VI Special Issue: Sales Is Not the Enemy

/ Jul 25, 2013


True story: the idea for VideoInk’s latest Special Issue, focusing on the importance of sales within the web video space, was born of booze.

Well, to be specific, it was born after a series of conversations I had with unnamed creators from both the traditional media and web video worlds, in various bars in Los Angeles. I was catching up with some old contacts, and over a week’s worth of drinks meetings, I heard stories from those working, on both sides of the line, about the struggles they had in making good content.

If these meetings hadn’t happened in such a tight timeframe, I don’t think I would have noticed this one connective element: the fact that invariably, these creators would point to their sales department as a major factor in why they had a hard time executing quality shows.

And the reason most often cited was a disconnect between the creative and sales departments — Sales wanting Creative to go along with the demands of potential advertisers, and Creative frustrated that Sales didn’t understand the content they were creating.

The thing that struck me in these conversations was how it seemed unnecessary for these struggles to exist in the new media space. Traditional corporations have long-established infrastructures that are hard to shift, but for smaller, newer companies, it seems like a no-brainer to make sure that both sides of the equation — money and ideas — would balance out.

Thus, I wanted to put a positive spin on things — and find a way to celebrate those working in the new media world to bring advertisers and content together.

After all, branded content is one of the few proven means by which companies make sustainable web video. Similar to how the soap operas of old got their names because they were literally sponsored by soap companies, advertisers are likely to be what helps this fledgling genre of media find some sort of stability. Especially since, according to Adweek, online video ads have a greater impact on viewers than TV ads. Just one metric: web ads have 40 percent more message recall, as opposed to only 20 percent on TV.

For while CPMs are still lower for new media content than traditional, the shift is happening faster than we think: PaidContent expects that $5.9 billion will go to online ad spending by 2017.

The hypothetical I’ve been using is this: A salesperson sits in on a meeting which creative is having. The creative team pitches an idea about a woman making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. At an appropriate moment, the salesperson mentions that they have a contact at Kraft, and so maybe it could be a cheese sandwich, not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Because PB&J isn’t intrinsically important to the idea being pitched, the creative team agrees to switch to cheese, and then Kraft comes on as a sponsor.

To people working to make web video, and people working to create it, I feel that this point-of-view might be seen as utopian. But that’s why we’re profiling the salespeople in this Special Issue — to showcase those who interpret “utopian” as “ideal,” as opposed to “impossible.”

Collective Digital’s Alex Angeledes: The Dodge Deal for VGHS 2 ‘Will Be a Model for Years to Come’


If you’re drafting a team of “sales superstars” in online video, it would be pretty difficult to not select Collective Digital Studio’s chief revenue officer, Alex Angeledes. Joining CDS in the spring of 2012, Angeledes immediately got to work, inking what could end up being a landmark branded-integration deal with Dodge for the second season of FreddieW and Matt Arnold’s “Video Game High School,” which he considers to be one of his proudest achievements to date.

The other? The sales organization and structure at CDS, naturally. Continue reading.

Revision3’s Brad Murphy: ‘We’re Moving Beyond the Standard Pre-roll World’


If the world of web content can be described as a battlefield, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better general for your armies than Brad Murphy.

As chief revenue officer at Revision3, Murphy had a seat in one of the first startups around the new media world. He’s overseen shifts in talent, platform, and the acquisition of Revision3 by Discovery, which has shifted the scope of what web entertainment startups can do. Continue reading.

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  • Thank you for putting a positive spin on a difficult subject. Balancing the needs of client and creator continues to be a challenge for many digital media organizations (disclosure I work with Alex @collectiveds ). A possible solution is ensuring all parties understand the results (linear and abstract) and that interpretation is not left to the client or creator to perform by themselves. Communicating the empirical data is great but continued post sales conversations will ensure future success. Good luck Alex and Brad.


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