Eight Ideas to Capture Digital Marketing with Success


Around every corner is a new digital media marketing option: OTT, audio/podcasting, CCT, video, and more. These new marketing technology ideas are awesome, but as salespeople, we often have new marketing solutions dropped on us and we are expected to work our sales magic. Sure, there is a dream out there that we as sales pros would be involved in the total process of new media launches. But let’s just live with the reality that leadership normally does not involve us in the creation of new marketing tools. That’s fine—to all the leaders out there, we recognize this as a fact and would love to be involved from the beginning. To my fellow media sales warriors, perhaps if we were not so negative about new ideas, we would be asked to be involved from day one. 

But if you have been dealt a new media option like video or podcasting, how would you sell it quickly and effectively?  I would encourage you to consider these eight ideas for selling new media marketing options with success.  

  1. Sell with visuals. Bradford Research tells us that 65 percent of people are visual learners. Yet, I observe that most media reps are phone or auditory-based sellers. Meaning, we talk to tell; we do not show to tell. If COVID brought us anything good, it is the fact that almost everyone can participate in a Zoom meeting. Selling new technology requires visuals, or you are connecting with less than 35 percent of people in an optimal way.
  2. Stop designing sales tools for eighth graders. It has been a common practice to design sales tools in such a simple way that even an eighth grader can understand them. Have you met today’s middle school students? They can out tech most adults. When selling new marketing ideas like video or audio, take the idea and create sales tools to explain to your mother. (Love you, Mom. I truly mean this.) Try to remove as much tech lingo as you can from the explanation and focus on the value that the new marketing options bring to the advertiser. Podcasting is great for thought leadership or education. Video is great for showcasing customer testimonials to drive new business. Video is also a great way to aid in social media advertising impact. Facebook tells us that video posts are viewed 30 times more than non-video posts. Never forget, in media sales, price is what an advertiser pays. The value is the benefit they receive from you. Everything should be focused on value and/or benefit.      
  3. As a sales strategy, try playing the “I have a new idea game” with your advertisers. This is a fun game that I use to sell new marketing ideas. The email would look something like, “Hi Bonnie. I have a new idea that I think you will really like. Could I have five minutes to share? I would like to share this with you first before offering it to others. Would Tuesday or Wednesday after 2 p.m. work for a quick chat?” Do NOT explain the option in an email. Do NOT attach a sales sheet. Do NOT try and explain the new marketing technology is over the phone.
  4. I love to sell new marketing technology ideas based on FOMO. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real. Most people do not like to be left out when things are new. I will drive this fear home with an email that might look something like, “Hi, Bill. I have an idea that would be perfect for you. Before sharing this idea with Jane Doe Realtor, Bob Doe Insurance, or Rex Reed Jewelers, I wanted to share it with you first. If you are not interested, let me know and I will move on to Jane. Thanks so much.” Be ethical in all you do in sales. This technique has sold a lot for me over the years. Just to be clear, you cannot use this technique more than once in most cases.
  5. Sell based on perceived exclusivity. The word perceived is important here. I am not offering exclusivity, but I am positioning my sales pitch as a near-exclusive offer. The email might look something like, “Hi Julie. I have a new idea and we truly only have room for two companies to be involved. I feel like your company would deeply benefit from this idea and I thought of you first. What about a quick chat after lunch today?” Clearly, an exclusive offer would be best, but that is limiting in our business. The illusion of near exclusivity can be a powerful sales tool.
  6. Play the “Could I get your advice?” game. This is similar to the “I have an idea” game. The email would look something like, “Hi Jill. We are launching a new marketing idea and I would really like to get your advice on how we can best present it to business owners like you. Could I drop by tomorrow after 3 for a quick chat?” Advertisers love to offer advice. This is a great idea when you want to get buy-in on new marketing options, or marketing options that are not selling. This is not a bait and switch scenario. I like to approach this conversation with a very open mind. Then, I can give feedback to my leadership as well. This is an even better idea to deploy before you set pricing or invest too much in the launching of a new marketing option.
  7. Go into every meeting with ideas and examples ready to go. I have been in the media sales and marketing business since 1991. Every successful sales rep I have ever worked with has never said to an advertiser “What would you like to do with my media channel?” Instead, they have always shared ideas of how the advertiser can use the media option, idea, or channel to its fullest. Asking an advertiser to paint their own picture of potential is foolish. Lead them. Guide them. Help them be successful. Meet in advance with your team to uncover ideas that you can present with the new media option.
  8. Get your client’s success path squared away before you pitch a new media product. There is nothing worse than selling a new marketing option, getting the advertiser excited, and then seeing the support team or client success team drop the ball. I have seen this happen over in my career, so much so that when I worked as a group publisher, I once refused to sell a digital marketing idea until the client success team could prove that they were ready to roll it out and truly offer white-glove service to my clients.

In the end, it is not so much about selling a new shiny object as it is about working hard to grow your relationship with your advertisers and helping their business succeed. 

Ryan Dohrn is a 30-year veteran media sales pro and marketer.  He is an Emmy Award winning motivational speaker and is a sales coach to more than 200 media companies. Find him at 360AdSales.com.


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