Economic uncertainty points to 3 ways ad sales team can help clients

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


Our advertisers are looking at new paths. Are we helping them on those paths?

With external factors around us we can’t control — inflation and an economic recession — we are seeing issues in our industry (be it readers cutting back on household spend, advertisers scrapping or reducing ad campaigns, etc). Consequently, the second half of 2022 may well be difficult for many media companies. Difficult that is, if we don’t prepare for it. Now!

Media companies and their advertisers will have to navigate whichever direction the economy goes.
Media companies and their advertisers will have to navigate whichever direction the economy goes.

On the advertising front, it seems that our sales people are being tasked to achieve more with less (e.g. dealing with shrinking budgets, lower staffing levels), with those teams under huge pressure to deliver results in a world full of influencing factors outside their jurisdiction.

1. Adapt to a changing world

However, adapting to a changing world has become a part of the advertiser’s and sales person’s raison d’être. There have been many ups and downs over the years.

Our sales teams, for example, have had to adapt to survive a global pandemic. They survived by getting rid of old work systems and processes, as well as the short-term tactics that didn’t support a longer-term growth for their clients. All this by taking onboard, flexible, real-time sales strategy thinking that they could indeed control.

And in that process, sales teams saw they had more ability and “gumption” to rise above adversity than they thought they had. As an industry, time and time again, we have shown we are resilient (multi-channel selling, print to digital, social media influences, etc.)

And as the media industry works harder to deliver highly impactful sales results, getting through the next phase of adaptation as economic conditions fluctuate will take a certain determination and drive towards efficiency.

This should be the overarching focus within our sales teams for internal (short-term at least), future growth — growth in knowledge, empathy with advertisers, team building, and, ultimately, sales results. 

2. Start relying on first-party data

Advertisers will continue looking for the next big change within the advertising industry, where they must focus on the right strategies for the environment or market. Start exploiting first-party data that allows those advertisers (with the help and guidance of our sales teams) to have a more complete view of the steps needed the options available.

First-party data is the best option for media companies and advertisers.
First-party data is the best option for media companies and advertisers.

Our sales teams can’t control the market. But they can reassess, refocus, and provide expert advice and insights to help the advertiser thrive during these uncertain times.

By firstly refocusing on taking the next/first best action for the advertiser, the ad industry will, in turn, refocus itself to come out even stronger and more educated on the other side. 

3. Focus on the right people

Now, more than ever, is the time to stay focused on generating the best opportunities for increased revenue, as suggested sales campaigns simply based on high-volume and consequently, possibly low-quality leads won’t deliver the results advertisers expect.

Advertisers (be it via agencies or direct) can’t afford to wait too long to be “back in the game” to thrive and generate real, impactful results. If the buyers of their products and services are in the market ready to buy — maybe due to a pent-up demand, post pandemic, and the sales team isn’t acting swiftly — they’ll just go to your competitors. Be ready. Be proactive. Be insightful for them.

If you’d like to subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter, INMA members can do so here.

About Mark Challinor

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.