Media & Consumer Technology

Top Five Digital Media Go-to-Market Trends

The digital media industry is facing a challenging advertising market with a prolonged decrease in ad sales throughout 2023. However, leading pure play digital media companies are using this difficult environment as an opportunity to re-evaluate their go-to-market model and make changes that will better position them for ongoing success.

Alexander Group has identified five key trends that are shaping the pure play digital market leading into 2024.

1. Ad Sales are Down

One of the key trends contributing to the challenging environment is the decrease in ad sales. This has put pressure on pure play digital media leaders to review the cost-to-serve for each of the segments in their segmentation model. Leaders should evaluate whether the cost-to-serve associated with each segment is profitable, given the type and size of advertiser in each one of those segments. They should also consider moving small advertisers to a programmatic channel to reduce cost-to-serve while retaining the advertiser and its current spend.

2. Sales Force Reductions

Another trend is the sales force reductions that have occurred across companies in pure play digital media. Leaders must re-examine how to best evolve the sales organization to maintain effective coverage that meets advertiser and holding company needs. This may include realigning resources to maintain focus on top accounts, moving small advertisers to a self-service channel, and/or adding lower-cost resources to assist with non-sales-generating activities.

3. Decreased Ad Budgets are Driving Further Competition for Advertiser Share of Wallet

To increase their chances of dominating in the fight over advertiser share of wallet, leaders should consider updating their sales compensation programs to focus sellers on the expansion and retention of current customers. Rewarding sellers on measures like net retention rate (NRR), rather than new customer dollars, will ensure that sellers align their behaviors to drive increased spend within their top advertisers, rather than hunting new small advertisers.

4. Increased Focus on Top Customer Experience

Pure play digital media companies are also looking to improve the experience of their top advertisers. Leading companies are realigning their sales teams’ focus with how these advertisers prefer to transact. This results in sales teams that are organized around each of the major holding companies, with another team focused on servicing advertisers that prefer to transact through independent agencies. For top advertisers, this new pure play digital go-to-market model streamlines the buying experience.

5. Focus on Retention of Top Talent

Finally, leading pure play digital media companies are re-evaluating their sales compensation and sales enablement programs to ensure that they can retain top talent. These leaders are reviewing their target total compensation, as well as their sales compensation plans, against the market to ensure that pay is competitive. They are also building out internal talent frameworks to provide sellers more clarity on how they can progress through the organization successfully.

To succeed in the challenging advertising market, pure play digital media companies must reevaluate their cost-to-serve in all advertiser segments and evolve their go-to-market model accordingly. Redesigning aspects of the go-to-market model now will ensure that companies are able to meet the needs of advertisers while also growing profitably. Additionally, companies must focus on retaining top talent and updating sales compensation programs to focus on the expansion and retention of current customers.

Learn more about Alexander Group’s Technology practices.


Why Alexander Group?

Pure play digital media companies of all sizes can benefit from Alexander Group’s expertise and innovative solutions, allowing them to efficiently achieve their revenue growth goals and position themselves for future success. For more information on how to evaluate your go-to-customer model, please contact an Alexander Group Media & Consumer Technology practice lead.

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