Changes in technology have forever altered how sales teams talk to their clients – and amongst themselves.

Over the past decade there’s been a revolution in communications through the emergence of digital media. This has dramatically changed the way brands connect and communicate with potential consumers.

This phenomenon has been mirrored by media investments. 2016 marked the first time the internet caught up to television in ad sales, reaching US$200 billion*; TV is the next to be eclipsed via diverse content such as videos, music and games.

Before, brands would define a target demographic and a message, and the best media to relay that message. Today, in an age where it’s not just about customers, but audiences, it’s not enough to present and sell a product. It is essential to create an interesting conversation and sustain it over time.

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But not everything is rosy along this path. Audiences and platforms tend to block traditional advertising. It happens in e-mail with filtering systems, in television with fast-forwarding, and on the internet with pop-up blockers.

In this context, integrating messages into the editorial content is an advantage, and investing in a communications medium allows a brand to create a connection with specific segments of a clientele/audience within their spheres of interest.

From a sales point of view, this situation proves more challenging for brands, communications media, and agencies. The sales team thus becomes a creative team,  or a more creative team, one that needs to think about how to connect with the user via the various channels and content opportunities available. This means new questions for a sales team as well.

It comes down to an equation that factors in the appeal of the target audience, 360-degree solutions that capture a demographic’s imagination at different times, and local content that allows for a certain differentiation while remaining related to their interests. What is the mix and what is the strategy?

This all implies a great deal of responsibility. In a market where smart ideas (and unique content) are increasingly important, brands that manage to create a conversation with their audience and maintain it will be the most successful. Those that don’t, risk losing their position in the market.

*Source: Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast (3/17)