Cable Television Network
National TV Advertising Sales Executive,
Detroit, Michigan - USA, based search.
FMS OIC reporting to President Network Sales, New York, NY USA
Client: A cable television network with over 100,000,000 subs that is a division of a major media and entertainment conglomerate. This network enjoys niche dominance and it subscribes to category and geographic sales ownership. This Detroit based search was to enhance the Network’s Midwest and National Ad Sales dominance within Automotive, Consumer Product and Fast Food Service(s).
Search: National TV Advertising Sales Executive – Director Midwest National Sales
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 had previously retained (3) three other search firms that were unsuccessful and required a firm with a proven track record of success with category specific national TV advertising sales searches. 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.
Executive Search Members Industry and Sector inclusion:
National Cable TV Networks
The President of Network Ad Sales (PNS) identified Filcro Media Staffing (FMS) and Tony Filson (TF) functioning as Officer in Charge of Search to identify the ideal executive. Maxine Paul (MP) of FMS functioned as Director of National Research (DNR).
FMS was retained.
FMS OIC TF and DNR MP spent considerable time with the PNS to determine the needs of the network form a category, geographic 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 was utilized immediately to set a positive course of action .
FMS was provided with an overview of all internal technical, operational and sales support issues. A compensation structure was understood that included agency, client 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, Consumer Product and Fast Food Service sectors.
The diversity of the category mix - Automotive, Consumer Product and Fast Food Services required FMS to establish a hierarchy of desired skill sets and industry experience to proceed with universe compilation and tiering. It was determined that Automotive based on the Detroit - Midwest location would supersede other desired industry and agency contacts. This was essential to meet or exceed the budget for the next year
The President of Network Sales is a very straight forward, no nonsense executive who is also very fair. The requirements and attributes that he demands of his national sales force are uncompromising. Working with a President who is so adamant about “what” he wants is a great help during the search process. Establishing a search document was easy and accomplished immediately.
Due to network expansion, geographics, cross-sell, domestic economic and programming issues the search offered many challenges. An executive had to be identified that could function as a “one person” point of contact with 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 Region.
Some of the biggest challenges facing the new (DNS) were:
- Preconceived Ideas About the Network
- 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 Speak with and “Close” Hard to Get to, Decision Makers
- Experience with and Ability to handle Major Automotive, Consumer Product and Fast Food Service Clients
- Ability to Work Independently with fewer Resources then New York, Chicago or LA.
Solution: FMS proceeded to Identify "happily engaged" executives with a proven record of success with relevant category specific client bases. Automotive, Consumer Product, Fast Food and Beverage candidates from Michigan and Ohio were obtained and sourced through internal FMS O&D charting to establish efficacy and relationship quality, prior to approach. Each candidate, in what we perceived, as a highly specialized search universe, was sourced with extreme care, based on our methodologies. Our understanding of internal succession planning issues in targeted environments would prove to be extremely helpful.
A sales executive capable of working autonomously and focusing on the key decision makers with a diverse client base was essential. The clients had to trust 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 “client” contacts at the onset we understood that normal tactical skills were 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 and soft skills that would be needed to make the transition successful at the Network.
We were very fortunate that The President of Network Sales never wavered in his standards or hard and soft skill-set requirements. 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” candidate was working with the client, to assure a mutually desired result.
Successful candidate identified: A director of national advertising sales with an extensive Automotive and Consumer Packaged Goods client base was identified and hired.
The executive had substantial experience in Detroit with the key decision makers within the big 3 auto makers and their regional dealer groups. His 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 and environment. His business and social circle was 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.
The identified executive’s Armed Forces, Retail and Fast Food clients while also impressive but 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.
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 print/radio/outdoor/digital and other TV budgets to close deals. Few executives exhibited the resourcefulness and media knowledge that are now inherent to this individual on many levels. 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.
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