Written by: Ed Olsen

Owning an ad agency here in Phoenix has given me an interesting perspective on what I used to do for a living… namely, selling media. Let’s establish a couple of givens. Companies that sell you media are ‘for profit’ just like yours. They must operate in a landscape that has a vast amount of pressures on them. Some of those pressures are in their control (e.g., who they hire; how they operate) some are not (e.g., a fluctuating economy; new technologies). Often times, a ‘for profit’ emphasis can cloud a company’s judgment and their actions.

The desire to maintain profit margins and stay relevant in a rapidly changing market creates the need for a constant assessment of your people, product and processes. Some media companies have done quite well at this while others have not.

The rush to digital has quite a few media companies engaging in practices that I openly question. Please understand that I need your core competency … that’s why we are doing business. Also, I will not pay exorbitant CPM’s because you’ve position yourself as a pass through DSP; I don’t want you to force un-necessary digital assets on me to inflate my investment; I don’t need your station’s social media page, I need your on-air personalities to drive social media promotions; and in 2015, comprehensive and timely re-caps are not optional.

Let’s look at two companies that I feel have done a good job handling change while staying true to their core competency. KTAR (Bonneville) has talent both on and off the microphone. In doing business with them they readily led with their core competency (sports talk radio) and properly supported it with digital assets that were relevant and effective. I didn’t have to ask more than once for a full recap the first business day after the schedule was run. The result was a successful promotion and more importantly for them, a very high likelihood of repeat business.

On the TV side, KNXV ABC 15 has a sales team and leadership that know how to maximize their digital assets. Channel 15 is an industry leader in driving their TV audiences to their digital and social assets. Watch any newscast to see how they promote their platform to provide deeper content, audience feedback and social media contesting that makes them a market leader in their industry.

We (agencies) want reps who understand our clients and their product. We need you to price, provide and process the opportunities we bring to you with precision. The complexity that is so prevalent in the advertising industry will only continue. Media entities that recognize these changes and adapt their business practices to better serve clients and agencies alike will see their ‘for profit’ status improve.