The New Playbook

Feeling a little squeezed by technology? DSPs got you down? Want to exchange the exchange-driven marketplace for something a bit more hospitable? You're not alone. On Tuesday November 2nd at Manhattan's Javits Center I'll be presenting a brand new sales workshop in conjunction with Ad:tech: "Life in a Post-RFP World: The Digital Seller in the Age of Automation." I'm taking this project on because of a persistent question I'm asked: 'Is there a place for the media seller in a marketplace based on automated trading of impressions for dollars? The answer is an emphatic "Yes."

There's no question, however, that those sellers who stand still -- who run the sames plays and offer the same value proposition they always have -- will get crushed. What the automated corps of servers, trading desks, DSPs, publisher optimizers and targeting solutions do well is the commodity side of our business: trading impressions ('holes in pages") for dollars. And as I said four years ago, any high- or even moderately-priced humans who are manually handling that commodity work are likely to be roadkill. What the Ad:tech workshop will focus on are those valuable, strategic roles that machines can't play. I'll be ultimately breaking the discussion down to a handful of "plays" that a successful post-RFP sales organization and its reps can run to create marketer value. I'll be focusing on each of these in upcoming Drift posts, but here's the starter list.

  1. Reattaching inventory and creative.
  2. Reversing the flow of messaging through the ad pipeline.
  3. Context to-go.
  4. Become an audience aggregator.
  5. Crossover promotion: Online, Offline, Terrestrial.
  6. Members only.
  7. Elevating Insights.

If you're not interested in fundamentally changing your approach to market -- if you're looking only for incremental ways to be a bit better or a tad cheaper -- then the upcoming Drift posts and workshop won't be a good fit for you. "Life in a Post-RFP world" is about reinvention, which is hard work....hard work I'd love to take on with some of the industry's best salespeople. But as General Eric Shinseki said to those who resisted the reinvention of the U.S. Army and its mission: "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less."

Want to know more? Interested in signing up for the seminar? Think my premise is flawed? Put your thoughts in the comment boxes below.