Local Media Sales Managers Predict Growth Tempered By Churn: Report
March 5, 2015 at 1:56 PM (PT)
Media sales/executive managers are optimistic for 2015, in spite of the fact that 46% did not meet their 2014 sales goals. More than 50% of those surveyed forecast revenue growth of 6% or more in 2015, with digital a prime mover.
With average percentage of digital ad revenues expected to jump by more than 50% in 2015, according to the recently released 2015 STATE OF MEDIA SALES survey conducted by the online publication MEDIA SALES TODAY. Other revenue gains are most likely to come from small businesses, healthcare, recruiting/employment businesses and real estate.
These initial findings are being presented at the KEY EXECUTIVES MEGA-CONFERENCE today in ATLANTA by MEDIA SALES TODAY publisher and SALES DEVELOPMENT SERVICES Presidnet/CEO C. LEE SMITH.
Other highlights of the 6th annual STATE OF MEDIA SALES survey include:
--Television sales/executive managers surveyed show the economy bouncing back with 72% predicting increases in revenue from local-direct accounts. However, respondents say sector improvements are narrow, with expected increases in ad revenue only in the automotive and healthcare sectors. These gains will need to offset the loss of political spending from the 2014 elections.
--Most U.S. newspaper sales/executive managers surveyed had a revenue decrease in 2014 over 2013. Most respondents report declines of only 1 to 5% however. One in three newspaper sales/ executive managers say it is harder to manage advertiser churn (lost accounts and decreased spending from remaining accounts) over the past year.
--Radio staff turnover appears to be less of a challenge with just over 3% of management citing this as a biggest area of frustration, significantly lower than at other media types
“An improving economy has afforded some media sales teams the luxury of reverting to their comfort zones - selling traditional products where they feel they can generate more revenue with a higher margin",” says SMITH. “While this might be productive in the short-term, the resulting lack of attention to digital growth is not in their best interests long-term."
--Staff turnover of 25-33% (depending on media type) is increasingly challenging nationwide across all media types. A whopping 77% of respondents said it has gotten even harder to hire high quality salespeople than it was just one year ago.
“The media industry today does not have a sales problem, it has a retention problem," says SMITH. “Finding ways to slow or reverse churn -- of both advertisers and sales staff -- is critical to revenue and profitability in 2015 and beyond.”