In my original business plan, foreign media representation was given a pivotal role. It was after all my home ground: back in 1988 I chose to become an ad sales guy and specialize as ‘foreign media rep’. Over the years I met and visited many print publishers and there are always magazines that needed a reliable media rep. I later decided to specialize in the B2B sector and build my portfolio likewise. But boy, has the market changed drastically in a short time….
From the moment I launched my company Leerling.biz in 2004, I worked as media rep for the Japanese B2B publisher Nikkei Business Publication. Their portolio included IT, industrial, electronic and construction magazines. They hadn’t been happy with my successor ever since I left my first employer and were glad I was willing and able to pick up the Benelux sales work again. This representation would eventually lead to my adventure of working for the same group in the US between 2006-2009. After returning home in 2009, I would pick up the Nikkei BP Benelux contract again (2009-2015). Eventually the European sales office would close in 2016 due to lack of consistent ad business.
In the same B2B category and timeframe, I signed on Huson Media and Chatila Publishing House.
Huson Media (2011-2015) has a large portfolio of B2B magazines from different publishers worldwide. They signed on global rep contracts and either handled ad sales from the London office or contracted local independent media reps to run the show as sub contractors. Their portfolio contained Elsevier global industrial pubs and national European IT and electronics pubs. I started this sub-contractor service in 2011 and continued it until late 2015. The ad business basically shifted to Adwords or almost dried up during the economic crisis. A double negative wammy.
Chatila Publishing House (2011-2015) is running B2B publications in the Middle East and covering the sectors water, construction, food and healthcare. Business for me stayed pretty small and it mostly served to generate leads at trade shows and email shots. The ME political and military crisis didn’t help to grow the business and I decided to hand back my contract by the end of 2015.
Concluding: I hardly see a sustainable business in running a foreign media representation, especially in the B2B business especially when limited for the Benelux market space. It really hurt to say goodbye to my foreign publishers, but it was time to move on and adapt my business model to a fast changing market situation.
Tags: media representation, media reps, foreign media, media sales, Rodric Leerling, Leerling.biz, RefRod, Sales Power Provider, Customer & Employee Advocacy, Advocacy Marketing.