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@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz, Carmen Gonzalez, Adrian Bridgwater, Pat Romanski

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24/7 Media, About.com & Triad Retail Media Institute Sales Recruitment Preference for Candidates with IAB Digital Media Sales Certification

With the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Digital Media Sales Certification program officially launched less than a year ago, three leading media companies – 24/7 Media, About.com and Triad Retail Media – are supporting its importance to the marketplace by formally committing to a sales hiring preference for those who have taken and passed the exam. All three organizations will be citing this recruitment preference in their job listings and incorporating it within their human resources hiring procedures. The news was released at the sixth IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: “Big Data & Big Ideas: Friends, Enemies or Frenemies?” at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

“To have three companies at this high level recognize the value of the IAB certification program speaks to the significant need that the industry has had for this type of professional benchmark,” said Michael Theodore, Vice President, Training and Development, IAB. “In creating the program, we had long heard that the growing complexities inherent in the digital advertising landscape made it necessary to establish an educational standard that aligns with the skill sets and extensive knowledge base that salespeople need to succeed. Which is precisely why we launched the program.”

To receive the certification, digital sales professionals must complete an examination, which covers general comprehension of the interactive advertising ecosystem, selling digital media and analyzing campaign performance.

Specific topics include:

  • Differentiating the benefits of digital versus traditional media
  • Describing digital advertising formats
  • Defining key digital advertising tools and technologies
  • Calculating media mathematics
  • Adhering to compliance standards/policies
  • Understanding differences in digital ad formats
  • Prospecting for new clients
  • Aligning digital advertising products with client objectives
  • Comprehending internal and third-party research
  • Analyzing, launching and monitoring digital advertising campaigns and data
  • Reviewing opportunities to renew or upsell digital advertising campaigns

“The IAB Digital Media Sales Certification program has definitively raised the level of professionalism in the interactive field, when it comes to sales,” said Lee Sparaga, Senior Vice President, North American Sales, 24/7 Media’s Real Media Group. “It provides the kind of standard that our industry requires, in order for sales teams to truly excel in an ever-shifting and complicated landscape.”

“Just as the legal profession has the Bar Exam, the digital media profession has craved a similar educational ‘gold standard’ for interactive advertising sales professionals,” said Tracy Raiser, Senior Vice President, Sales, About.com. “With the digital arena evolving at breakneck speeds, this credential is vital to the career of an interactive ad salesperson, and is therefore critical to our company’s growth.”

“A deep understanding of interactive advertising platforms, technologies and capabilities is paramount in order to not only make a sale, but build a long-term relationship between the sell-side and buy-side,” said Brian J. Quinn, Chief Revenue Officer, Triad Retail Media. “This is why the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification stamp of approval is now an essential piece in our recruitment puzzle.”

No formal coursework is required to take the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification examination. Designed for salespeople with 2-5 years of experience in the digital industry, the exam is recommended for candidates who have a strong command of current industry issues, players, and operations, as well as a broad understanding of every major digital platform. The test costs $350 for IAB members and $450 for non-members.

The IAB worked with the fully accredited test development company Professional Testing, Inc. to create the content of the exam, alongside subject matter experts. All exams are administered through Pearson Testing Centers and are available worldwide.

For more information on the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification program or to register to take the exam during the next window, April 1 – 30, 2013, please visit www.iab.net/certification.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

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