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Media Sales Management and New Product Innovation: An Exploratory Study
Unformatted Document Text:  MEDIA SALES AND INNOVATION 12 the sales operation. There is the possibility of cannibalization of the older product by the new innovations, especially if they are similar with respect to several characteristics. However, the revenue gains made possible by the inclusion of the innovation outweigh any negative effects of cannibalization. One of the greatest benefits cited by the subjects of the study was the fact that innovations provide a salesperson with more opportunities to sell a product. As demonstrated by Baldauf, Cravens, & Piercy (2001), a wider range of products is linked to the ability of salespeople to maximize revenues by selling more to each customer and to an overall improvement in their relationship with their customers. In most of the stations researched, the sales teams had additional product options to offer, in the form of multicast channels, providing salespeople with a higher likelihood of making a particular sale and selling a higher dollar volume to each customer. In addition, by having this multicast channel at their disposal, salespeople had the opportunity to pursue new market segments through the offering of a highly specialized product, such as NBC Weather Plus (now defunct), or a more generalized product, such as The CW or My Network TV. Conclusion The perception of an innovation as valuable by a television station’s sales department and entities external to the focal station is critical to the successful rollout of a new product. Although the sales team structure may not change as a result of a new innovative offering, the sales department has the opportunity to capitalize on increased revenues made possible by the resulting widened product- market scope. This study is purely exploratory and therefore has limitations and areas for future research. The major limitation is the limited context of the study. The study is based on one media innovation, multicasting, and one media industry, television broadcasting. Future research involving other broadcast innovations such as high definition, interactive television, and 3-D technology would be of value.

Authors: Holmes, Todd.
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MEDIA SALES AND INNOVATION  
 12
the sales operation.  There is the possibility of cannibalization of the older product by the new 
innovations, especially if they are similar with respect to several characteristics.  However, the revenue 
gains made possible by the inclusion of the innovation outweigh any negative effects of cannibalization.
One of the greatest benefits cited by the subjects of the study was the fact that innovations 
provide a salesperson with more opportunities to sell a product.  As demonstrated by Baldauf, Cravens, 
& Piercy (2001), a wider range of products is linked to the ability of salespeople to maximize revenues 
by selling more to each customer and to an overall improvement in their relationship with their 
customers.  In most of the stations researched, the sales teams had additional product options to offer, in 
the form of multicast channels, providing salespeople with a higher likelihood of making a particular 
sale and selling a higher dollar volume to each customer.  In addition, by having this multicast channel 
at their disposal, salespeople had the opportunity to pursue new market segments through the offering of 
a highly specialized product, such as NBC Weather Plus (now defunct), or a more generalized product, 
such as The CW or My Network TV.  
Conclusion
The perception of an innovation as valuable by a television station’s sales department and 
entities external to the focal station is critical to the successful rollout of a new product.  Although the 
sales team structure may not change as a result of a new innovative offering, the sales department has 
the opportunity to capitalize on increased revenues made possible by the resulting widened product-
market scope.
This study is purely exploratory and therefore has limitations and areas for future research.  The 
major limitation is the limited context of the study.  The study is based on one media innovation, 
multicasting, and one media industry, television broadcasting.  Future research involving other broadcast 
innovations such as high definition, interactive television, and 3-D technology would be of value. 


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