Over the years, the newspaper business has relied on a variety of promotions to get revenue. The infamous signature pages, which not only put more stress on salespeople but in many cases, antagonize advertisers who feel obligated to do something, but down deep resent the process. The quick one time promotion that represents chunks of quick revenue, but interfere with the consultant process of the salespeople, who are working on customer budgeted long range campaigns. Again, the customer is frustrated because of another intrusion into their planned campaign to tell the story of their business on a planned budget.
There is an answer to these stressful methods of selling. The answer is a 5-point plan of action as follows:
- Sell Cluster Merchant Groups On Yearly Promotion Schedules. The advertiser plans on the monthly promotion (budget) and likes the idea of running with other merchants in his shopping center, small town, or business community . . . or, it may be a subject promotion where he or she is running with other people in his or her business category (bridal, dining, auto, home decorating, etc.). The bottom line is that it’s a win-win situation. The merchant sees it was a team activity and incorporates it into the yearly budget. The publication sees consistent, repetitive income flowing in month after month. . . it is definitely lucrative and definitely effective. (Fax for free report on your letterhead to 317/849-5408).
- Consultant Approach To More Long Range Programs. The average advertising salesperson today, irregardless of all the new technology, the “Behavior Modification Techniques” and the “Enhanced Communication Skills” taught by new age seminar leaders, still has a tendency to sell advertising the way its been sold for the last 30 years: Make as many calls a day as possible, quickly meeting with a prospect and asking questions, bringing spec layouts on the second call, trying to close the sale and finally – going back for a third call and cover objections. This selling procedure may drag on and on and on with the salespeople doggedly trying to sell the prospect and prove to the sales manager that he or she finally landed the hard-to-get prospect.
The ideal situation is to have a branding process that pre-sells the publication and puts less stress on the salesperson. The salesperson must be perceived as a trusted adviser and a true advertising consultant the customers will believe and trust.
The key issue in developing a lucrative account is the professionalism of the publication advertising consultant. Here are some key points that illustrate professionalism:
- There is no deviation from the rate card. There are no special deals.
- The consultant knows ad design backwards and forwards, including proper selection of type fonts for effective readership.
- The consultant does not downgrade media competition, but knows what makes a good media mix and why his or her publication should be the major player in a media mix.
- All materials shown (marketing kit, promotional items) have a high quality, professional look.
- The overall image of the consultant is professional: Wearing apparel, grooming, good posture, good enunciation, good sense of humor, late model car, etc. All these things can easily add up to more revenue for the paper because of human nature which compels someone to buy from someone they like.
- Superior Creative Campaigns To Beat Media Competition. It has been said if you give someone enough reasons to do something, they might just do it. The same applies to advertising. By listing these reasons consumers come to a particular business and then using those reasons (benefits) to tell the story of their business and by running them as the headlines of ads is a very simple, but effective way to build a consistent campaign. Readers gravitate to ads that are provocative, and above all cause the eye to be drawn to them with a large dominant element (either a heading or illustration). The scanning pathway of reading the ad is accomplished by having a “Z” format. The eye enters the ad in the far left corner – sees a small logo, then the heading . . . from the “horizontal line” – the eye is drawn at an angle down the ad by using elements strategically placed to do so. The lower part of the “Z” – is the information section: Hours, location map, address, phone and finally a large logo in the lower right corner, which gives the reader a final reminder of who the advertiser is and the image projected by the advertiser. The ongoing campaign of provocative ads with touches of humor and a pattern of clever art and copy, will withstand most media competition. The bottom line is that your advertiser loves to hear customers say, “I really enjoy seeing your ads – they’re humorous, very informative and your persistent advertising pays off . . . it brought me in today.”
- Effective Internet Marketing Strategy. After looking at dozens of publication websites, it is obvious that most of them are either very good or mediocre. The very good websites have the following characteristics:
- They are clean and easy to read. There are no big graphics that cause a much slower scan of the page.
- The home page is colorful and readily a delight to see. The links in the navigational menu are very easy to read. (Many links are very hard to read and discourage the viewer from continuing on the website.)
- The following links work well to sell the publication services:
- Upcoming promotions of the paper: Enter to win prizes.
- Monthly calendar of daily events for that coverage area.
- Display advertising – deadlines and tips.
- Classified advertising ? ads placed through the websites.
- Notices to submit – Engagement, bridal.
- Customer hosting – newspaper provides business catalog links.
- Circulation (coverage map) also “Looking for a delivery route?”
- Job Search
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- About us ? How can our paper work for you?
- Local news – including sports. Keep this current and updated.
- Contact us (e-mail format).
- Why be on the web? Build techno-credibility. Customers who believe you are capable of understanding technological tools will be more apt to believe that you’re capable of understanding and mastering other things, most significantly, the products and services you sell.
- Integrated Advertising. These are various advertising elements which strategically complement and support each other . . . a newspaper ad promoting a website, which might, in turn, promote a powerful brochure. Your site might encourage visitors to join an internet discussion group or place their names on your mailing list.
- Save Money. Suppose you could reduce the cost of mailing catalogs, circulars, and other materials? Suppose you could cut your long distance phone bill? Suppose you could reduce your fax volume? You can – by establishing a website and making information freely available there.
- Business Networking Club. Probably one of the most powerful ways to build lasting relationships with other business owners. Forming a business networking /referral club of area merchants can be one of the most innovative ways to bring your business community together. A breakfast meeting once a week works well and members will be selected by business exclusivity categories. If you want more information about this exciting “givers gain” way to get leads and referrals, call me at 800/536-5408 . . . or e-mail to Bob@BobBerting.com.