Should you hire dedicated digital media salespeople or train your legacy reps to sell new online media? At least for local media, Gordon Borrell, President of Borrell Associates, has the data and the answers. His organization maintains a database that measures how well 5,200 local media companies are progressing with their digital revenue.
When he surveyed these organizations on the make up of their sales force and thier performance he discovered the following:
- There are about 80,500 media sales reps selling local media (local radio, TV, yellow pages, newspapers etc.).
- About 51,000 of them are "digital ready", meaning they are expected to sell some amount of digital advertising.
Here's the kicker:
- Organizations with dedicated digital reps average 2.5x more digital revenue than those who have their traditional reps selling digital.
Another interesting finding was that the percent of reps who are "digital ready" varied significantly by industry:
- Newspapers: 85% digital ready
- TV: 50-60% digital ready
- Radio: 15% digital ready
That is not a typo, for radio, 15%.
All this is reported in a video created by media consultant Mark Ramsey, President of Mark Ramsey Media, in which he interviews Borrell.
If you want to hear both Ramsey and Borrell speculate on the near comical failure of radio to capitalize on digital media, play the video. If you have anything to do with radio, it's a real eye opener.