OTT.  It’s the acronym our sellers love to use to show we’re “with the times,” whether the seller fully understands the platform or advertiser opportunities. When we ask sellers to explain the difference between their OTT offerings and a competitor, it can get murky, and if we go one step further asking about targeting capabilities or VOD, CPM, Attribution tracking, etc. … we hear pauses and often, crickets. 🙂

That’s to be expected on the deeper nuances of these powerful platforms, but not so with the basics. So what are you doing to improve your team’s ability to sell OTT and the like? Here are three ideas that can ensure your sellers don’t get tripped up on the large or small idiosyncrasies of our multiple platforms:

  • Role-play, role-play, role-play.

And not with your digital lead as the acting seller or buyer. Have your ‘broadcast first’ sellers be the sellers and buyers. You and/or your digital lead can guide/coach, but the real learning is gleaned when the sellers are the ones role-playing.

Role-play starter: ‘Dr. Bradley from Bradley Chiropractic. Dr. Bradley is not digital savvy, but wants to explore based on what he’s read/heard from other business owners. He mentioned he streams on Apple TV but that’s as much as he knows. OTT may be a good fit for him, since his clients mostly come from 10 miles around his clinic and are between the ages of 30-45.

  • Success Stories.

Share very specific advertiser success stories using the various platforms (even if they come from a sister station or outside our own sales team). Stories focus on the items that matter—the basics of why the platform was used, and the outcomes it drove.

In your role-play scenarios, encourage the use of success stories. It will profoundly help your sellers to see, hear, and practice this skill and ability.

  • Create simple cheat sheets (internal – not for advertiser consumption).

A “how we match up” or a “step by step” guide on where/when to utilize your various solutions.

Margie Chilson is a Senior Marketing Consultant for

Her vast experience includes nearly three decades in broadcast television and digital sales marketing, working in and with multiple markets and affiliations including Dallas-Fort Worth at WFAA, Denver at KUSA-KTVD, KMGH, KWGN, and as a team manager at Millennium Television Sales.

Margie’s years as a local seller were award-winning and inspiration for her jump to She exceeded new business and digital goals on a consistent basis at Belo Corp., Scripps, Tribune, and TEGNA Inc. stations. A true innovator, Margie pioneered job-sharing positions in Dallas and Denver, balancing hectic work schedules and family, paving the way for working parents with careers in media sales.

Margie is well known and respected for her diligence, drive, and new business results. Due to her years in the business as an account executive and sales leader, she knows the station environment well and can easily relate to local sellers as well as the most senior managers.

An alum of Oklahoma State University who graduated with Honors in Journalism Advertising, Margie boasts an outstanding track record of helping business owners strategically grow their revenue through broadcast, streaming and digital solutions.

Margie and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years. The couple and their two children live in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. Their son, Ryan, attends the University of Colorado Boulder, and their daughter, Mary, is in high school.  In their spare time, the Chilsons enjoy travel, hiking in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, cooking, watching movies, and cheering on their kids in various sporting events.