find the right person, set them up to succeed:
The best digital specialists I've seen know the technology down cold, but can also explain it simply and like to do that. They're encouraging but can yank a chain when necessary. In fact, they look a lot like a great sales manager. And they have a role and a company behind them that has set them up to succeed. It's more than the right hire.
- Don't put the whole digital revenue goal on their head. EVERYONE on the team should have a digital revenue goal and be responsible for it. And the commission plan has to be more than mice nuts. If you can't make the new media worth it, you won't see your team grow no matter how skilled or respected your specialist.
- Don't grade them on how many sales calls they attend. Try how many new digital proposals are coming out or won instead. Or use other markers that were failing before the hire - average digital sale; digital renewals; % of sold inventory, etc.
- Do have them manage a training budget. Yeah, I know, that sounds self promotional. But regardless of what they do with it, they should have one.
- Do allocate support resources to sales tools.The team will rely heavily on demos, sales sheets and the like until they are fully comfortable with the medium and your product catalog.
- Don't hire to junior for your specialist. Your team needs to be able to respect the specialist, and accept guidance from them. You'll find great digital gurus, but if they don't have some sales chops and seasoning, they won't have the impact with your team you need.
Short answer: For local media sales? Hell no. For national, probably not for long.
Long answer: There are those who support the concept of two teams - the existing, traditional media team and a new, digital-only team. But if we're talking about local media sales, I have to disagree with the two-team theory. It's 1) too confusing for the customer, 2) creates a competitive environment that isn't actually as productive as it might initially sound, and 3) as time goes on, it will become more and more unwieldy and impractical.
As long as there is one buyer, there should be one owner of the account, regardless of media type. Your advertising customers deserve a "solution", not endless menu items delivered by multiple, often competing, people. It's common knowledge that advertising messages need to be integrated, no matter the media. You're going to look 1998ish if you don't have a mixed media voice.
Now, for national sales teams where there are two separate buyers, then possibly two teams make sense in terms of man power, skill set and territory coverage. But integration is the new black in media buying, too, so two teams aren't likely to be viable for long. And even when the nuts and bolts of buying is media segregated, there is normally someone who wants to see the big, integrated picture. So at some point up the food chain, integration is necessary.
Secondly, I've been marketing support to segregated teams selling to the same buyer before. It gets competitive. And ugly. It ends up not looking at all good to the client. At first it might seem like the dog-eat-dog hustle will motivate your teams to get more out of the customer, but usually they're just taking bites out of each other. Honestly - been there done that, TWICE. Both times one team was painfully disassembled with management mumbling the whole time, "What were we thinking?"
Lastly, if the client POV doesn't get you the sales management of two teams will. Envision is you will: separate commission plans, parallel management personnel, support resources allocation, communication issues, professional development plans and budgets, and on and on.
So what do you do? A specialist for four-legged sales calls is a proven strategy. It has it's own challenges- finding the right person, designing a supportive but not dependent role, encouraging digital learning vs digital leaning on the specialist - but it's not nearly as tough as hiring an extra team.