State of Media Sales 2016: Revenues Increase, Digital Expectations High

Wed Mar 30, 2016

Courtney Huckabay

In the 7th annual State of Media Sales survey, respondents made it clear that they think and feel positive about revenue for 2016!    presentation

In regard to the sales survey takers are responsible for, 41.5% forecast revenue to increase 1%-5% for the calendar year 2016, versus the calendar year 2015. The study specifically excluded any political ad sales revenue from this question and its responses.

You might be asking, “Now, where, exactly, do they think these increases are going to come from?” And that’s a great question! Media salespeople and their managers believe the health care and automotive industry sectors will provide the biggest increase to revenues, with 53% forecasting health-care increases and 49% predicting increases in automotive media buys.

Later in the survey, we did ask about political ad spending for 2016. And 69% of those in the media sales industry envision the political industry sector bringing in more advertising revenue at their organizations.

You also might be wondering what kinds of people took the time to tell us about their jobs in media sales. Well, for 2016, SalesFuel polled 200 media sales managers, 136 executive managers and 742 sales representatives across all types of traditional and digital media. Respondents had to self-identify as current employees of a media company in the United States or Canada to be eligible to complete the survey.

The results also made it evident that media salespeople and managers are trying to stay current in the ever-changing world of digital advertising and digital marketing services. The digital transformation is a pretty hot topic in sellers’ minds, goals and actions, too. The average of overall sales revenue expected to come from digital advertising/marketing services in 2016 turned out to be 22.96%. Newspapers forecasted the most, with an average of 33.3% of revenue expected from digital.

So, how do media sales teams plan to achieve their digital sales goals? Are they adequately staffed to meet the demand for digital marketing services? We wondered too. So, we asked: “What best describes who in your company is responsible for selling digital advertising and marketing services?” 80% of respondents said the same sales team sells both digital and legacy/non-digital.

But you need to read between the lines to figure out what these numbers really tell us.

More often than not, a media organization’s financial realities do not support separate digital sales staffs and separate legacy sales staffs. The truth is, salespeople today HAVE to sell BOTH. But they need to be making the BEST of this situation.

“My advice is to use the rapid turnover of your sales team to your advantage,” SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith recommends. “All new hires should be technically proficient and very comfortable with search engines, social networks and mobile apps. Legacy reps who stay on board must receive extensive retraining on digital and be given specific sales quotas on your digital products. Traditional media pays the bills today. Digital revenue is your company’s future (or lack thereof).”

Smith offers even more tips to deal with managing media sales staffs and revenue expectations in his upcoming State of Media Sales White Paper. You’ll be able to download the FREE white paper here at Media Sales Today in the coming weeks.

From January 7 through February 2, 2016, SalesFuel conducted an online survey of 1,078 media sales managers, executive managers and sales representatives about their perceptions of the current state of the industry. This is our 7th annual State of Media Sales study.

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About Courtney Huckabay

Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel and AudienceSCAN. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

View all posts by Courtney Huckabay