Broadcasting | Cable Television Network Advertising Sales Executive Search Automotive CPG
National TV Advertising Sales
Automotive & CPG
Search Firm - Filcro Media Staffing
Officer in Charge of Search - Tony Filson
Based - Detroit, MI - USA
Search Group - Advertising Sales
Search - Director Automotive and CPG Advertising Sales
Reports to - President Network Sales - New York, NY
Client: A first tier cable television network with over 100 million subs that is a division of a major media and entertainment conglomerate. This network enjoys niche dominance and it subscribes to category, industry and geographic sales ownership. This Detroit, MI based search was to enhance the Network’s Midwest and National Ad Sales dominance within Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods and a few dominant QSR’s in the region.
Search: National TV Advertising Sales Midwest Region
Client Situation: The President of TV Network Sales was referred to Filcro Media Staffing from the Executive Vice President of Operations reporting into the Board of Directors. The President required a firm with a proven track record of success with category specific national TV advertising sales searches. The Network, nor other search firms were successful in attracting the proper Director to Detroit, so Filcro Media Staffing was called in. The Officer in Charge (OIC) of Search at Filcro Media Staffing, reported directly to the President of Network Ad Sales of the client company during the inception of the national search and through the entire identification process in Detroit and final interviews in New York.
Executive Search Industry and Sector Inclusion
- National Cable TV Networks
- National Broadcast Networks
- MSO Operators
- TV Station Groups
- Advertising Agencies
The President of Network Advertising Sales (PNAS) identified Filcro Media Staffing (FMS) and Tony Filson (TF) functioning as Officer in Charge of Search to identify, recruit, attract and if required, relocate the new Director of Advertising Sales to focus on the automotive and packaged goods industries.
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
The FMS OIC TF spent time with the President of Network Advertising Sales in New York to determine the needs of the network form a category, agency, client and budget perspective. It was quickly established why and how other search firms had failed to identify the client’s “ideal”. Filcro Media Staffing’s experience with similar advertising sales searches set a positive course of action immediately .
FMS was provided with an overview of all internal technical, operational and sales support resources. A compensation structure was understood that included agency, client, AE override and new business categories. FMS evaluated all hard and soft assets as they relate(d) to the new Director of National Sales (DNS). FMS obtained an understanding of the client culture and the unique skills and experience required to obtain the new business desired in Automotive, CPG and few key QSR’s in the geographic that were currently managed by Chicago and Los Angeles.
The diversity of the category mix - Automotive, Consumer Products and Fast Food Services required FMS to establish a hierarchy of desired ad agency, direct client and industry experience to proceed with universe compilation and tiering. It was determined that Automotive would supersede other desired industry and agency contacts with CPG and QSR’s being weighted accordingly. This would assure meeting or exceeding the sales budget set based on the targeted relationships and prior budgets of the new Director.
The President of Network Sales is a very straight forward, no nonsense executive who is very fair. The requirements and attributes he expects of his national sales force are uncompromising. Working with a President who is so assured is a great help during the search process. Establishing a path to success was accomplished immediately.
Due to network expansion and prior history in this geographic the search offered many challenges. An executive would have to function as a central point of contact with primary internal support in Chicago while reporting to a New York City based President. This Ad Sales executive had to establish and maintain one of the most desirable and sought after National and Regional client bases in Network TV from the Midwest.
Challenges Facing The New Director of Advertising Sales
- Preconceived Ideas About the Network Based on Past Management
- Past Client Experiences with the Prior Network Midwest Sales Force
- New Business Development
- New York - Detroit Agency / Client Relationship Building
- Client Lack of Understanding of the Network's Audience
- Ability to “Close” Hard to Get to, Decision Makers
- Experience with Major Automotive, Consumer Product and QSR’s
- Ability to Work Independently with fewer Resources then New York, Chicago or Los Angeles
The Filcro Media Staffing Solution: The FMS OIC proceeded to Identify "happily engaged" advertising sales executives with a proven record of success with the category specific client bases sought by the President. Automotive, Consumer Product, Fast Food and Beverage candidates from Michigan and Ohio were sourced through internal FMS O&D charting. Establish budgets and client relationships prior to approaching the targeted universe, expedited the process. Each candidate in this highly specialized search universes was sourced with extreme care. Based on past experience, FMS had a clear understanding of succession plans and reputations in targeted recruitment environments, this proved to be extremely helpful with the TV Network, Cable Net and Station Group candidates
A sales executive capable of working autonomously and focusing on the key decision makers was essential. The clients had to trust, like and respect this executive to the point that changing organizations (Networks) could be turned into a “positive”. A level of prior “close” personal contact with clients was established as mandatory.
With an unusual need for strong “client” contacts at the onset we understood that traditional tactical skill screening was not an issue. Since the client base already existed in every qualified person within our universe prior to tiering, we focused more so on the strategic, business development and soft skills that would be needed to make the transition successful at the Network.
Our firm was successful based on our ability to attract candidates that were not apparent to others and to properly assimilate and disseminate the strategic goals of the client as they related to the new executive's career. We established these common goals, as we perceived them, early in the search process to assure that the “ideal” candidates had achieved a mutually desired result, if the search was brought to fruition.
The New Director Recruited: A director of national advertising sales with an extensive Automotive and Consumer Packaged Goods client base was recruited.
The executive had substantial experience in Detroit with the key decision makers within the big 3 auto makers and their regional dealer groups. His direct and agency contacts in Ohio with Packaged Goods were also very strong and given the network he was leaving, there was an opportunity for increased income based on budget, ratings and inventory. His business and social circles were inclusive of key Automotive and Package Goods clients. Our research group in New York was able to verify every “Agency” and “Client” relationship with ease as well the clubs he belonged to and the relevant automotive and CPG members.
The identified executive's Armed Forces, BigBoxl and QSR clients while also impressive, were considered secondary to our primary objective, which was Automotive.
This executive was also familiar with “the sell” of the primary demographic, ergo, existing as well as new business would be receptive to his ability to sell and close, by numbers and intangibles. This was not an executive who sold with a “one-sheet”.
The executive was able to function in prior environments with autonomy and limited resources while still increasing budget by +50% in prior year one (1) by +36% in prior year two (2) and by +96% in prior year three (3). Just prior to our identification for the President of Network Sales he was +18% over budget projections for a still open first quarter. This proven capacity to exceed budget for the other Network(s) was highly desired by the President. Given the resources of the new Network, it was clear he could exceed his past year’s earning substantially.
It is our opinion, that this executive’s strength came from nontraditional and underdog regional sales success prior to selling in top national markets. A Radio/TV/Cable TV/MSO mix with a small owned group built an ability in this executive to cross-sell and pull dollars from client radio / outdoor / digital and other TV budgets to close deals. Few executives exhibited the resourcefulness and media knowledge that are inherent to this individual. All of the executive's “clients” we spoke with felt that they were “never being sold”. They felt as if he was “servicing them to achieve their media goals”.
The cultural fit was proper from the beginning and there was never a question about geographic or corporate cultural considerations. This executive proved to work as effectively with Chicago, New York or Detroit to facilitate agency and client business development as he did on a national basis. More important, this sales executive was never “an order taker” and his “client vs. agency” business was very high.
The executive is a respected member of the Detroit community and participates with clients on many levels with family, community and charitable organizations. At a sporting event or corporate function, he is admired for his integrity, positive attitude, maturity, stability and approachable demeanor.
The executive experienced a smooth transition to the new Network, is performing exceptionally well and has been promoted.