SalesFuel’s 12TH Annual State of Media Sales™ Survey Reveals Strong, Renewed Industry Optimism in 2023

WESTERVILLE, OH and CHANTILLY, VA, March 22, 2023 — SalesFuel, a leading provider of sales intelligence, announced the results of its 12th annual State of Media Sales™ survey in conjunction with BIA Advisory Services. The survey reveals nearly 25% of responding media sales managers expect to see a revenue increase of more than 10% in 2023, reflecting optimism for the future of the industry.

And there’s even more positivity among sales professionals. The survey shows a decline in sales managers and representatives (reps) who say it’s getting harder to sell against Google/Facebook: 30% of managers say it’s getting harder to sell against Google/Facebook while 20% of reps say the same – down 13% and 9% respectively from 2021.

Regarding the question of whether it’s getting “harder to generate new business,” media sales reps say they are having an easier time. In 2021, 57% of reps said it was harder to generate new business; whereas in 2023, 44.5% of reps say so.

“We’re encouraged by the optimism among media sales managers and reps early on in 2023,” says C. Lee Smith, CEO of SalesFuel. “Considering the expectations for revenue growth and the fact that the industry is finding ways to compete with the major digital players, we look forward to supporting the rebounding growth and success of the industry this year.”

The survey in February 2023 included 496 media sales reps and managers from broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, direct response, and those who have more than 50% of their revenue from digital sources.

One key finding across all the different types of sales managers includes high expectations for the health care vertical. Commenting on this, Nicole Ovadia, VP Forecasting & Analysis from BIA Advisory Services, says, “Our local advertising forecast tracks with what local sellers believe will be a strong year for health care. Our forecast has this vertical growing over 7% this year to top $13 billion. We are also tracking tremendous growth in digital advertising so local sellers are smart to be on top of this shifting ad spend to best position their offers.”

Key highlights of findings by media type:

Broadcast TV

58% of Broadcast TV media sales managers believe the health care vertical will deliver one of the highest growth rates this year.

Over 56% of Broadcast TV media sales managers say the automotive vertical will deliver a very high sales growth rate in 2023.

Cable TV

39% of Cable TV sellers expect urgent care centers to deliver significantly more revenue than last year.

Nearly 48% of Cable TV media sales managers expect a revenue increase of more than 10% in 2023.


22% of radio media sales managers expect nondealer auto service businesses to deliver significantly higher revenue growth; compared to 13% of all media sales managers.

43% of radio media sales managers believe sales to local-direct/franchises and small businesses will increase significantly this year.


71% of digital media sales managers believe recruiting/employment revenue will increase significantly in 2023 versus 38% of all sellers.

43% of digital media sales managers expect physicians to spend significantly more on advertising with them this year, a number that is notably higher than what sales managers in other media formats listed.


43% of print media sellers are having a harder time selling against the likes of Google/Facebook

33% of print media sales managers expect revenue from event sponsorship advertising to increase significantly in 2023.

Other key findings by business type:

  • 36% believe local franchises and small businesses will be significant sources of revenue increases in 2023.
  • Whereas just 8% see significantly more ad revenue from major retail accounts and chains perhaps as a result of larger companies centralizing their media buying.
  • And by industry vertical, 40% of media sellers point to home improvement as a top source of revenue increase for 2023, possibly indicating fewer people plan to sell their homes this year.

SalesFuel’s AdMall is catering to these trends and now contains more weekly leads for franchises who plan to advertise more, expand or roll out new products.


SalesFuel conducted our twelfth annual State of Media Sales™ survey in February 2023. The 496 respondents to this survey were media sales reps and media sales managers including broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, direct response and those who have more than 50% of their revenue from digital sources. All were actively employed by media sales companies in the United States. Note that some respondents sell multiple media formats.


Audrey Strong

Director of Communications, SalesFuel

Office 614-794-0500 ext.131

Mobile 614-318-3771

[email protected]