by Chuck Nau
Did you sell an ad for your newspaper, today?
Did you sell an ad for your newspaper’s web site, today?
Did you sell an ad for your newspaper’s upcoming special section, today?
If you did, you may be wasting some of your advertiser’s time, your newspaper’s time,
and your own time.
More importantly, you may be impacting the likelihood of results for your advertiser’s
expenditure in your newspaper and on your newspaper’s web site. Additionally, you
may be leaving advertising dollars on the table for competitors in your market to gather
In essence, your single ad, whether in print or online, selling strategy may be impacting
the success of your client’s advertising in your newspaper’s various products. Likewise,
you may be limiting the growth of their business, the success of your newspaper, and
the success of your own territory or account list. A one time selling strategy allows ad
dollars that could be in your newspaper and your pocket to go underutilized.
A strategy of selling only a single ad just does not work in building a sales territory,
developing an account list, or helping new and existing clients reach their marketing
goals. It does not work for your advertiser, your newspaper or YOU!
Let’s explore a selling strategy for your (potential) advertiser, your newspaper, and you,
that maximizes the likelihood for success for all. An advertising campaign selling
strategy affords you, your newspaper, and your advertiser a number of benefits. Two
major benefits are saving time and creating, if not enhancing, results
But first, let’s step back and clarify what we mean by an advertising campaign selling
strategy. An advertising campaign selling strategy consists of five components and
affords you, your newspaper, and your advertiser five key benefits.
The elements of an advertising campaign include a series of ads, inprint or online, within
a timeframe, with a budget, to meet an identified need, problem or opportunity with an
anticipated goal or outcome. If one of these elements is NOT present at the onset of your
advertiser’s schedule, in all likelihood, you will find yourself selling single ads again very
soon to this advertiser.
As you know, one of the major elements in any successful advertising campaign is
consistency, not necessarily repetition of the same message, but rather a consistent
planned advertising program. It is consistent in the sense that the advertiser’s name and
overall message is before their potential target customer on a regular basis. Developing
that consistency takes both time and patience.
First and foremost, investigate and do some preliminary research to determine your
client’s marketing goals (needs or problems). Ask questions (‘Tell me about your
business’). As they begin to share with you their goals, their strategy, and their hopes
and dreams, you should begin matching your newspaper and your newspaper’s various
products’ benefits and strengths to their goals, needs, or problems. Offer a business
solution, an idea, a campaign that will be here not only today, but tomorrow, too!
Help your potential advertiser understand and benefit from the need to plan, plan,
plan their advertising strategy to produce the desired results. Demonstrate to them that
sporadic and infrequent advertising does not work, rather that consistent advertising, in
good times and slow times, delivers ongoing results and business growth.
Selling an idea, a campaign, rather than a single ad or two has numerous benefits for
your potential advertiser, your newspaper, and you. Let’s explore some selected benefits.
The potential advertiser benefits include time savings (less time conceiving, developing
and handling various ad elements), dollar savings through better ad costs control,
planned sales events and elimination of last minute poorly executed promotions, and
improved utilization (both in planning and payment) of available co-op funds. Most
importantly, better response will be achieved in terms of sales, and improved name
recognition (… top of mind awareness!) on individual ads and related marketing efforts.
The potential newspaper benefits, much like your client’s, include time savings through
less ad handling, reduced ad errors (and client impacts), dollar savings through improved
time management by the sales staff which translates into enhanced client (face to face)
planning and selling time. This will lead to better campaigns, more ad success, and the
resultant available ad dollars being reinvested. Your newspaper may also realize new
and additional ad dollars through increased sales calls, stronger client relationships, plus
additional selling benefits (use of co-op, promotional tie-ins, better special section or
ROP special feature planning) inasmuch as campaigns are conceived, refined (e.g.
flexibility does exist in campaign selling), planned and executed in a more timely,
efficient manner that generates results.
The potential benefits to you are numerous. First and foremost, selling an idea, a
campaign, rather than one or two single ads at a time enhances your ability to manage
your territory or account list. It helps achieve maximum revenue generation for your
newspaper and YOU, saving time and money and effort. Simply put, selling an
idea, a campaign is selling smart, not harder. Additional benefits include control of
planning and making choices (What exactly is it that you are trying to manage?), having,
and taking time, to identify those accounts and activities that will be responsible for
generating results and leading you to your goals. You will be spending more creative
and FUN time and less production and crisis reactionary time – acting, NOT reacting.
There will be the opportunity to spend more time getting to know and help your client’s
succeed, which in turn will aid your successful professional and personal growth.
If you leave money on the table, others are ready to take advantage of that situation and
leave you with limited opportunities for success. Instead, partner with your potential
advertisers, planning and selling a long term campaign (three months+) that will benefit
© Murray & Nau, Inc.
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Chuck Nau of Murray & Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based publishing consultant and sales
and management trainer. He has been a speaker for and conducted advertising,
marketing, management and sales training workshops with newspapers, niche publishers,
publishing groups and press associations, throughout North America.
Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. or at (425) 603 – 0984. © Murray & Nau, Inc.