Rogers Media has reorganized its sales team, putting in place a new structure that appoints five leads, each of whom will be the primary contact for a group of Canada’s major agencies and their clients.
Chief sales officer Jack Tomik, who joined Rogers from CBC six months ago, said that with the move, Rogers is putting its stake in the ground as the country’s “most nimble large-scale media company.”
While most integrated media companies have traditionally built their sales departments to be platform-specific, with one team for TV, one for print, one for digital etc., Rogers’ new model addresses clients’ growing desire for integrated solutions, said Tomik.
“They just want to know how they can get in front of the consumer in the best possible way with the highest impact,” he said. “More than ever before, integrated solutions are where it’s at.”
The new sales model currently employs four agency team leads, each of whom is empowered to make decisions on behalf of all of Rogers’ media assets for their client/agency group, said Tomik. The four leads are Mitch Dent, executive vice-president, Rogers TV sales; Brandon Kirk, vice-president of sales, publishing; Linda McErlain, general sales manager, radio; and Gavin Roth, VP, multiplatform sales. (While these job titles remain platform specific, each executive will be selling across platforms as a result of the reorganization.)
Another lead will be appointed in the “coming weeks,” according to a Rogers release, which also announced that Jennifer Holgate has been named to the newly created role of VP, digital sales product innovation, responsible for innovation on emerging platforms. Derek Berghuis will continue as EVP, radio sales. There are no layoffs as a result of the re-organization, said Tomik.
“No longer when a client wants to put together an integrated campaign do they have to check with four or five other divisional leaders, but there’ll be one Rogers agent to make decisions,” said Tomik.
No announcement has been made as to which lead will service which agency groups/clients.
“The whole concept here is a simple one: make shopping easier for our clients,” he added. “With agency consolidation there are less people for us to talk to and they have less time, so we just want to make it very easy experience to do business with Rogers.”
Tomik said that the benefits will be two-fold: A simplified sales approach in which clients/buyers won’t get bombarded with multiple sales calls from the various media properties, and the elimination of what he called “a bit of in-fighting” as each media group looks to meet its sales targets.
“What we hope to do is smooth out that process in a dramatic and large-scale way so that we’re just easier to do business with, and that we integrate and work together internally so that instead of trying to ensure we make budget on a radio or television station, we’re trying to build advertising campaigns that work for the client.
“If you work for the client and make them happy, the result is pretty straightforward: They’ll do more business and spend more money with you.”
The change has no impact on what Tomik referred to as the company’s “transactional business” – a full-page ad in Chatelaine or 30-second spot in Modern Family for instance – which accounts for an estimated 80% of the company’s sales.
However, it is intended to address what Tomik said is a fundamental shift in advertising sales that is only going to become more pronounced.
“The integrated segment of our business is growing like crazy and it’s just going to get bigger,” said Tomik. “What we’re going to do with each of these sales groups is make sure they adapt exactly to each of the nuances of the advertising agency or client they service.”
The proposal has earned what Tomik called a “sitting ovation” from agency heads he has spoken with. “They didn’t jump up and clap, but they were sure clapping in their seats,” he said.