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Pricing Strategies for Revenue Success - 10/9/2012 -

With planning season in full swing, here’s a little expert help on ad pricing and competition.

Looking for some pricing techniques to help you achieve revenue success? Here are some tips from Shweiki Media and Internet consultant Ryan Dohrn to help publishers deal with issues such as value and competition.


1. Get accurate comparisons.

It's important for your association to create strategies for pricing that make sense from a sales perspective. A potential advertiser will consider how your pricing is similar to the competition’s and how it is different. To understand this comparison yourself, it's necessary to get the accurate pricing of your competitors. How is this done?

Well, one way would be asking competitors to trade media kits, with the idea of working together for the greater good. Are they going to cooperate? Unlikely.

So another option is to create a recon email address/alternate persona for communicating with the competition. Then put together a competitive grid/matrix in an Excel spreadsheet and compare everyone.

2. Train the sales team.

It's crucial to know the competition's weaknesses and strengths—and then prep, prep, prep. Train your association’s sales team. Contrary to popular belief, the most experienced salespeople are often the ones that need to be trained the most. Years in the publishing business can create blinders or tunnel vision, and it's important in this age of fast-past change to keep an open mind.

3. Know your facts.

If your ad prices are higher, what are you offering that's so different to justify it? It's important to have rock-solid facts to back it up. Stats, facts, and stories...all are crucial to explain your association’s pricing and why your publication or website is worth it.

Secondly, don’t fool yourself into believing that the competition "always” discounts. Accurate statistics and details are needed because sometimes advertisers will even be dishonest about discounts they're getting from the competition to get a discount from you. Don't fall into the "discount trap"; get the nitty-gritty on what's really going down. Another tip: Price per quarter.

4. Show more value.

No matter what the competition's price is, it's important for your association to explain why it provides more value and how it gives advertisers more bang for their buck. Some secrets to show more value include not showing "a la carte" or "per unit" pricing. Also, beef up digital pricing.

Finally, prices have to look right. When it comes to tricks, this is an oldie but a goodie: No matter how it's spun, $19.99 looks less expensive than $20 while $2,395 looks cheaper than $2,400.

5. Stop apologizing.

Don't be hesitant and don't be apologetic about your publication’s or website’s ad pricing—if there are facts to back it up.

6. Create co-op programs.

If these don't exist for a client, create them. For some industries, it makes sense to allow a local business to run ads and a national manufacturer to pay for them.

7. Drop frequency.

It's an often misunderstood concept, but it's the way it's always been done. When pricing your magazine’s advertising, eliminate confusion and other multimedia discounts and simply offer the best print price available. Make it easy.

8. Path of Least Resistance.

Stop assuming advertisers are going to understand pricing; instead, create sales offers that are straight-forward, easy-to-understand, and offer value.

9. Keep in mind the 4 Pillars of Sales Success.

Product. Process. People. Price.

With fall selling season in full swing, try some of these strategies to help your association get the contract, seal the deal, and profit in a competitive market.


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