Ways To Keep The New Customer Sold During the Covid-19 Crisis
By Bob Berting, Berting Communiucations
Steve, your best salesperson has just told you of his latest sale—a 13 week contract to Frank, owner of Frank’s Bakery. Frank is doing good business even in the face of the Covid-19 situation. He has been running occasional ads but decided he needed a more consistent campaign to attract more business. This has been a tough selling job and Steve is very proud of his accomplishment. Now, as you might expect, Frank is going to carefully track the response to his advertising campaign in your paper, even though Steve has sold him on the idea of a very creative campaign to tell the story of his business and that readership will be like a snowball, slowly building as time goes by.
A predictable reaction from other media
In the days following the first ad of the 13 week program, Frank gets customers but also gets a lot of attention by a cable TV person, 2 radio station people, and a salesperson from the local billboard company. All these people say their medium can do better in reaching Frank’s audience, both in numbers and cost. By the time Steve goes back to Frank the next week, Frank has developed some doubt about the wisdom of the 13 week contract
Steve needs help to counteract the competition
Keeping communication lines open and active between your publication and Frank are imperative to offset competitor claims, which are frequently aimed at undermining Frank’s confidence in your publication. An excellent device to help the situation is a monthly newsletter about the paper’s news features, success stories about your advertisers, information about upcoming promotions, and community events sponsored by your publication. Although the newsletter could be sent electronically as e-mail, it might have more impact as a printed piece delivered by postal mail. Another valuable service in the newsletter is to provide source material from trade association publications devoted to retailing and marketing. Your subscription to these publications will help you further understand the inside aspects of the advertiser’s business.
What about a Zoom marketing seminar for your customers?
You can achieve a huge public relations hit by sponsoring a Zoom seminar for your inactives, regulars, and prospects. This approach has proven to be very effective and will be the best way to reach your advertisers during this crisis. You will need a Zoom host to set it up and all the advertisers need to do is to click on a link supplied to them to be in the seminar.
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The end result is to have your customers far more receptive to your salespeople and less inclined to look around at other competing media competition. Of further note, this will be a complimentary seminar. Your publication is there to help your advertisers in the face of a continuing crisis
Here is a good agenda for such an event:
- The psychology of advertising—why advertise now during a Covid-19 time?
- How to build a great campaign
- How to develop a good marketing plan using print/digital/social media
- Understanding media advantages and disadvantages
- Nuts and bolts of good ad design
- Small group workshop exercises
Advertising is war
Would a General fight a war without knowing the size and composition of the opposing forces? Advertising salespeople with inside information about their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are better able to understand their own and adjust their selling strategy accordingly. The bottom line is that you present yourself and your publication in such a way that you effectively counteract other media competition.