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Ranking the 10 Most Valuable Positions in an OOH Company

Top 10 Positions Inside an Out of Home Company

8 1,268

OOH’s Most Important Jobs

Here’s a twist to the Top 10 People in OOH. Have you ever found yourself in a debate of what the most important role in an OOH Company is? We have. More times than we can remember. Usually beers are at hand. It typically begins defining a position and then goes personal to people.

If You Had to PICK 1!

The Most Valuable Positions in an Outdoor Advertising Company.  We are defining ‘most valuable,’ as the one key position which most impacts an OOH company’s success more than any other. If positions had to be singled out and ranked 1 through 10.

We have specified 14 spots for consideration. In alphabetical order they are 1. Admin  2. CEO/Owner
3. CFO/Finance  4. CMO/Marketing
 5. Creative/Artist  6. GM  7. HR  8. Installers  9. Investors  10. Lease
11. Operations Mgr 12. Photographer  13. Sales Manager  14. Sales Person

In the context of being the best at what they do, the Top 10 Most Valuable Positions from the bottom up and a description of their hands on roles in the company. Here is our list in Late Night Show fashion.

Defining the Top 10 Positions Inside an Out of Home Company

 TOP 10 Most Valuable Positions in an OOH Company

10. Sales Manager—Arguably this ten spot may be too low. There is no doubt the role is valuable to the organization.  The Sales Manager must possess expert skills in sales. They must be the head cheerleader, chief motivator and top trainer.  SM must know the market, competitive media (broadcast, print and online digital) and sales. SM must be a professor with a PhD in sales. She is a people person plus, with skills to manage, direct staff and clients.  They should carry their own account list and be on the forefront of new business calls. 

9. CFO / Finance—Controlling the dollars are one thing, it’s a given skill set. The highly finessed finance person sits in on sales meetings and understands where the market is and why.  Their knowledge of economy, finance and business can be a tremendous asset to sales. The top CFO must be able to look beyond the obvious costs and not squash ideas which are outside budget and remember, it takes money to make money.  It’s investing in the future. Top CFO’s support atypical expenses to elevate the top line because they get that the ROI, may be longer term than the month an expense was taken. A great CFO should provide reporting which sales manager and team can use in their work utilizing data in real-time.
A CFO can provide tools for the sales manager to better monitor the health of the organization. EBIDA not withstanding, other performance measures accounting for, but not limited to a deep understanding of, market and conditions, competitive forces, occupancy, rates and product pricing, makes a top 10 CFO, an expert.

A CFO can provide tools for the sales manager to better monitor the health of the organization.

8.. Lease —The lease role is unquestionably important to the organization. Simply said, without structures there is no business. I have had heated discussions in my young career with lease staff testing the proverbial chicken or egg argument. To sum up the ongoing debate, allow me this: One party is asking for money and the other is giving money away. Does that work for you?

7. Installers—A conscientious, experienced crew is vital to executing and maintaining what’s on the street. In the public’s eye, they keep the product pristine. The Ops Crew are the palace guards, protecting the inventory and delivering what advertisers are paying for; the advertising message. They assure all parties involved, that the advertising is where it’s supposed to be, when it’s supposed to be, and the way it is supposed to be. If the message is expertly delivered, happy clients return.

The Ops Crew are the palace guards, protecting the inventory and delivering

6. Operations Manager—A top operations manager has ‘climbed.’  He/she has been on the structures and knows the limitations of the installers and physical plant. Superior characteristics of an operations manager are vision, flexibility and a ‘can do’ attitude. New ideas outside the 14 x 48 ‘box,’ should be welcomed and pursued with enthusiasm.  They value ideas pushing the envelope forward with Industry and Market Creative ‘Firsts.’ Their attitude is, ‘we’ll find a way to get it done.’

5. Salesperson—We all know what sales brings to the organization, dollars. Without revenue there is no business.  Top sales people are a hybrid of every position listed in this post. Today’s sales person must be fluent in Microsoft Suites and Social Media. Great sales people are in perpetual training and learning, eventually earning an opportunity to occupy positions 1, 2 and 10.

4. Creative—Obviously, a critical role in #OOH . We have gone on record ad nauseam touting the value of creative over location. Great creative drives sales. Every market has good creative, few markets have great creative. Its obvious when riding a market, if the creative director is strong. Faces stand out. The ad jumps off the boards.  An excellent creative director possess as strong as people skills as art talent. The artist has to be able to sell the sales person or client to make the right decision in approving what goes on the billboards.

In today’s fast-moving world of the technology and social media, marketing is a much greater position than ever before

3. CMO / Marketing— This may be a surprise pick to some.  In today’s fast-moving world of the technology and social media, marketing is a much greater position than ever before.  The image of the organization is out there every day.  Supplying each division with relevant, top-level information, data and materials has never been more important.  Marketing provides the tools to keep us competitive. They must be able to analyze information at all levels to adequately serve the teams which rely on them.

2. General Manager—The leader of the market. Her role is much like the CEO’s in duties and responsibilities.  A junior CEO if you will, as described above.  GM’s carry the company flag on a local basis to staff and market.  They must enthusiastically promote the culture of the organization, while recognizing the individual market. Top GM’s typically, are the next in line for the C-Suite. Sales expertise is a must.

The number one Most Valuable Position which is key to an organization’s success is the CEO/Owner.

1. CEO/Owner—A top CEO possess the skills and experience to wear all the hats of the organization, if needed. As an effective leader, he hires and delegates with competence. Its leadership.  The CEO defines the culture. The best CEO’s, as judged by success of their organizations or companies, know the business backwards and forward. They worked their way up from the bottom, spending time on job site and sales. They are consummate sales people.  Here lies the greatest differentiation: They make sales calls.

Whether a Big 3 or small town owner operator, the top CEO actively makes sales calls with sales staff to Agencies and client direct. Forgoing the power lunch with the media director or walk-through the office, they sit down with one and two-year planner/buyers. Genuinely listening. Sharing a part of themselves.  The top CEO understands sales, relating well to buyers at any level, making that buyer/client feel they are the most important customer to the organization.  I would not go as far as star-struck, but the junior staff remembers the visit for a life time. Two names come to mind: Arte Moreno and E. Thomas Martin. I have made sales calls with CEO’s, Sales Managers and GM’s who have missed opportunities, disappointed clients or worse, unknowingly embarrassed the organization.  And I have made calls where the CEO sits with junior buyers or small clients. Those customers are impressed by the visit, feel important and respected. Relationships are cemented nearly a lifetime.

it takes a team to be successful

OK, how’d we do? Anyone feel they were promoted?  We have probably disappointing at least 9 people, or more, if we count the 4 who did not get inside the top 10. We apologize to Admin, HR and Photographers. We really appreciate your specialties.

We understand it takes a team to be successful. We are not saying anyone person can carry the entire organization.  Our ranking is of the MVP.  One final note; the better the sales skills, the more effective the role, regardless, of what that role is. If your aspire to the top, quality time in sales is a must.

What are your top 10 MVP’s in an OOH Company?  Did we have any of them right?
Share in comments below or send us your list. We’ll share in an upcoming post.

If you have a top 10, send to Bill Board, at BillBoard@OOHToday.com

Next week, we will look at the 10 Most Difficult Jobs in OOH, including Ad Agencies in the mix.




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  1. stephen Freitas says

    #3 for the CMO is very respectable! Thank you for the consideration.

  2. Bill Board says

    Stephen, your leadership has contributed to elevating the CMO role for the Industry. Thank you.

  3. Joshua Lawton says

    Brent – Love the list, but as a business technologist I think you’re missing that key person who is going to help shepherd the OOH industry into tons of new and evolving opportunities.

  4. Todd Hansen says

    When you put Sales Manager last , you are not thinking of your days as a SALES MANAGER . This is Top 3 needed in today’s OOH world . When you put that job at 10 . MAYBE THAT IS WHY THE OOH INDUSTRY LARGEST CLIENT IS AD COUNCIL in today’s world .

    If I was a buyer, I would ride the markets and say that I want lower rates because you have so much public service up .But I forgot we don’t do market rides , we do GOOGLE RIDES .

    The number 1 job should not be Owners ( maybe some small operators that know the business ) But the new CEO should just get out of the way . Bottom 5 in necessity at the minimum . CEO win or lose, they still get paid a very nice number .Now the GM , that is number 1 . he runs the market and has to deal with CEO . If GM does not get it done the CEO ( #10 on my list ) fires him and then places one of his guys in that job .

    The CMO can go with the CEO .

    Now the installer is always forgotten , but out of the other 9 on the list , how many can climb a ladder, install a vinyl to perfection preventing sales complaints? Now I could train an install guy to lease or sell . But I can’t train a lease or sales guy to install.

    In general all the others fit fine .

  5. Bill Board says

    Thank you for your comments. OK, Mr. Lawton, I’m your huckleberry; who is the ‘missing that key person?’

  6. Bill Board says

    Ad Council and Google Rides! As always, Mr. Hansen, direct and powerful statements. I wonder how many in the Industry agree or take issue with your view points?

  7. Lynn Terlaga says

    There’s a reason for the famous quote…..Nothing happens until someone sells something……..

  8. Bill Board says

    We could not agree more Ms Terlaga. And it better start with the CEO/Owner. Thank you for your comment

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