A strong ad sales team makes a massive difference in publishers’ RPMs today and will play a critical role in publisher revenue when third-party cookies go away.
But scaling a sales effort isn’t something you can do overnight. It takes a long time to develop the right ad products and relationships, so today’s ad companies that are just starting to invest in sales are already too late.
Thankfully, our sales team has been at this for years, building connections that allow AdThrive publishers to compete next to massive publishing conglomerates like Meredith, Conde Nast, and Vox. That’s no small feat!
On top of that, advertisers plan their budgets far in advance. For example, advertisers might start planning their Q4 holiday campaigns in June! And some advertisers plan campaigns for a full year at a time, so they’ll begin to determine 2022 investments as early as September 2021.
Again, AdThrive publishers already have a running start here, and we are leaning more heavily into sales this year than ever!
Since advertiser partnerships are a big part of the magic of AdThrive that you don’t get to hear about every day, we wanted to share a preview of what’s ahead for 2021.
Our sales team is growing by leaps and bounds
Just like we have many teams working behind the scenes to serve your business and bring you cutting-edge resources, our sales team strives to give advertisers the same excellent service!
Our sales team consists of two main groups: “feet on the street” and “strategy wizards.”
Our sales directors — Corey, Tara, Emma, and Kelly — find and connect with the right decision-makers at companies, make strong pitches throughout the process, and ensure our sales programs’ overall success.
Our strategists — Anna, Amy, Rebecca, and Lindsay — support them every step of the way. They craft the pitch decks, build custom contextual channels, traffic the ad campaigns, and monitor to make sure we exceed client expectations.
Advertising does not succeed with a ‘set it and forget it’ attitude. It takes a village.
And, we have a great team in the village!
We aim to be as proactive and hands-on as possible, which is why advertisers love working with us.
Our team is currently nine strong, and we’re adding to our village this year with another six dedicated sales team members!
In 2021, our growing team will build more ad products and break through with that many more advertisers, growing your ad revenue for many years to come.
We’re developing more unique ad products
I often think about selling media (ad products) as an ice cream sundae.
Sometimes advertisers are interested in the basics, say vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
But, most frequently, it’s all the bells and whistles — the hot fudge sauce, sprinkles, and cherry on top — that make the sundae appealing.
The right ad products are essential to why an advertiser chooses to opt for direct-sold campaigns in the first place and even why they’ll select one publisher partner (like AdThrive) over another.
It’s up to us to show what makes our offering unique. What are the sprinkles and cherries that make advertisers choose OUR sundae?
These more customized experiences often garner even higher prices than standard ad units. We’ll be testing a bunch of these opportunities to offer advertisers more exciting options that secure spending across AdThrive sites.
Satisfying advertisers’ insatiable appetite for data
Third-party cookies served to cement the value of targeted advertising, and publishers’ first-party data is the best way to save our buyers from a data famine.
In the cookieless future, there won’t be any data aggregators who can track people across sites.
If advertisers want to know something about consumers, they’ll need to go to the source: either their own first-party data or publishers’ first-party data. The data our sales team can offer will increase our win rate on these high-value campaigns.
While we already have a robust contextual targeting system, we’re adding even more capabilities to it this year.
We’re investing in four main areas:
- More data sources
- Ways to integrate our data with advertisers’ data
- New data platform features
- Packaging everything for our buyers
From our new content cluster approach to classifying demographics to the local weather, we’re exploring tons of privacy-conscious data sources that add value and insight for advertisers and respect user privacy.
Merging publisher and advertiser data through trusted, safe platforms like “data bunkers” (hint: AdThrive publisher data never leaves the bunker) will also help us tell advertisers more about their customers.
These investments to make it fast and easy for our strategy wizards to create and package ideas for advertisers will help AdThrive publishers get the most benefit from their first-party data!
As we build solutions to replace third-party cookies, we’re leaving no stone unturned.
Our sales team’s efforts present a huge opportunity to make sure our AdThrive publishers can weather this storm — and any storm.
We’re so excited to kick everything up another notch this year.