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Bloomberg Media’s Christine Cook on strengthening advertiser relationships in 2024

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Bloomberg Media made some changes to its sales operations last year in an effort to stay on top of the tumultuous ad market, including hiring Christine Cook as its new global chief revenue officer.

Under Cook’s leadership, the events business hired a new head of event sales to put more intentional focus on that revenue stream, a client council was created to produce a more effective feedback loop from advertisers and more original video content turned into an opportunity to sell new audiences. 

Coming up on her one year anniversary at Bloomberg Media, Cook is hopeful that the changes that were made in 2023 will carry the media brand through what remains an unpredictable time in the ad market. 

“I’m a little weary … about the volatility. Maybe I’m past worry, I just maybe I’m just expecting it now,” Cook said on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. “[But] we’re geared and aligned to be prepared if that carries on. I feel really good about what we’re doing. Don’t take any client for granted. Be very thoughtful and listen. Bring more to bear.” 

Here are some highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Making the sales team better students 

Given the quick switches that were happening in the market in 2023, we realized that we wanted to be better students of all of the nuances in our clients’ industry verticals. So verticalizing the sales team is one [thing we did to achieve this]. The second is we’re standing up a client council … to get direct feedback to the different parties internally. All of that is how we are better partners to our core advertising audience. 

With the client council, we’re endeavoring to have regular meetings at appropriate gathering points around the world. And more with more speed getting that [feed]back on how are our ad products working? Are we covering the right stuff? You know, as the industry continues to pivot, that’s fascinating.

Anchoring industry insights to sales strategy 

The beautiful thing about being a B2B is what our core editorial team is working on also is a high and positive impact to the people that advertise with us. So for us, as the sales team, is how do we create that bridge to not only have a place for their advertising to run, but to bring firsthand opportunities for them, so they can be smarter as they’re driving their business forward? 

Bloomberg News is really focused on data and insights. We have Bloomberg Intelligence within the terminal, but we also, within our media business, have a data and insights group. And so we’ve worked a lot more in the consultancy space to provide [our sellers] the unique perspective that we have, or the unique research that we can bring to them, and help them carve out new trends that their clients are dealing with.

Added value isn’t just more impressions 

When you respond to an RFP, that’s not really the opportunity to show all the best ways that you’re providing good customer service. It’s what happens after the order is signed, and how you continue to expand. That’s the added value that we want to bring. I don’t think of added value as free impressions. What are the discrete and unique things that your organization can bring to bear to make that experience or that efficacy greater? 

When we dug into what are the superpowers of Bloomberg and Bloomberg Media, it’s definitely data and insights and convening and curating community. That’s what we’re going to do at Davos. It’s what we’ve been doing at a lot of our events, and it’s what we really want to come through and more of our day in and day out media.

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