Great Brands That Compete on Value: Continue to Find Value in Print
I have yet another Freeport Press gem to share with you this month and it’s an eye-opening read that really puts things into perspective. The following scenario that plays out is all too common – does it sound familiar to you?
This is How You Sell an Ad
Author: David Pilcher
We talk a lot about the need for publishers to take an active role in educating advertisers about the value of print. We used to almost take it for granted that our ad partners understood the “why” behind their ad choices. But with the advent of digital, everything has changed, and publishers must become advocates for their ad partners. We need to help them understand where print fits in today’s consumer funnel and the truth about print in the digital age. This isn’t a call to bash digital; we don’t know what our ad partners know about their results with digital, and they need to make those decisions. But we can certainly help enlighten them on how digital has actually made print better, helping it be a more creative and welcoming experience for many readers.
One of our printing customers shared an exchange they had with a local Gold’s Gym franchise, one of their major advertisers. It was so well handled – and with a terrific outcome – that we had to share parts of it with you. As Tim (our customer) explains…“They were on the front and back cover for about 13 years. Then one day the owner said they just were not getting the response they used to, in terms of ROI and that they were going to go to digital, where it seemed like the ROI was better. That was in March of 2014.” Fast forward to last fall, and a local ad agency contacted him saying they were trying to get one of their clients back into magazine advertising. (Yes, ad agencies are increasingly aware that ditching print altogether was probably a bad move for most of their clients.) Turns out, the client was Gold’s Gym, the same one that left them back in 2014.
Our customer went to work, helping Gold’s Gym make some updates to their website and working with them to create an ad that would be as effective as possible. The 2/3 page ad did really well by the advertiser’s account, so of course, Tim asked them to continue and pitched them another ad option he thought would work even better. The response was not what he’d hoped: “We’ve got solid momentum in referrals and social media. As you can imagine, our ideal scenario, though maybe not realistic, would be to not do print media, at least not all year due to the cost. So, we may take a hiatus over next few months to see if we can still hit our numbers.” Tim sent back a lengthy email explaining the key benefits of print to a company like Gold’s Gym, including the importance of the trust factor, and the way print gives brands the ability to stand out in a crowded field. He made his case clearly and passionately, backing it up with facts on the current state of the online marketplace: “I was reading the other day that 90% of online content has been created since 2016, so the sheer volume of things online is making it harder and harder to break through all the noise. There are 455,000 tweets and 3 million Facebook posts A MINUTE. Every day more than 4 million hours of content is uploaded to YouTube and 269 billion emails are sent. Everyone and their brother has a blog, a Facebook page, and is posting, posting, posting or selling something. As a business, how do you even begin to stand out, let alone dominate a space like that? How do you present yourself as a brand that is head and shoulders above the competition? The answer is you really can’t.”
The reply from his advertiser blew him away: “We 100% agree with you. We have tried very diligently with our gym business to go 100% digital and it just doesn’t work. I believe for the reasons you cite. After analyzing the [latest campaign]ad results and assigning weight for the non-measurable results, we believe it’s the right decision to continue. You are always helpful and we know you have your customers’ best interests in mind to achieve the most effective advertising for us, which of course is a win-win. So, we will continue with the ad.”
There is huge value in print for our advertisers. And it is up to us to help them understand and see that, in a way that lets them know we have their best interests at heart.
This is right on the money and I couldn’t agree more or have said it better myself, because it’s not just about selling an ad to me. Ultimately my sense of purpose comes from seeing my clients succeed and the gratitude they express about the part Strictly Business played in that. Nobody else here in our market does what we do; we strongly believe in what we bring to the table and truly have our clients’ best interests at heart. Along with an eye-catching display ad, there are numerous opportunities to include supporting editorial published print, online, and on social media that are all value-added, meaning FREE, no strings attached. We do this to strengthen our advertisers’ campaigns and give them a platform with a targeted, captive audience and incredible reach, so they can share their expertise and differentiate themselves from the competition based on the value of their offerings and the distinctiveness of their brands. Furthermore, we have an intentionally low entry point because we want as many businesses as possible to be able to take advantage of having a presence in Strictly Business and all that comes along with it. If you want to learn more about all that we have to offer and how it will benefit your business, I welcome your interest – let’s talk!