AOL to form dedicated agency sales division

AOL, one of Europe’s biggest ISPs, is constructing its first agency sales team.

AOL, one of Europe’s biggest ISPs, is constructing its first agency

sales team.



The web outfit has traditionally sold directly to advertisers, pulling

in around 90 per cent of ad revenue straight from clients such as Egg

and Thomas Cook.



AOL’s 25-strong sales team talks to clients and a handful of agencies

about advertising on AOL and its sister brands Compuserve and Netscape

Online.



However, Ian Maude, vice-president of advertising and e-commerce,

revealed he wants to create a dedicated team to work more closely with

the online planning/buying teams that have sprung up across London.



Maude is looking for an agency sales manager with two- to three-years

experience of selling to the main media shops.



Candidates may have sold online space but will probably have a

background in traditional media.



The chosen manager will run a team consisting of five agency sales

executives, which Maude hopes to assemble from outside AOL within the

next 12 months.



’We haven’t been ignoring agencies but we’ll give a better service with

a dedicated team,’ said Maude. ’Agencies are centres of excellence when

it comes to the planning and creation of online campaigns. We want to

strengthen relations with them.’



AOL’s Hammersmith-based sales team is split into five operations:

marketing, research, sales strategy, sales and account services. The

last team manages the deals that the sales team has secured and provides

the client with feedback on the campaign’s progress.



Maude launched the account services unit in January to provide an

after-sales service for clients that spend substantial amounts. He is

now keen to offer the service to all clients: ’It sounds cheesy but I’d

like our after-sales service to be seen as the gold standard in the

industry,’ he said.



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