to Make Meaningful Connections with Advertisers
how to power up your ad sales through an affection for connection.
By Sean Soth
How did you check the weather today? Did you have an app on your
smartphone, tune-in to the TV, the radio — or maybe you just poked your head
outside? The way we connect to the
information we need continues to evolve and improve, almost daily. As
member-based organizations, the way you connect your audience to content,
ideas, even each other is critical in creating value.
Association value also helps attract and retain advertisers, but
with more marketing options than ever, staying viable is not always easy. Your
team is competing with not just other publishers, but also internal marketing priorities
for each advertiser. Here are a few ideas to help your business development
team connect with advertisers:
1. Highlight unique value. How does your association help its
members win? Is this an idea or message your advertisers can contribute to or
get behind? If so, help your advertising contacts understand how your association
value can serve their objectives as marketers. Advertisers want to help their customers
win also. Share why your members value your association and its products and
services, and help your advertising customers with a program that aligns with
Take: What is your association best at and why? Help advertisers participate in
this idea, and you will gain business and alignment.
2. Give your
products air support. Can you advertise your advertising options?
Yes! How can we expect our advertising clients to invest in the opportunities
to reach our audience if they have not experienced the value of those options
Take: Connect with your advertisers and prospects regularly through association
news, digital subscriptions, and regular communication. Signed someone new?
Welcome them to your community with a post or highlight in an upcoming news
why and what. Sure, you might know what your advertiser
does, the products or services they have. However, a great question to ask is:
"Why do your customers choose you over other options in the marketplace?” Follow
this up by gaining a better understanding of what tools your advertiser is using
to connect with its own customer base. Gaining an understanding of how your
advertisers create customer engagement on their own will help you position the
best packages and products in your portfolio.
Take: Outline all the options in your media portfolio, and provide one sentence
on why your members find this resource important. Take it one step further by
asking your members to share an experience they have had with your products
(website, magazine, meeting, etc.) — not in a survey, but ask them to provide
real feedback. Once you invest a little time in "why” your advertising options are valuable, it will be easier to match them to
Customer engagement is more important than ever. Take the time to
build the right connections with your advertisers, and invest in those
relationships throughout the year. No doubt, you will help advertisers meet
their objectives, while improving the financial health of your programs and
Sean Soth is co-founder of Webvent, Inc. and president
of Hi-Fidelity Media, Inc. He is also a member of Association Media & Publishing’s
Annual Meeting Committee. Interested in more ad sales and association revenue
topics like this one? We invite you to join as at Association Media &
Publishing’s Annual Meeting, June 15-17, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center in Washington, DC.