Sales Team of the Year: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

06/17/2009

Whether it’s selling for flagship publication Martha Stewart Living, MarthaStewart.com, The Martha Stewart Show or any one of the other brand assets that falls under the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia umbrella, the MSLO sales team lives and breathes as a holistic unit. All team members adhere to a shared philosophy that sets forth the notion that everyone on the team is a leader; there are no followers. Everyone is a teacher; there are no preachers.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Sales Team

This outlook has infused the MSLO sales team with the drive and power to establish a model of excellence in the 360 degree, cross-platform programs they develop and execute. With domestic/crafts doyenne and eponymous company founder Martha Stewart as its guide and inspiration, the sales team prides itself on selling brand solutions as opposed to selling ad units like a commodity. “It is rare to have multiple assets that share such a clear, singular voice,” says Jacki Kelley, EVP of media sales for MSLO.

Power Programs
An example of a program that both leveraged brand equity for all those involved while surpassing advertiser expectation was for client Mars and its My M&M’s initiative. Dubbed “Your Holiday, Your Way,” the campaign was devised to generate awareness of the new M&M’s technology that allows consumers to put images on custom-made M&M’s, and to generate incremental sales during the 2008 holidays. Aligning the client’s product with MSLO holiday content across all platforms, the team created ornaments and gifts using My M&M’s, offering enticing reasons for consumer purchases. The results were a 27% increase in traffic to the My M&M’s Web site; 12% increase in orders, 36% increase in intent to purchase; 40% ROI; and 167 million impressions during the holiday season.

Another notable initiative was Nestle Baking’s “A Million Reasons” initiative, which encompassed the TV show, the Web site and in-book advertorials in Martha Stewart Living with an eight-page Nestle 2009 calendar insert. Here the challenge was to drive consumers to use Nestle Toll House by creating seasonal and emotional reasons for baking. Leveraging MSLO’s expertise in crafts, the sales team created custom projects that coordinated with specific Nestle recipes. The results were millions of targeted media impressions for Nestle, which generated massive consumer action. Also, according to Vista, the November 2008 advertorial was the top-scoring ad in the whole issue for actions taken.

Talent Surplus
It’s no surprise that the exemplary skills shown by the MSLO sales team has brought it high grades from agency partners, in addition to clients. “The Martha Stewart team has set a new standard in integrated marketing programs,” says Tracy Benson, VP of marketing strategy for imc2. “Their ability to bring a unique set of valuable assets together to create deeper and more meaningful programs is critical in today’s fragmented environment, but what truly sets them apart is the combination of their talent, accountability, structure and creativity that brings it all together to drive results.”

Key members of MSLO’s sales team include Sally Preston, SVP, group publisher; Eileen Kiernan, SVP, marketing solutions; and Lee Heffernan, SVP, integrated marketing.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
AICPA Media Solutions: Creating customized opportunities for marketers to reach senior level CPAs and financial professionals, the team at AICPA Media Solutions has been highly effective in meeting client’s goals. Highlights of their work include the Journal of Accountancy, which reaches more than 387,000 accounting professionals monthly; its Web site, which receives more than 800,000 page views per month (32% more than other accounting Web sites); numerous e-newsletters; live events; and webcasts.

People StyleWatch: StyleWatch, which started as a special newsstand extension of People in 2002, is now published 10 times a year with a guaranteed circulation of 700,000 and 4.2 million. Led by Michelle Myers, the sales team brought in 80 new advertisers in 2008 and saw a nearly 100% growth in the endemic fashion and beauty business. From 2007 to 2008, StyleWatch had a 36% increase in ad pages.

Women’s Health: In a tough year for print advertising, Women’s Health was able to bring in a total of 112 new advertisers and increase ad revenue by 61%. Signature marketing programs like Are You Game, an outdoor festival held in New York and Chicago annually, engages readers and marketers; last year this event had garnered support from five sponsors, and for 2009 the team secured seven sponsors. The team of seven New York sales directors/representatives and seven national representatives is led by Mary Murcko, VP/publisher, who was named a 2008 Sales Team Leader of the Year by min.

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