Marketing and Sales

How often have you seen anybody with the title Marketing and Sales Director? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in my fifteen-year PR career – it’s invariably Sales first and Marketing second. Why? Because the majority of organizations fundamentally misunderstand the inter-relationship between sales and marketing & PR.

When times are tough, organizations traditionally pour money into sales activities and look to cut back on PR and marketing spend.  The thinking is that by focusing more effort and investment on sales, they increase the chances of closing deals.  The truth is that when things are tough for the sales team, organizations should be investing more in marketing – not less.

  • Marketing and PR help you correctly position a product or service within a market, ensuring that people understand why they should choose you over a competitor
  • Marketing and PR help you deliver a personal message to a mass audience of prospective customers
  • Marketing and PR deliver in-bound sales leads
  • The opportunity cost per lead for marketing and PR is a fraction of having a sales representative find it

So, next time you’re thinking about cutting marketing and PR spend ask yourself one question.  What would you rather have the sales reps doing: chasing leads or closing deals? You’ll also find that the chances of closing a deal resulting from a well crafted marketing and PR campaign are significantly higher than from speculative outbound sales calls.

What businesses can learn from KONY 2012

I wrote a few weeks ago about why I believed the call to action by advocacy group Invisible Children in their KONY2012 campaign was wrong. I also tweeted last week that the relatively muted response to its #PaintTheNight day of action further validated my view.

The point I made in my earlier post was that it didn’t matter how many people saw the KONY2012 video – unless the call to action was right, there was little chance of achieving the stated objectives. We can argue about the specifics, but given more than 100m people have watched the video, a relatively small percentage of that number actually participated in Invisible Children’s ‘Paint The Night’ guerrilla campaign on April 20th.

The purpose, at least my understanding of it, of making Joseph Kony famous was to force Governments and NGOs to do something to stop his alleged rein of terror in Uganda. Painting the night was unlikely to achieve this. I’d contend that making anybody famous – whether it’s Joseph Kony or a local business – on its own will not achieve anything.

So, what can businesses learn from this?

  • Having a video go viral may is great for brand awareness. It won’t, in itself, ensure that people take action or help you achieve your business objectives.
  • Understand what you want viewers to do having viewed your video. The best non-brand viral videos motivate viewers to take action.
  • Ensure that the call to action in your video [if there is one] supports the attainment of your commercial objectives.
  • Continually review and revise objectives and campaign elements to ensure that they support the achievement of your objectives.

The future of sport on TV is Broadcast, not broadband

A question I got asked this week gives me an opportunity to blog about one of my favourite subjects – TV.  A friend of mine asked why he couldn’t watch local sports teams online via one of the OTT streaming services he’d subscribed to.  He didn’t expect them to be free – he was quite prepared to pay for the privilege – and couldn’t understand why somebody wasn’t taking advantage of a growing number of people cutting the cord and relying on OTT services for their ‘TV’ instead.

The reason that blackouts exist is essentially economic.  In the main, the broadcast [and streaming] rights are owned by the respective leagues, not the individual clubs – and are sold as a package, not on a team-by-team basis.  The latest NFL broadcast rights deal, signed at the end of last year to start in 2014, was a 5 network, 9 year, $28 billion [yes, you read that correctly] deal – making it the most valuable US property in television. The new deal is a 63% increase on the current contract and it gives the networks and their affiliates the exclusive rights to broadcast live games via their channels, and sell them to PayTV providers in other territories, in return for re-transmission fees.

They key is that the rights are for TV broadcast – not streaming. The major sports leagues have, to my knowledge, all retained the streaming rights and offer their own streaming services, but they blackout home team matches in local metro areas. Why do they do this? Advertising Revenues.

Local spot advertising is a vital part of the US television business.  According to figures I saw at a conference a year or so ago, it accounted for 50 percent of the US television industry revenues – about $5bn per year in the late 2000s.  This is the size of the entire TV advertising market in, for example, Europe.

While spot advertising revenues are falling, globally they were more than $15 billion in 2011.  The fact remains that, mostly niche, standalone streaming services [OTT] simply cannot even hope to reach either the revenues or audience numbers that traditional broadcast and Pay TV networks do for major league sports.  As a result, they are unable to command the same advertising revenues – nor will they any time soon. This makes bidding for broadcast rights for major league sports impossible.

This may change by the time that rights for the likes of the NFL come around again – but don’t hold your breath. While OTT is growing, there’s little evidence to suggest that it will ever achieve the critical mass required to make it worth the leagues selling the streaming rights. Without the broadcasters, Pay TV operators and advertisers we’d very quickly see the end of sports TV as we know it.

2012 – The year online brand advertising comes of age?

I came across this video at the launch of Deloitte TMT Predictions 2012 a few weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to post about it ever since.  2012 is, according to Deloitte, going to be huge for online brand advertising.  One of the major strengths of this is that the Chipotle brand is only on-screen for between seven and ten seconds – the rest communicates the message… beautifully!

The result is that, at the time of posting, almost six million people have seen the advert on YouTube alone.  Six million x 7 seconds is… a lot!

Are there any other examples of amazing online brand adverts you know of?