How are Broadcast sales professionals being impacted by companies moving to Cloud-based solutions?
IABM released a new report this month, titled ‘Charting the Uncharted’. Pulling together insights from in-depth interviews with media companies and technology suppliers across our industry, the report details how coronavirus has dramatically impacted the media and broadcast space.
“The pandemic has dropped a digital bombshell on the media industry. Most companies have had to bite the bullet to defend their positions and accelerate their move to direct-to-consumer models. Only a few digital players have benefited from the effects of pandemic-induced lockdowns, both on the demand and on the supply side of media technology. In the long-term, the expedited move to digital business models may produce a polarization of the sector’s already changing fundamentals.
The industry-wide acceleration of established technology transitions is also set to change this industry forever, probably for the better. The pandemic has wiped out any concerns related to the adoption of digital tools and skills. It has also cemented the new relational dynamics between users and providers of media technology. Prepare for a brave new digital world to emerge after this pandemic has run its course.” - Industry at a Glance, IABM.
Where the migration to Cloud was previously considered somewhat pedestrian, lockdown has vastly increased the pace of IP technology integration and the adoption of as-a-service solutions.The rapid movement of broadcasters to direct-to-consumer (DTC) distribution models clearly represents one example of the industries response- in alignment with the at-home behaviours of end users.
In the midst of this change it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how careers will be impacted, particularly in respect of broadcast sales professionals who’ve already been hit hard by 2020. A simple example would be that of the travel industry. Airlines reducing flights means a vast reduction in TV advertising spend, resulting in no budget for Broadcasters to buy new products - which has a devastating effect on vendors and their sales environments.
We are witnessing some companies pull their solutions back into R&D, developing Cloud-based variants on their existing products and services. There are also media businesses like Blackbird (a browser remote editing and publishing platform), that have seen success this year by meeting the growing demands for online toolsets.
In terms of sales, previously a salesperson may have sold a physical item of hardware, such-as a playout automation server to sit in a broadcast facility - with qualifiable real-world attributes and features.The demand for these types of products, particularly at smaller stations where Cloud is not a cost-effective move, will continue.However, sales professionals now need to be thinking in-terms of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and how their skills can be modified to successfully sell these types of offering.
Traditionally it’s perceived that software is more difficult to sell than hardware. This is because physical objects can be seen, felt, and plug-n-play tested whereas selling software or services can be more like selling a concept or future gains.This demands a change in approach from salespeople, with a more conscious awareness of how companies strategically determine what SaaS products to purchase and the wider impacts of those decisions.
From conversations with clients and our industry contacts, we’re predicting a significant rise in demand for sales professionals with Cloud and software experience – with these skills being ranked higher than any prior industry knowledge, opening the doors to new entrants. Companies will face either upskilling existing workforces to comprehend these emerging technologies or an urgent need to hire in the near future... especially as solutions come out of R&D stages and reach the market.
We’re closely following Cloud tech trends across the industry, sharing market insights with clients and partners. For more information on how sales professionals will be impacted by this technology or to discuss upcoming hiring demands for SaaS, Cloud, IP and remote tech skill sets – contact:
Ralph Barrett – Senior Consultant, Broadcast Sales Specialist