- The Collaborative Approach Rules – According to Mike Kelly, president of Global Marketing Solutions at AOL-Time Warner, both agencies and media sellers “need to approach the client with objectivity, commitment and the ability/competence to make the deal happen. Traditional buyer/seller, vendor/procurer relationships are out the window.”
John Durham, COO at Interep Interactive, agrees. His sales philosophy for 2003 centers around something he calls the “Circle of Inclusion.” Whereas we’ve all spent the last several years trying to ‘think outside the box,’ according to Durham, we need to be thinking inside the circle.
”We’re all in the circle and we’re going to figure out how to make the circle work,” he says.
Silos Need to Go Away – Competition between media specialties needs to be sacrificed for the greater good of the cross-platform program.
”Any organization that wants to sell cross media better have salespeople equipped to handle all the media pieces – or at least one point of contact,” says Pam Stein, Internet marketing manager at United Airlines. “And the silos within that organization cannot get political with who gets what share of the media pie. If that starts to show as an issue for the seller, the agency and client will run away and fast.”
”They (advertisers) generally like one point person because they don’t want to deal with multiple points of contact,” says Christopher Poleway, president of the Fortune and Money Group at Time, Inc. “If you have a lot of different people going at the client from different angles, it becomes very confusing and generally you won’t be successful that way.”
Don’t Force Square Pegs into Round Holes – Not every advertiser is a candidate for a cross-media proposal. Poleway explains:
”I don’t think you can force any one of the media components on [an advertiser]; it’s got to make sense in terms of what the advertiser’s objectives are,” he says. “You might want to have an advertiser spend more in print if you’re a print guy, but if it really doesn’t make sense for them, you have to look at what’s good for the company as a whole, and give more of the advertising budget to online, for example.
”You have to be very focused about who you approach with these deals,” he says. “You can’t force these down somebody’s throat; you have to really listen to what an advertiser is trying to accomplish with their marketing objectives, and so really good listening helps you determine whether a particular client is right or not for a cross-platform opportunity.”
- Use Media Generalists -- “Our planners and managers have always handled all media, including traditional and Interactive,” says Dave Smith, CEO of Mediasmith, Inc. “As a result, they are already equipped to evaluate these kinds of deals as they come in.”
- Recognize Interactivity as the Linchpin – Although the interactive media business still requires quite a bit of work with regard to standards and measurement, it’s also much further along than its traditional cousins in terms of providing an active brand experience for consumers. This makes interactive media an ideal anchor for an integrated campaign. As Durham so eloquently put it, “Interactive may be the stepchild, but it’s at the table.”