The Daily Briefing: May 1, 2020

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In today’s briefing, Jim Benton was joined by James Heller, CEO, and Co-Founder of Wrapify. They discussed how the Media and Ad Tech segment has been performing, and the latest uptick inactivity.

Here are the numbers:

  • Media and Ad Tech up 18%
  • Substantial increase across market geos
  • Cold call dials are down 35% since January, Connect rates are holding steady
  • First meeting volume up 2%
  • Follow up meetings are up 7%

Media and Ad Tech markets get a lift


Media and ad tech get a big +18% leap week over week after months of significant decreases.

“The entire ad industry came to a screeching halt almost two months ago,” said James. “We’re now seeing sales conversations for planning in June and Q3.” Bookings have slowed way down, but sales activity coming back up; building a strong foundation for the near future.

“Last week was the first week we saw the market turn around,” he added.

Delivery drivers are keeping America moving.

Delivery and Gig-economy workers are keeping our economy moving


It can use the help. The gig-economy has taken a hit. Rideshare is down 80% nationwide - except for delivery.

“With our Delivery Drives Relief campaign, 100% of the profits back into the pockets of the delivery drivers. We’re trying to help the frontline worker,” explained James.

It’s a pivot that brands and employees can get behind.

“Delivery drivers are keeping America moving,” said James.

Scripted empathy isn’t empathy


Messaging is pivoting across all segments and markets. But even the best intentions can go stale.

“Empathy is becoming scripted,” said Jim. “We need to be authentic. We're seeing that there’s new messaging week after week, day after day.”

James agreed. “Hope your family is safe is a two month ago message,” said James. “Empathy has to be part of what you do, but it can’t be all you do. People are back to doing business, it’s no longer the hold and wait it was before.”

It comes down to purpose. Why are you selling your service or product?

“Your responsibility is to find your purpose,” said James. “I think it goes all the way down to the account manager. If you don’t have a message that you believe in, it makes it difficult.

Copy and paste messaging just doesn’t cut it.”

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Does productivity vary across segments?

Markets see a big lift, though Chicago still behind


There’s a big increase in sales productivity across all major city centers. No wonder Wrapify has a larger presence there. “That’s where the top ad spends occurs,” said James. “There’s a higher reliance on the gig market.”

Jim and James exchanged theories on why Chicago is behind. James said that Chicago is a different animal.

“The way it’s spread out and the dependence on vehicles is very different than New York,” he added, explaining why it’s been a more difficult market for Wrapify to penetrate.

Cold calling comes down to the why, and the timing


Overall cold call dials are down 35% since January, though even week over week.

When discussing the decrease, James said it’s to ensure sensitivity and to avoid being in poor taste.

But he was emphatic that sellers should be selling. “We should be selling and selling with purpose,” he said. “That’s why Delivery Drives Relief was created. It helps the economy and helps brands. It’s a purpose you can get behind.”

Jim agreed. “What we’re doing right now in crisis is important. We should be selling with purpose.”

This period in time is transformational for the ad industry.

Lasting changes for the Media and Ad Tech industry


Historically, the media and ad buying business has been predicated on in-person meetings.

“This period in time is transformational for the ad industry,” said James.

For an industry that hasn’t fully embraced virtual meeting technology, it’s difficult to shift to a fully remote meeting space. “We’re trying to figure out how to get back to what we used to do, without in-person meetings,” said James.

It’s possible that it will change both the Brand and Agency side in the long run.

The brand and agency side is very different,” said James. “On the Brand side, virtual meetings are more accepted. But it usually was a stop-gap before the meeting. Now it is the meeting.”

“Agencies are hunkering down right now,” he added. “So they’re trying to develop ways to connect. They’re going to take a little longer to get into this workflow.”

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The friction of the follow up is down


Meetings are up, but does the entire sales motion still have momentum?

James says there absolutely is, and thinks working remotely might have something to do with it. “I think people thought people would be working less,” he said, “but I’m working substantially more because there’s less travel. If I got three meetings a day with my team on the road, that was a good day. But now, I’m able to meet and follow up.”

“The friction of the follow up is down,” he added. “People actually want to do this. It’s a welcome distraction.” When you’re doing business, it starts to feel like we’re back to normal.

Are sales processes changing in response to the crisis?

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