by Brent Baer for OOH Today
The Value of Owner/Vendor Presentations
Media Teams, POV’s and Agency New Business Development
As a traditional billboard guy 15 years ago, when beginning work for Posterscope, I pretty much wrote off all the non-traditional media we were presented as less effective and a secondary consideration to bulletins and posters. It did not take long to realize that was a mistake.
Nearly every other day at Posterscope in Atlanta, the media team would drudge into the conference room to hear a presentation by the ‘latest and greatest’ must have OOH start-up company which was newly minted with venture capital money. We drudged in, because we were slightly understaffed with an overwhelming amount of plans and buys to complete with deadlines. Additionally, custom new business proposals, plans and decks were part of the media team’s responsibility, as well, as it should be. While it would have been easier, with less hours and less stress, if staff didn’t interrupt their day to listen to a presentation, they knew, to grow personally as well as from a media team perspective, they must take those meetings. Among the many must reasons to take the meetings, is to learn about new media OOH offerings, form a Point of View and connect with the vendor company rep for strong working relationship.
Our team at Posterscope understood the importance of meeting the reps, taking calls, answering emails and learning as much as they can about vendors’ offerings as integral to their daily job performance, client outcomes and new business growth. Staff knew if new biz grew, so would our resources, people count and incomes. The Posterscope team was very knowledgeable and connected. They capitalized on opportunities provided as ‘firsts’ for our client’s which other OOH buying services were not even aware of. Our planners and buyers and new business development were joined at the hip. As it should be.
Our team at Posterscope understood the importance of meeting reps, taking calls, answering emails and learning as much as they can about vendors’ offerings as integral to their daily job performance, client outcomes and new business growth.
Regrettably, today, there are OOH buying services I am intimately familiar with who do not follow similar practices. Despite the lip service to support, some media teams bristle when OOH Today releases their contact info.(They “don’t want all the calls!”) Others feel a lunch, drinks or dinner once a year with the same 3 or 4 reps of the #Big3, is sufficiently a proactive role for as their clients’ representatives. We say, what a mistake. Our observation is, there are not nearly enough presentations and meetings taking place in the Industry. It is a responsibility which must be shared by the OOH Owners as well.
In my first year at Posterscope, back in 2003, I sat through over 100 different OOH vendor companies’ presentations and countless lunches, after work drinks and dinners. I found there was a great deal of value in what I had initially labeled as secondary, non traditional media. The ‘alternative media’ in many cases, had strong value. I also realized their was even greater value attending the Vendor presentations.
Attending the OOH Vendor presentations, provided me as new business development rep, with
5 key valuable considerations. Before we move on to the Five, keep in mind, the primary client contact, at the very least initially, with new business accounts, is the person who brought that new business opportunity into the Agency. Keep the new business person in the mix to keep your health.
5 reasons why New Biz Dev must attend vendor presentations and meetings
- Improved Knowledge to share with prospects and clients the latest and greatest. Attendance equipped and reinforced my role as OOH expert and an authority to the prospect.
- Built Relationships with the OOH vendors. Life is short. Work and friends do mix.
- Created Currency with the vendor. If the vendor perceives NBD has influence in a plan/buy, no matter how big or small the reality, she or he is more likely to share information offering leads and new business opportunities. Its Networking. A media department would do well proactively aiding that perception.
- Served as a Vantage Point to observe and learn from others’ presentations to sharpen my own.
- Delivered ‘Firsts’ for clients. Advertisers like to be ‘first’ with a new media format or location. We prided ourselves on the tremendous number of ‘first’ opportunities we were given by vendors often weeks before they would share it with ANY other OOH Service. Client’s loved it when they were the first to an iconic location or new opportunity. It was my job to sell the opportunities in.
When the NYC Vector rep Gary Greenstein, in the mid 2000’s, walked into the Buckhead, Atlanta offices at Posterscope, sharing these new media formats, like Double Decker buses, I must confess, my initial reaction was ‘ compared to a billboard bulletin?” “You have to be kidding me.” Never said it, though I thought it.
Today my appreciation is, “Double Decker Buses with Vector?” “Love ’em. Always been a fan from Day 1!”
I believe they are that good!
And OOH Vendor presentations? Must see opportunities and attendance. Everyone brings a new perspective to the proverbial table. I am no longer surprised and eagerly look forward to what can be learned from an OOH guy schlepping something like an odd looking big bus.