Friday, March 13, 2009

A 349% increase in ad spending during a recession

This $160/week advertiser wasn't getting the kind of response he needed in this economy, finding the newspaper just too expensive compared to the money it was (or wasn't) making him.
Here's a perfect example of how you can eliminate a newspaper advertiser's urge to shrink his budget down or stop running altogether in this recession.

This week, Tom Conquergood, newspaper ad salesperson at the Bow Island Commentator in Alberta, Canada, who uses both our ad sales techniques as well as our design service, had an advertiser who was spending about $640 per month with his newspaper and was expected to drop out altogether due to the recession.

Once Tom eliminated the advertiser's incorrect theories of ad size, frequency, and content, he was able to move on to sell him a 1/2-page ad each week, a major increase.
Tom met with the advertiser, who sells mainly cargo trailers, and got more information about his business, competition, and target customers. What he found was that while the account didn't want to spend any more money in his newspaper, it became clear the account desperately needed a larger ad to succeed in attracting every one the very few people about to buy a cargo trailer that week, so enough actually came in to make a profit.

The sales rep also found out that the average sale of a trailer was about $5,000, which meant even with a marginal response the new, larger ad would be profitable.

Of course, the harder part was getting the advertiser to go for it, and this meant eliminating any old theories that he was clinging to that got in the way of seeing that a new ad strategy, at the right size and frequency, would pay off. Just as we taught him, he drew the a new approach out of the account using the Socratic method, based on the advertiser's own perceptions of the world, then presented the new ad.

"Once I properly prepared the advertiser to understand the concepts and strategies used to make the effective ad, I then showed him the ad and he absolutely understood and loved it," said John. After all, everything--the substance in the ad, the way things were arranged, the size and frequency--all was drawn out of the account before the presentation, making it a very easy sale to close.

Tom not only kept the advertiser, but convinced the advertiser to run dramatically bigger, from a 3 col x 8" ad to a 1/2 page. He's now spending $2,232 per month instead of $640 and the advertiser is thanking him for it.

That's the secret to selling large amounts of local advertising in this recession. There are plenty of people purchasing most items to make an advertiser a profit, but it typically need a better thought out approach. The information, the process used to turn that information into a strategy, and the final ad itself needs to be drawn out of the account if there's any hope of experiencing significant gains right now.

This typically means your ad reps need to become ad strategists as well as media salespeople, as I outlined in my original post.

For those who have taken our Response Oriented Selling course or are members of our DesignYourAd Overnight Ad Production service, you can use this ad as a template. Just ask for ad 1052-Tumble-87-V2c or select it from our gallery of effective services ads.

10 comments:

  1. All of this applies not only to newspaper advertising but every kind of advertising there is. People and businesses always look to cutting advertising expenses during a recession - which is a HUGE mistake, but a common fallacy. And as you've pointed out, it's up to the ad publishers to show the advertisers the correct path :)

    Fred | O'Malley Hansen Communications

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