How Spotify trains its sales team to sell programmatic
But to master the fast-changing and complex language of programmatic, Spotify’s 350-person global sales team has had to sharpen its technology skills through internal and external training.
“We want to educate them about programmatic and incentivize them to sell private marketplaces,” Les Hollander, global head of digital audio monetization for Spotify, said after his presentation at the IAB Programmatic Symposium in New York City on Wednesday.
Spotify’s internal training team, called Greenhouse, provides programmatic workshops every Tuesday. This week’s training was a refresher on how to integrate third-party data into programmatic deals and how a brand can serve targeted programmatic video ads on Spotify.
“’Training Tuesday’ keeps our direct sales teams up to date on new capabilities,” said Hollander. “Our programmatic experts are charged with working across directs sales with industry updates both internally and externally.”
Spotify also hosts trainings sessions with demand-side platform The Trade Desk on the landscape of programmatic display, video and audio.
While programmatic is a growing business for Spotify, it doesn’t compete with direct sales — everyone sells everything and gets compensated based on the same formula, no matter how the deal comes in, to account for the fact that a salesperson who specializes in entertainment and fast-food industries typically lands more programmatic deals than one who is focused on telecommunications, for instance, according to Hollander.
But Spotify does have programmatic specialists who are not responsible for direct sales but work alongside individual sellers, Hollander added. For instance, when a Spotify sales person discusses with media agency OMD on programmatic campaigns for JCPenney, a programmatic specialist will coordinate with all of them as well as The Trade Desk and the trading desk at OMD.
Sales also works with the programmatic ad ops team on pre-deal consultation, deal set-up, real-time optimization, campaign reporting and post campaign analysis, said Hollander.
But as brands’ demand for programmatic increases, the Spotify sales team has to keep up with advertisers’ different reporting requirements. Some want ad reports based on gender, age and geography, while others need reports by devices and mobile phone carriers, for instance.
Programmatic audio will be a big focus for Spotify going forward because the traditional process of buying audio ads is manual, which makes it harder to adapt to programmatic.
“Right now, we are running programmatic only on mobile and desktop, but think about all the different consumer electronic devices: People listen on Sonos, Roku, Google Home and Amazon Alexa, etc.,” said Hollander. “We will reach them all on those devices programmatically.”
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What publishers should watch for when meeting with blockchain vendors
In this week's Media Briefing, media editor Kayleigh Barber explores the primary questions publishers should be asking when evaluating potential blockchain partners.
Amid video growing pains, Amazon Live struggles to attract publishers
Amazon wants publishers to drive their audiences toward the ecommerce platform's shoppable videos. Many are skeptical.
‘Push back with brilliance’: Jared Belsky explains Acadia’s approach to acquiring other agencies and recruiting clients
Digital agency Acadia is focused squarely on winning mid-sized clients that the holding companies usually pass over or don’t treat seriously enough.
SponsoredHow advertisers are shifting mindsets to succeed amid iOS 15 and other identity challenges
On top of the impending cookie deprecation, Apple’s recent iOS 15 changes are causing concern for many advertisers by affecting pixels, IP addresses and email addresses. While these upcoming changes may be concerning for many, shifting mindsets and getting away from a binary way of thinking with solutions being 100% contextual or 100% universal IDs […]
Architectural Digest will publish its first global print issue as part of revamped international rollout strategy
As Condé Nast shifts to a consolidated global content strategy, editorial teams around the world are working more closely at AD to coordinate the publication of feature stories, videos and new franchises.
‘It requires more scrappy thinking’: How cannabis brand Charlotte’s Web approaches media buying and execution
The cannabis industry continues to morph into a legitimate and possibly lucrative vertical for media agencies to pursue, as cannabis brands raise their marketing game to new heights.