If you haven’t listened to Borrell’s new ‘Local Marketing Trends’ podcast, you’re missing out. Just five episodes in, hosts Corey Elliot and Gordon Borrell have already covered trends in podcasting, email marketing, radio, digital advertising and more, all with the weight of Borrell’s research division behind them.

In episode five, “Why the Oldest Ad Medium on Earth Continues to Grow,” Elliot and Borrell shared their takeaways from Borrell’s most recent local advertiser survey – and one key takeaway caught our attention from Elliot:

“We hear time and time again – ‘I want to measure ROI, I want media companies to  ROI.’ And that’s great, but here’s the one thing you have to do as an ad buyer: you have to define what that ROI is. You just can’t throw those letters out and not understand how that applies to your business.”

For ad buyers, it is good advice. Understanding how you’re going to define and track return on investment is crucial for evaluating which channels are working and which ones to cut. But this doesn’t mean ad sellers (publishers) can sit back and wait for buyers to define ROI. Instead, publishers should be prepared to educate advertisers on their options and advise them on how to get the best possible results.

Understanding how you’re going to define and track return on investment is crucial for evaluating which channels are working and which ones to cut. But this doesn’t mean ad sellers (publishers) can sit back and wait for buyers to define ROI. Instead, publishers should be prepared to educate advertisers on their options and advise them on how to get the best possible results. Tweet:

There’s evidence that this approach is wise, and Borrell confirmed it with his comments. He added, “Be educators…don’t underestimate ad buyers’ need for it.”

Borrell went on to explain that his organization had previously surveyed 446 ad agencies and 67% said they look to media companies for marketing education. If the agencies want advice from media companies, you can be sure the advertisers will as well – are you ready to provide it?

Yes, advertisers should have a clear idea of what ROI means and how it can be tracked. But if you’re an ad sales rep, you should too. With that in mind, here are three things sellers should provide advertisers during the ad sales process:

1. Recommendations on Channels, Brands and Audiences

Don’t wait for your prospect to ask about a specific brand or channel you offer – start by asking them about target audience, then explain which of your offerings will best help them reach that group.

2. ROI Models Per Channel (and Per Package)

It’s possible (even likely) that your prospect hasn’t considered Elliot’s advice – they know they need to demonstrate campaign ROI, but they haven’t yet defined what exactly that means. This represents an incredible opportunity to share your expertise and demonstrate that your media company is ahead of the competition.

For every channel you offer, be prepared to share:

        • Total possible reach (audience demographics, impressions available, etc)
        • Conversion tracking options (URL parameters for digital, QR codes for print, promo codes for radio, etc) – be sure to specify which tracking methods are provided by you, and which ones require the buyer to configure
        • Pricing options per tracking method

If you offer multichannel packages (and you should!), share the same for each package option. This will help your prospect understand where their money is going and demonstrate that you understand their goals.

3. Reporting Examples

During the ad sales process, it’s best to “show, don’t tell!” Send your prospect an example of how you can report on ROI. What analytics can you provide to give them insight into campaign progress, effectiveness and optimization? When you show them how robust your reporting can be, you signal that their money will be well spent and underscore your publication’s effectiveness.

To learn more about how to demonstrate campaign ROI with Adpoint, schedule a custom demo here. Want to hear the rest of the Borrell Local Marketing Trends podcast? Listen below.