VP of Content, Endeavor Business Media
Travis Hessman spoke to a MediaGrowth group of B2B media executives and was asked the question, “What do you think the role of editors should be in sales calls, both in marketing services and traditional advertising situations?”
Travis told the group he has had experience on both sides of this issue; the “Church and State” side and the “throw the editors in there to handle it” side. He said that neither of these plans were great.
He went on to say that all editors under the Chief Editor should be kept out of the sales puzzle. They should focus on editorial, talking to people, thinking about content and coming up with new cool ideas.
The Chief Editor, particularly with marketing solutions, has the critical role to play with sales because he or she is the only person that can balance the two sides, that can translate the advertiser’s message into something that will resonate with the audience. A bad marketing solutions program can hurt a brand just as much as a bad piece of content. The brand’s reputation is at stake with every marketing solutions piece that it publishes. Any webinar or white paper that doesn’t serve the audience or that contradicts the message of the brand is going to hurt the brand and cost the company money.
Chief Editors should work closely with the sales team, attend the kick-off call to help set the tone and make sure the message fits the audience. All abstracts need to go thru the CE for editing and rewriting before going on the site. In this way the CE works indirectly with the clients, sharing notes and ideas through the salespeople. The CE is not part of the deal, but is able to influence it.
This is good for the readers, the reputation of the brand and for the client that will get meaningful engagement, more clicks, better leads and real results. Travis says that if all this is done well, the marketing piece becomes content that serves the readers. Ultimately, the audience is king.