Manhattan-based advertising agency KMGi is building a new online ad sales team to assist with its two new Internet services, hiring roughly 40 sales professionals this year.
"We're looking for people who have a proven track record in advertising sales," said CEO Alex Konanykhin. "Preferably people who can work autonomously."
Prior Web experience is preferred but not mandatory.
"It's a big plus of course, if their experience is related to the Internet," said Konanykhin. "But [traditional ad sales experience] doesn't necessarily preclude you from the opportunity. It's really more important that you know how to talk to mid-sizes."
Of its new projects, WikiExperts.us, launched this month, will be the most "important pillar" of its services, according to KMGi managing director Silvina Moschini. The service is a collaboration with a team of Wikipedia's volunteer writers, to produce company profiles on Wikipedia that adhere to its rules about content neutrality and including references to other online sources.
"People these days don't just go to the company website," said Moschini. "When they want information about a company or a product, they look in Google or Wiki, so this is incredibly relevant."
Many of the new hires will work as social media managers promoting the new services and generating ad sales.
KMGi, whose clients are mainly mid to large retail and technology products and services companies including GE, Boeing and Intel, wants professionals with ad sales experience, preferably at major new publications and websites.
"Based on our review of the resumes we've received so far, we formed an opinion that they have the most extensive experience in working large lists of advertisers."
The company has seven office locations worldwide including its New York City headquarters, though many of its employees work from home. But the freedom comes with a price -- the agency uses a propriety billing system, called Transparent Billing, to monitor progress through a software that takes periodic screenshots of employees' desktops for project managers to review.
"It allows us to see exactly what we're being billed for, and allows us to pay our contractors as well, seeing what they're doing."
KMGi was founded in 1997 and hires 42 full time staff, including a small sales team. It's revenue last year rose to $4 million, after a recession haul of $3.3 million in 2009. It's projected revenue for this year is over $6 million.
Write to Sindhu Sundar