Digital Specific Account Execs Outperform those Focused on Print and Digital

 From – full story here

This report should be interesting for newspapers and magazines still determining the best way to sell their digital space.

Online Revenue Better for Local Media Cos. With Digital-Only Reps

January 23, 2012


A “one-staff-fits-all” strategy may not be the best approach for local media companies, according to
a January 2012 report from Borrell Associates, which finds that sites
with dedicated digital account executives (AEs) outperform those without
by a factor of 2.5. In fact, gross online revenue per sales
representative (online dollars divided by all representatives selling
digital products) is roughly $186,000 for sites with digital AEs,
compared to $73,300 for those without any dedicated AEs.

Among TV stations the disparity is even greater: those with sales
representatives dedicated exclusively to selling online advertising
average almost 3 times the gross revenue of those without ($208,200 vs.

Online-Only AEs Hiring Down

46% of local media respondents reported having an online-only AE,
down from 60% in 2009. Radio sported the lowest average of digital-only
sellers, with just 11% of radio companies employing at least one. Only 2
in 5 local TV stations had at least one online-only AE, although the
majority of newspapers (55%) did.

Digital AEs Perform Well With Consultative Sales Approach

sales managers seemed pleased with their representatives’ performance
using the consultative approach, with the majority rating their
performance good to outstanding. However, there was a clear difference
between companies working with dedicated digital AEs and those without:
managers with digital AEs reported an excellent to outstanding rank at a
rate of 56%, while those without a dedicated digital staff reported
that satisfaction level at a rate of 32%.

Similarly, managers whose staff included digital AEs were far more
likely than those without to rank their staff’s understanding of digital
products as excellent to outstanding (58% vs. 11%).

Other Findings:

  • 15% of managers who had no digital-only AEs on staff rated their staff’s motivation to sell digital products as poor.
  • Less than half of managers without digital-only AEs said that their
    sales representatives had a good to outstanding level of understanding
    of the basic business trends for their advertising customers.

About the Data: Borrell’s analysis was derived from: an
online survey of 345 local media sales managers that yielded 230 usable
responses, conducted November 2011 to January 2012; Borrell’s database
of online revenue and number of dedicated sales representatives at more
than 5,100 local media companies in the US and Canada; and a survey of
7,805 local businesses conducted January to December, 2011.


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