30 Under 30: Meet your Sales winners

Staff Writer

One of the most contested categories in Radio Today’s 30 Under 3o Awards was the Sales category – because if anyone knows how to package a story, hype up a stakeholder and peddle their wares, it’s sales people.

The three who took out the awards, however, were Marisa Panettiere and Jessica Baum from NOVA Entertainment, and Sandy Rogers from Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).

And aside from spinning their story and selling their skills, they also tackled some serious issues in their awards submissions, and here we reveal some of their thoughts on the industry’s biggest challenges.

Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards were made possible by support from ARN, Nine, SCA, NOVA, ACE Radio and Sony Music.

You can also read about winners in the On Air, Marketing, Campaigns, Music, Podcasting and Production categories. The remaining categories will be released throughout the week.

Marissa Panettiere, NOVA Entertainment

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“The biggest challenges facing the industry and the world right now is how we learn to evolve and adapt in this new virtual ‘work from home’ normal. There are many benefits that come with the WFH model, however there are certainly challenges too when it comes to screen fatigue, cutting through and making impact, providing purposeful meetings and developing relationships from afar.

Forbes suggests that a full week of virtual meetings leaves 38% of employees feeling exhausted, while 30% felt stressed.

“I believe the media industry and radio more specifically, certainly have a stronghold on relationships with client and agency partners being at the core of how we operate. To avoid screen fatigue, what I believe to be successful in cutting through and making impact is elevating the virtual experience to provide something unique and valuable to these meetings. Whether it’s a walking meeting to move your body and get fresh air, a virtual wine tasting experience to replace Friday drinks or learning and development opportunities which is such a valuable asset for employees and agencies.

“Pitch experience is a big part of what we do in radio, and innovating this experience through video to explain the overarching strategy is providing a great way to keep the virtual experience engaging, whilst avoiding any technological issues. Maintaining connection, in the absence of physical connection is more important than ever to ensure that relationships grow and there is opportunity for open collaboration. In the virtual landscape, collaboration is key, and done correctly can allow access to readily available resources creating open dialogue between agencies, clients and media companies to come together and bridge the gap to discuss briefs, share audience and behavioural insights and collectively find solutions in real time to potential challenges.”

Jessica Baum, NOVA Entertainment

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“The biggest challenges for the audio industry also represent our greatest opportunity. This includes the convergence and diversification of audio listening and Gen Z’s troublesome relationship with audio.

“When it comes to convergence we have everything we’d ever want available via our smart phones or tablets. Whether it be DAB+, podcasts, streaming or Google Home – publishers have adapted. With hours of content available, how do we capture audiences for long enough to have meaningful impact and build brand loyalty? Are we cannibalising our industry?

“This is particularly concerning when considering Gen Z’s relationship with audio. The diversity of audio and the shift in consumption behaviours amongst digital natives means that Gen Z’s relationship with audio will be different to other generations. Myself, as a Millennial, reflect on my teenage years listening to Hughesy and Kate with nostalgia and joy. However, today’s teens do not have the same relationship with radio – they have a plethora of options available and as such their time spent listening to traditional radio is decreasing.

“This shift threatens the future of radio within audio strategy by diluting core selling propositions including talent trust, connection and engaged loyal listeners.

“Additionally, in recent times FM networks are predominantly programming towards people 25-54 and over relying on digital audio to engage younger audiences.

“We cannot assume that these audiences will migrate to radio during latter life stages and with the sheer number of publishers competing for ‘share of ear’, we cannot assume we will have the same impact. Here lies the opportunity within the challenge. In that, the publisher who finds the right balance between the old and the new will be truly future proof.”

Sandy Rogers, Southern Cross Austereo

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“I believe advertising agencies should be correctly remunerated for the service they provide their clients. This would then enable agencies to have correct the head count required to manage their clients’ advertising business.

“The flow-on effect of this would be a more manageable workload for our partners at agencies, improved mental health, work-life balance and ultimately a happier more effective industry.

“Collaboration and sharing of best practices between channels would be of huge benefit too. To use the radio industry as an example, if all audio businesses came together to improve the way we operate it would only grow the channel. This would benefit the health of audio in Australia along with the fact we would be optimising the results our client partners would be receiving.”

Stay tuned for the rest of the week as Radio Today uncovers more of the award-winning answers from our 30 Under 30 class of 2020

You can listen to the special edition Radio Today Tonight podcast about the 30 Under 30 winners below.


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