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Don’t Fear the Gap

Like Baseball, How OOH Can Increase Success with Utility Players

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OOH Today welcomes a new guest contributor.

Writing under the pen name ‘The Guide‘( TG),  TG positions them self (non gender pronouns are challenging) as Your Guide to the Great Outdoor. TG is currently, a manager, carrying a sales list, in a small OOH market composed of traditional OOH inventory.  An OOH veteran of over 25 years with national and local experience in markets and companies both large and small.  TG furthers the value of GAP Sales discussion with a comparison to baseball.  Drawing from our post yesterday, Burkhart Outdoor Bundle Up Poster Panel Promo. background read yesterdays post here ⇒  Read How to Sell Gaps in a Poster Plant      

Don’t Fear the Gap
By ‘The Guide’, contributing on behalf of Your Guide to The Great Outdoor

Major League Baseball and advertising go hand in hand… every bit as much as baseball, Chevrolet and apple pie, bubble gum and tobacco trading cards, outfield advertising signs, even baseball’s 7th Inning Stretch as the song goes,  “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack “, advertising and baseball have been teammates since its earliest days.


We all like Home Runs in baseball, just like we do in sales.  The perfect pitch, the smooth swing and BOOM a Home Run contract!  An agreement signed and money in the bank.  Staying with the baseball analogy, we also need the long single in the GAP or maybe with hustle, stretched to a double. Those singles and doubles can come around and score and help win the game.

Using Bill Board’s definition of a GAP in Out of Home (OOH) inventory, (see OOHToday.com on GAP Selling  Read How to Sell Gaps in a Poster Plan) , the GAP sales person or GAP selling is very similar to America’s National Pastime, baseball.  Just as a utility player or designated hitter, is placed into the game, similarly as in business, not because they are great but because they can multitask, and will do nearly anything asked of them.  They typically have positive personalities which help move the team or company forward. Their success is due to strong work ethic; positive attitude and burning desire.  They fill in where ever they are needed most.  Just as a GAP player is important to baseball so is he or she to an Outdoor Advertising sales team.

GAP selling should be a part of every OOH Owners’ selling process.  I would even suggest most ‘lineups’ include one salesperson designated what I call, a ‘Gapper’.  A Gapper would focus on the space which sits blank for small windows of time. A GAP client will likely turn into a long-term client who started at the bottom of the lineup and moved up to be a strong supporter and user of OOH.

There are many reasons why GAPs happen, I know the OOH Purist believes that should never happen. The reality is we have GAPs and will continue to have even more GAPs as the Digital Out of Home space grows.

If you took your last year’s space and recapped how much GAPs were in play, taking into consideration open or missed days, and multiplied the number of days times the rate card value and as a second benchmark, 25% of rate card value, you have an idea of the range of total amount of revenue lost last year.  Understand that GAPs could be sold to new clients or existing clients at a lower rate.  GAP sales increases your revenues short-term and by introducing new clients to OOH with GAP sales, it increases your long-term revenue.

In a previous Managerial role, I had 2 Gappers on my sales staff. They were new to OOH and the market had significant GAPs issues.  I turned the 2 Gappers loose and they had great success.  Providing new sales people with a narrowly defined inventory and focus such as Gap space, can be effective introducing new sales people to Outdoor.  Those new GAP sales people can become superstars, hitting home runs after they ‘learn the trade’ GAP selling first.

Don’t be afraid to create GAPs.  Be be prepared to sell GAPs .

‘The Guide’
Your OOH Guide to the GREAT OUTDOOR


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