Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

ON­LINE PUB­LI­CA­TIONS may be at­tract­ing more users but con­vert­ing that to rand re­mains a chal­lenge. Richard Mullins, a di­rec­tor of Ac­cel­er­a­tion, the on­line me­dia tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist, blames that largely on a short­age of skilled sales staff.

Mullins claims that in many in­stances sales staff don’t fully un­der­stand their prod­ucts. De­spite peo­ple be­com­ing ex­perts and be­ing able to de­mand higher pay, Mullin ar­gues the in­dus­try still strug­gles to at­tract tal­ent be­cause of be­lief it doesn’t pay as well as tra­di­tional me­dia. Mullins touts train­ing and keep­ing up to date with changes. Pub­lish­ers agree, say­ing they are train­ing, whether it’s by bring­ing in ex­perts, work­shops, cre­at­ing mod­ules or on­line pro­grammes.

Mullins con­tin­ues that mar­keters and agen­cies ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lem be­cause they don’t al­ways know what they’re buy­ing.

Chris­tine da Silva, founder of Al­ter­sage mar­ket­ing con­sul­tancy, says: “It’s dif­fi­cult be­ing in an ed­u­ca­tional mar­ket in­stead of one fo­cused on rev­enue.” She men­tions that not enough is spent on­line be­cause the long-term ben­e­fits aren’t un­der­stood and that mar­keters need to bet­ter un­der­stand their clients’ needs.

Matthew Buck­land, 24.com Pub­lish­ing & So­cial Me­dia MD, says there isn’t wide­spread ac­cep­tance of In­ter­net mar­ket­ing yet. “So that puts ad­di­tional pres­sure on sales staff to be top qual­ity. On­line sales de­mand a dif­fer­ent skills set but the skills set of sell­ing to audiences are the same.”

Richard Mullins

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