Marketers in almost every industry are cutting advertising spend, and the publishing industry is feeling the effects. The difference between media organizations who survive during this time and those who thrive boils down to one key theme: how easy it is for marketers to do business with them. We’ve written about this before, because it’s clear that the publishers who are growing despite a challenging environment are doing many of the same things to cater to brands and small business marketers. With so many ways to spend advertising dollars, marketers are looking for two things: results and convenience.
But let’s face it: convenience isn’t always easy to offer, especially if you’re selling to small businesses who require more guidance through the ad sales process. To make advertising planning and purchasing easy and seamless requires preparation on the part of publishers – something we at Lineup are passionate about.
How can you tell if you’re hitting the mark? First and foremost, ensure your sales team are always soliciting feedback from your customers. In the meantime, this checklist will help – things every publisher must do to make ad buying easy:
☐ Enable customers to book print and digital advertisements on their own.
Self-service has many benefits for publishers, such as allowing your sales staff to focus on consultative selling instead of data entry. But the biggest benefit of offering a self-service option is that it makes ad booking really easy for your advertisers – just as easy as booking a PPC campaign with a tech giant!
☐ Offer audience-specific targeting.
Consult with your advertisers to learn who they want to reach and be prepared to design a packaged offer that helps them get in front of the right eyeballs. This article covers how to invest in the right data tools and partnerships to allow you to offer this kind of targeting to your advertisers.
☐ Provide start-to-finish marketing services.
The publisher-as-an-agency business model has been steadily gaining in popularity in recent years, and as brands look to cut costs internally, this will likely continue to drive revenue for publishers. If your layout team can offer creative services to your advertisers or you’re prepared to do even more, that value add makes your publication an attractive advertising option for marketers.
☐ Make sure customers can pay invoices online.
It’s 2020 and your advertisers don’t want to mail any more checks. Make sure they can view tear sheets and pay invoices online – it’s convenient for everyone, saves time and decreases the gap between invoicing and payment.
☐ Be prepared to offer valuable insights and advice.
The modern ad sales rep needs to know more than packages and inventory. They have to be prepared to make recommendations based on what really works. When they do, marketers will return (with their dollars) again and again.
☐ Always report on campaign results and ROI.
Make it easy for your advertisers to see the results you’re delivering them. During the sales process, share examples of reports you can offer and help them set goals. It’s much more difficult to cut a campaign that’s working!
☐ Make your sales process easy to navigate.
Do not make your advertisers wait for proposals or have to call you with every question. Ensure your process is “remote work friendly” as much for their sake as for your own team’s. Use tools like Adpoint’s Proposal Builder to close the gap between discussion and signature.
☐ Allow customers to sign documents online.
This is no longer a major value add, but an expectation. Not only are digital signatures legal and secure, they are expected.
We Can Help
We’re committed to making our sales process easy to navigate, while providing tools and services that enable you to do the same for your customers. If you need help navigating the Covid19 crisis or shoring up your tech stack in general, let us know. In just a few minutes, we can explore your pain points and how we can help.