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4 Sell-Side Strategies to Successfully Manage Change

May 18th, 2017   ||    by John R. Osborn   ||    No Comments

Thanks to automated TV, sell-side workplaces are seeing big changes—both in roles and in the organizations as a whole. But as with any major industry change, employees are often left wondering exactly where they’ll fit in moving forward. Currently, sell-side roles break down into the following:

  • Planning: Revenue Strategists/Supply Side Platform (SSP) Managers/Data Management Platform (DMP) experts and Data Analysts
  • Selling and Stewardship: Direct Salespeople/SSP Managers and Analysts
  • Operations and Trafficking: Ad Operations Specialists/Data Tech Specialists/SSP Managers
  • Reporting: DMP Managers/Data Analysts
  • Finance/Accounts Payable: Finance Platform experts

With those roles in mind, here are four strategies directors, managers, and employees at TV stations and station groups can—and should—implement to successfully manage these changes.

1. Take Time for Training

Both the sell-side and buy-side of automated TV buying share a need for training. And this push for development should come from every level of the organization. As suggested in my recent buy-side change management post for Videa, “Even if senior management is addressing the organizational structure, the energy behind crossover learning [training] and responsibilities is often best when it comes from the employees themselves.” Training can include everything from new technical skills to personal development and team building.

2. Understand Your Business Objectives and Strategies

How can your sell-side company add automation to best connect with automated buy-side platforms?

  • Hire/partner with a “plug-and-play” ad tech solution, such as a supply side platform.
  • Hire/partner with an ad tech provider/consultancy to customize or “white label” a company-branded solution.
  • Hire digital specialists from the online world to staff new positions across the station group.

Read through industry trade publications and your station group’s website, focusing on the news and careers sections. Initiate conversations with the “powers that be,” moving up the ladder to supervisors and company executives. Strong executives will be glad to communicate strategic objectives around automated sales, discuss future roles, and provide transitional training to those motivated to grow with the company. Now, are you willing to schedule such a meeting within the next 10 days?

3. Keep Selling Front and Center

Good sell-side people will never go out of style. And direct sales, especially to local advertisers, will always be a significant and premium foundation for success. It’s important to remember that not all (in fact, probably just a small amount of) new programmatic/automated advertising will be open auction. As TV stations earmark inventory to programmatic buying, private marketplaces and automated guaranteed buys are the most likely to be sold to clients, in addition to direct buys.

4. Bond with Clients over Change

On a human level, the uncertainty that business changes elicit on the sell-side is the same for the buy-side. Connect with your customers—whether they’re agency people or advertisers—and explore the exciting and uncertain challenges together.

Instead of taking your clients to lunch, invite them to a training program like the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Programmatic 360: Automation Decoded on June 8, 2017. Or ask them to join you at one of the many programmatic and TV summits planned for Advertising Week from September 25–29, 2017.

Communication, openness, role clarification, and transparency will be the keys to success in any transitioning organization. Always keep in mind that people aren’t afraid of change—they’re afraid of loss. And new technology doesn’t mean sell-side workplaces have to lose out.

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