In my experience organizations and institutions generally start putting together their next year’s ad plans and budgets right after Labor Day. This is not the case for every organization but I have noticed that it is a good rule of thumb. As an ad sales rep this means that you need to have your media kit completed and ready to send out before Labor Day. It also means that it is time to review your list of current advertisers and see if there are any that you believe should be doing more with you in the upcoming year.
I realize this is not an easy thing to do so here are a few suggestions on how to identify companies that should be doing more advertising, and some tips on how to get more advertising out of those companies you identify.
4 ways to identify companies that should be doing more advertising with you:
- Calculate how much a company is spending with you across the association—Many times the ad sales person is not aware of how much an advertiser is spending on sponsorship, exhibits, etc. It is valuable to have that information so you can see if their ad spending tends to be inline with what they are spending in other areas.
- Review their past advertising and see if their spend has gone done or if they have decreased frequency or size of ads. If a company has stopped spending as much or is doing smaller ads in fewer issues there is a good opportunity to get them to go back to where they were.
- Compare how much advertising they are doing with you to how much they are doing in your competitive publications. This is not an easy task and getting at hard numbers is tough but a rough idea will be enough.
- Research the company and see if they are growing and prospering. If they are then they are a good prospect for increasing ad spend.
Once you have developed a short list of companies that you feel should be spending more money with you it is time to make that happen. Here are 5 ways to potentially get more ad dollars from your current advertisers:
- Show them the value—If an advertiser has been doing the same thing with you for years it may be routine and they may not even understand what they could gain by doing more with you. Provide them with testimonials and case studies and examples of other companies that have really increased their business and their visibility by doing larger ads, color ads instead of black and white, advertising in more issues, etc. I realize that getting stats from those other advertisers may be difficult but try and make as much of a concrete argument as you can to increase your chances of success.
- Incentivize them—Reward current advertisers and give them a free banner ad on your website or in your e-newsletter for every ad they place that was different (larger, color versus black and white, an ad they didn’t place) than what they did before. They key here is to offer something that is of value to them but does not cost you anything.
- Direct them to the right content—Advertisements tend to work better when they are placed in issues that have content that correlates with what the company does. Work with your editors to figure out what advertisers would best fit with what issues/articles and explain to advertisers why having a larger ad in that issue would truly be valuable to them.
- Suggest a trial—For whatever reason advertisers tend to do the same size ad all the time. Talk to advertisers and suggest that they try running a larger ad in a couple of issues to see how it responds. Doing a larger ad in a couple issues only will give them a good idea of how valuable it can be but also will not totally break their budget.
- Talk to your advertisers—I know this sounds simple but when ads start rolling in there are often times when you don’t have indepth conversations with advertisers about what they are trying to accomplish and what their budgets are. If you are able to develop your short list and have real conversations with them it gives you the opportunity to better understand what they are trying to accomplish and therefore educate them on why spending more with you would be a very smart thing to do.
Ad sales is about relationships. That said relationships evolve over time. In order to keep your relationships fresh and growing it is important to nurture them. The steps mentioned above should help you do that and ultimately keep your ad revenues growing.