Earlier in 2023, Mediaweek announced the Sales Team of the Year, an initiative to highlight some of the high-quality work done in the industry.
Each month, a media sales team will be selected by a rotating panel of judges as the nominee for that particular month, culminating in 12 nominees by the end of the 12 months. The judges will be assessing each team on criteria such as proactivity, strategy and execution, and client and agency relationship management.
The 12 nominees will then all go into the running to be named Mediaweek’s Sales Team of the Year.
The winners for August are The Brag Media’s sales team.
The Brag’s sales team have onboarded over 20 new clients in CY23, and works with major names like Myer, Toyota, and the Government of South Australia.
To celebrate the win, Mediaweek sat down with Jessica Hunter (general manager of partnerships) and Joel King (chief operating officer).
Looking back at the successes of the last 12 months, King says that one of the biggest highlights has been The Brag’s investment in the sales team – including the appointment of Hunter in May.
King: “When you’re a growing business, one of the first priorities is to build great products. Then you build a great support team, a campaigns team, and then have the products to sell. After that’s been achieved, you have to build a great sales team that can sell those products. Jess has come in and been really effective, and as COO, it’s a great relief to have a very effective leadership.”
Even though she’s only been in the role for a few months, Hunter said that a lot of the excitement of her time with the business has come from the evolution and expansion of the brand.
Hunter: “For me, the highlight has been coming into the business and seeing The Brag transform from a music publisher to now being recognised as Australia’s largest youth publisher. We have 10 million people coming to our ecosystem every single month, and that’s allowed the team to unlock new client categories. We were always focused on music and entertainment, and now we’re working on luxury, tourism, gaming, and fashion. That’s what’s driven the double-digit growth.
“Changing perception in the market has been an incredible highlight for me, as well as working with the team who have such a passion for delivering phenomenal campaigns that are not only creative, but deliver on the client outcomes.”
As for what is driving the growth, Hunter says that the secret is “the team’s profound understanding of youth culture and client strategy.”
Hunter: “The team knows what makes youth tick. When we receive a brief we challenge it, because the team understands the angles you need if you want to engage these audiences.
“The team are also not only masters in youth culture, but also masters in their area of business. We have an in-house events team who have been in business for 15 years, we have a creative studio who are amazing in delivering creative concepts that meet the needs of clients. Then we have a sales team who are just so passionate about continuing The Brag’s success.”
It’s one thing to bring clients on board, but it can be a whole other ball game making sure that they want to stay. The pair say that client retention is a major focus for The Brag Media’s team, with the results of that attention to detail paying off.
King: “We have a really incentivised campaign and studio team that are very client-focused on the deliverables. We also KPI them and bonus staff on achieving 100% of campaign deliverables. There’s a very strong culture of ensuring that the client is first, but the content has to succeed and be perfect – there’s a delicate balance.”
Hunter: “We’re seeing around 47% in brief conversion, so it now becomes about how we retain those clients and continue that partnership.
“That’s not only ensuring that we have an exceptional response to a brief, but we also deliver the campaign as promised, and we have weekly communication with clients. We’re always transparent, we’re always optimising to KPIs. We’re always demonstrating how we’ve achieved the outcomes, and then sharing key learnings on how we could have made it better and what we need to do next. It’s that 360-degree approach that allows us to retain the clients.”
Looking ahead, the team will be focusing their attention on continuing the growth of the business in 2024. For the sales team in particular, Hunter says that “it’s really about having a focused sales strategy.”
Hunter: “We’ve been executing campaigns that are really led with content and events, you’ll see a lot more of that next year. You’ll see the Rolling Stone Awards – which actually just took place in New Zealand – you’ll see us activate at South by Southwest, you’ll continue to see Variety CMO Dinners, and potentially a few music festivals.
“We really want to lean into more content, events, and experiential. That’s where we’re seeing clients wanting to play in a post-Covid world. To engage youth today, you need content activations and experiential, and that’s where we excel.”
King: “From a business perspective, we’ve had really excessive growth over five years. In 2024, we’re just trying to be very proactive and have our products and our events calendar planned out, our PR marketing strategy planned out, and to also continue to develop more partnerships with global publishers.
“We’ve had strong investment in the sales team which will continue. We’re also going to really invest in our own publishers in 2024 – we’re hiring senior staff for that division at the moment. We think that there’s a great business opportunity there now that we have such a strong sales division, and that we can be confident to invest in our owned assets.”
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