Now is the time to educate key advertisers on why they should increase their ad spend with your organization in 2013.
By Scott D. Oser
Organizations generally start putting together their next year’s advertising plans and budgets right after Labor Day—and that’s just around the corner. This means that an association needs to have its media kit completed and ready to send out before Labor Day. This is also the 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.
Here are a few suggestions on how to identify companies that should be doing more advertising with you, as well as tips on how to get more advertising out of them.
Four ways to identify companies that should be doing more advertising with you:
1. 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.
2. Review their past advertising and see if their spend has gone down, or if they have decreased frequency or ad size. If a company has stopped spending as much or is doing smaller ads in fewer issues, now is a good opportunity to get them back to where they were.
3. Compare how much advertising they are doing with you to how much they are doing in competitive publications. Getting at hard numbers is tough, but a rough idea will be enough.
4. Research the company and see if they are growing and prospering. If the advertiser is on solid ground and growing stronger, then they are a good prospect for increasing their 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 five ways to potentially get more ad dollars from your current advertisers:
1. Show them the value. If an advertiser has been doing the same thing with you for years, it may have just become routine. They may not even understand what they could gain by doing more. Provide them with testimonials, case studies, and examples of other companies that have increased their business and their visibility by doing larger ads, color ads instead of black and white, advertising in more issues, etc. Getting stats from those other advertisers may be difficult, but make as much of a concrete argument as you can to increase your chances of success.
2. 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 the year before. They key here is to offer something that is of value to them but does not cost you anything.
3. 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 be valuable to them.
4. Suggest a trial. Often, advertisers run the same size ad all the time. Suggest that they try running a larger ad in a couple of issues to see the response. Doing a larger ad in a couple of issues gives them a good idea of how valuable it can be and will not break their budget.
5. Talk to your advertisers. When ads start rolling in, you may not have in depth conversations with advertisers about what they are trying to accomplish and what their budgets are. By developing your short list and having real conversations with them, you have the opportunity to better understand what they are trying to accomplish and better 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. To keep your relationships fresh and growing, it is important to nurture them. These steps should help you do that, and ultimately, keep your ad revenues growing.