Media Ad Sales Forces evolve into Marketing Consultants

Once upon a time, the sole revenue source of local media -TV, radio, newsprint – was advertising. Media was a controlled channel with high barriers to entry (TV stations cost money). Then Internet media – Google AdSense, SEO and Craigslist – chiselled at mainstream media’s revenue model. Now social media marketing looks like it’s reaching a tipping point as small businesses start setting up their Facebook pages and Twitter campaigns for free.

Local business now have marketing options, and the sales game has completely changed. Pre-social media, nobody liked getting a call from a salesperson, now it’s the kiss of death to call a client and ask “how about an ad campaign this month?”.

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GannettLocal is Gannett’s new positional initiative to engage local business by offering up their new service as marketing consultants. Simply put, mainstream media needs to maintain their perch in a marketing campaign. By filling out an on-site marketing survey, GannettLocal recommends a template strategic marketing plan that ensures Gannett’s services get a piece of the budget.

For example, if a small business has $1,000/month marketing budget, Gannett Local may recommend the following resource allocation:

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If a small business has zero marketing budget, Gannett Local may recommend:

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Conclusion:

Sales tactics now require value propositions to even get their foot in the door. Mainstream media is retooling its sales forces into consulting forces. It’s a sea change in the role of sales, and the reason why everybody’s title is advisor, consultant or strategic planner.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.