Campaign Media Business will be full of spelling mistakes,
unfinished sentences and hideous libels this week, because we have had
to produce it so quickly.
You wouldn’t tolerate this excuse from us, but you are being asked to
accept it as an excuse for poor service among the new-media sales
Britain’s biggest online buyers last week blasted these ’appalling’
service standards in Media Business. Since then the horror stories have
flooded in, with buyers and planners from various organisations
reporting that the web sales houses and salespeople are arrogant, show
little or no strategic planning ability and fail to monitor the
effectiveness of campaigns.
Naturally you will find plenty of exceptions to these rules, but just
about every new-media sales house mentioned in these pages has come in
for some flak from one buyer or another. And online ad monitoring
software has also been roundly criticised.
In forming a defence, the new-media sales folk have focused on the
shortage of talent in the business and on the breakneck speed of
development in their industry. I suppose there were leaves on the line
Frankly, if good sales talent is lacking it has a lot to do with the
shortsighted attitude with which many companies look to their rivals for
new staff, rather than developing talent from outside the business.
While venture capital and capital raised from share-issues have been a
good thing in allowing e-trepreneurs to flourish, it sometimes seems
there is more money than sense in the business. With less cash, perhaps
more junior staff would have been cultivated.
It must be time for the major players to get together and work out how
to recruit and train graduates. Hungry graduates who are, in effect,
investing in their own future by improving standards in the industry,
would surely be better than some of the money-grabbers currently being
The ’industry is developing so fast’ excuse won’t wash either. As any
new-media employee who has looked beyond the big bucks will tell you,
most of the same business principles apply online and offline.
Developing a great reputation for service is crucial to the long-term
success of any business. You don’t win that reputation unless you work
at it from the start - your principles can’t be sacrificed just because
the business is in its hectic formative stages.
If the sales houses in question want to establish a
pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap reputation, that is fine and dandy. But many
are claiming they offer wonderful planning and monitoring services, when
in fact their only goal is shifting inventory.
If it can’t be done properly at speed, either slow it down or attempt
less. Establish proper practices now, or suffer later.