EDUCATION OF ONLINE ADVERTISING
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.”