Successful publishers offering advertisers services to find, retain, and optimize customer audience relationships.
Successful publishers offering advertisers services to find, retain, and optimize customer audience relationships.

One paradox that escapes the sensibilities of many media advertising sales professionals is that you (the media representative) are no longer the only publisher in the room. Your client most likely has a Web and mobile site, social media platforms, e-mail marketing vehicles, and a host of other digital points of visibility.

Your client is a publisher.

This “paradox” is further complicated by the fact that many media organisations fail to acknowledge and understand that today the typical “advertising” client is actually a marketing client. Their needs transcend simple advertising exposure.

In the age of digital marketing, many of your “advertisers” are as apt to be discussing audience metrics as they are customers. Because today, many of their best customers have become part of the client’s digital audience.

The customer relationship has changed for your client, and it has changed for you as well.

This reality brings with it a whole new paradigm and major role change for the savvy account executive.

You (the media representative) may well still approach the client with the perspective that your role is to provide/sell the client access to your audience.

However, from the client’s perspective your role is to help them increase the size of their audience(s) – visitors to their Web site(s), friends or followers associated with their social media, opt-ins to their e-mail newsletters, users of their proprietary apps, etc.

And the best way(s) to meet the client’s needs may have very little to do with your newspaper or Web site audiences.

Today, you (the media representative) are most effective in managing your client relationship when you function as much as a service provider/broker as you do as a media audience representative. When you knowledgeably provide SEO/SEM services, Web hosting and/or design, audience targeting across a myriad of Web sites (not just your own), and an array of additional services, you enable your client to find, retain, and optimise customer/audience relationships.

Regardless of how successful your organisation is in developing its own audience in the digital space, your Web audience will never be as dominant in context as your newspaper was/is in the traditional media environment. And many of your local clients now have the capacity to market globally, further diminishing the significance of your local audience leadership.

If you seek to be your client’s strategic partner, you can no longer simply be the local “media rep.” Rather, you take the credibility and local relationship you (hopefully) enjoy and expand your “solutions” to meet the needs of your client.