Advertising sales have changed beyond all recognition in the digital age. It used to be that marketing executives could purchase a half page ad or a wrap and be guaranteed a certain number of OTS (opportunities to see). Those days are done and the challenge now for publishers is to prove that spend on their newspaper or magazine is worth it.

The proliferation of online media outlets and the deluge of content has meant that readers’ attention is tugged in every direction. Publishers have to work hard at attracting readers in the first place, keeping them engaged and building customer loyalty. It’s only through doing this and providing evidence of it, that they can prove the value of their proposition to advertisers.

To adapt to the new world, publishers have developed multi-channel models. On the digital front, there are banner ads, e-shots and newsletter sponsorship. In terms of ‘live’ publishers organise conferences, award ceremonies and roundtables, and obviously the published channel – newspapers, magazines etc. But this creates a more complex sales environment for the publisher.

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So how can publishers demonstrate their proposition is better than their competitors and how can they deal with the multiplicity of the advertising sales environment? There are three key steps:

  • Audience management: advertisers need to know they are reaching the right people. So publishers need to prove to them that through advertising in their magazine they are. Profiling means publishers can layer demographic information (age, job, location) with behavioural information (the topics they like, the sections of the website they use, the events they attend etc) to build a picture of the customer. Segmentation then allows the publisher to group readers together through shared characteristics, meaning an advertising campaign can be really targeted.
  • Cross business advertising solution: having one platform that ties together all the different areas of a publishing business is vital – sales, marketing, advertising, events, data, finance, delivery. It is only through doing this that publishers can create an efficient advertising sales process. Having visibility and control over every element of the business involved in advertising sales, means publishers can do things like set pricing and grant discounts. They can also track the delivery and creative execution of the advertising package they are selling, vital for ensuring their clients get a good customer experience.
  • Sales team management: sharing best practice, tracking success and failure, retaining knowledge of the sales function and clients, when sales people leave. A system to help publishers manage the sales team and also gauge their strengths and weaknesses is essential.

So what’s the solution? Many media and publishing businesses might not have even considered CRM. Most firms will probably have one system for sales, another for marketing and the financial team likely won’t be integrated. But CRM can pull together all the different strands of a media and publishing business to integrate the whole operation and facilitate a successful advertising sales strategy. A single platform means a single, cohesive and efficient approach to selling advertising.

To learn more about how CRM can help you run a successful advertising sales function, read our white paper How to build successful advertising sales with CRM or contact one of our team on: +44 118 3030 100 

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