Be a Crowd Pleaser: How to Close Deals in the Media & Entertainment Industry

by in Sales
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B2B selling is in the midst of a revolution: buying processes are more complex, customers are more educated, and competition is more fierce than ever. To succeed in today’s ecosystem, B2B sellers must adopt a customer-centric mentality, shifting away from a one-size-fits-all sales model to an account based selling (ABS) model, treating each customer as a unique entity. Unfortunately, while there’s consensus that customer-centricity is important (according to CMO.com, 90% of marketers believe it’s a priority), it continues to be an aspiration rather than a reality for most organizations. 

One of the most effective means of establishing a customer-centric mentality is to become an expert in the industry that your customers and prospects operate in. Consider the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, an industry that has experienced unprecedented change over the past couple of years as it has transitioned to a direct-to-consumer world. When you’re selling your solution to an M&E company, you’ll be most effective if you’re able to demonstrate your knowledge of key trends affecting the industry, as well as an understanding of how such trends influence buying decisions.

At Node, we’re here to provide strategic insights and tactical guidance to help you close more deals in the M&E space and to help you keep abreast of emerging trends at play in the M&E space: 

1. Proliferation of new devices. With the rise of mobile, tablet, and e-reader devices, customers demand the ability to consume content on all the devices in their arsenal. According to McKinsey & Company’s 2015 Global Media Report, media access via mobile devices is the fastest growing sector in terms of global media spending. When selling to M&E companies, consider how your offering helps companies optimize content consumption on mobile devices. Promote and sell the features that will enable content to be more effectively formatted for a myriad of devices (perhaps, for example, your solution optimizes the mobile reading experience or enables auto-scrolling functionality). As well, consider whether your solution allows the company to gain a competitive edge in terms of emerging devices. The New York Times (NYT), for example, has already entered the virtual reality world (it sends Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets to NYT print subscribers). 

Thanks to the rapid proliferation of new devices, product cycles for M&E companies tend to be much quicker than in other industries. Leverage this reality to close deals faster.

2. On-demand content. We no longer live in a world where we consume (or tolerate) pre-designated media. With the rise of over-the-top (OTT) services (according to PwC, 78% of US consumers subscribe to at least one OTT service), we are afforded more choice in the content we consume. Consumers demand fast and seamless streaming of on-demand content, which has led many traditional M&E companies to partner with streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Along with the rise of on-demand content has been the rise in the demand of network bandwidth. In March 2016, it was revealed that Netflix has been decreasing the quality of its video for customers watching its service on AT&T or Verizon networks. By one estimate, the entertainment industry’s storage needs are expected to grow 24-fold between 2014 and 2020.  When selling to M&E companies, consider how your solution helps increase the quality of their content when streaming. Companies like AWS are primed well, for example, by enabling companies like Netflix to quickly scale their infrastructure and distribute content at scale. 

3. Creative marketing channels. With rapid declines in print advertising revenue (in Q1 2015, the New York Times was privy to a 11.1% decline in print advertising revenue), M&E companies are increasingly looking for ways to increase digital ad revenue streams. M&E companies are leveraging social media to not only distribute ads to a wider audience, but also to arouse vocal fans who are likely to share content and act as brand advocates. It’s no surprise that more M&E companies are partnering with social media channels. When selling to this demographic, consider whether your solution helps these companies better tap into the social media arena. Do you have expertise in marketing or content distribution on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and/or SnapChat? Taboola, for example, is a content marketing platform that provides a web widget to many large media and entertainment companies via their website to offer additional links to related content. 

4. Personalized content. M&E companies are eager to connect with each audience member in unique ways. Data collection and analytics allows them to generate and monitor consumer insights across many channels and devices, in turn empowering them to deliver relevant and meaningful experiences. When selling to M&E companies, consider whether your solution better equips media and entertainment companies to generate meaningful analytics related to their customers. To spark the interest of your potential buyer, your solution must go far beyond measuring viewership. You must capture novel insights that will facilitate unprecedented personalized content distribution. In May 2015, for example, AMC announced it was partnering with marketing data analytics company Movio, and using its SaaS solution to tailor its outreach to viewers based on their specific movie-going habits. Similarly, NBC Universal has been using the Adobe Marketing Cloud to tag online content and share buttons, facilitating rapid collection of data related to how audience members interact with its digital content. 

5. Globalization. With the recent growth in broadband service across developing countries, M&E companies are increasingly seeking to distribute their content to more regions abroad. According to McKinsey & Company’s 2015 Global Media Report, the media market in Asia Pacific will be the largest source of absolute growth for the global media industry over the next five years. When selling to M&E companies, consider whether your solution will help the demographic increase global expansion efforts and initiatives. For example, does your solution improve language translation services, captioning interfaces, or distribution channels to new regions? 

According to CMO.com, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable as compared to companies that are not deliberate in focusing on the customer. By understanding the key trends facing the M&E industry, you’ll be better primed to close more M&E deals. Customers are habitually skeptical of sales reps. Demonstrate that you’re a subject-matter expert focused on the customer, and show how your solution addresses the important business challenges faced by the specific industry you are dealing with. By doing so, you’ll quickly realize why 93% of CEOs believe rallying their organizations around the customer is one of the top three investment priorities this year. 

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About The Author

Rebecca Hinds
Rebecca Hinds - View more articles

Rebecca Hinds graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a M.S. in Management Science and Engineering. In 2013, Rebecca co-founded Stratio, a semi-conductor company developing infrared sensors. The company was selected by the Kairos Society as one of the 50 most innovative student-run businesses in the world.