Home' Local Media Today : February 2008 Contents 6
Packaging – It’s Not Just About You
The discussion of packaging your advertising products is multi-faceted.
Let’s first talk about that ugly-sounding term that we’ve all embraced for decades
the “forced buy.” Where there is a divergence between the advertising products
your paper offers and the advertising products that your customers want to use,
are you going to dictate what you need them to buy, or allow them to choose
what they want to buy?
A “forced buy” is your decision to meet your own needs first.
When I think about forced buys, it puts me in mind of a former partner who used
to buy me birthday gifts he wanted me to have. I’d yearn for a piece of jewelry
and he’d get me a new coffee pot I didn’t need because he liked to wake up in
the morning with the brew already completed.
We’re not together anymore.
Of course, If you have a well-trained consulta-
tive sales staff what your advertiser wants can
often become what you need her to buy
because a.) She trusts her sales rep, and b.)
Her sales rep understands that working with
an advertiser is about creating a relationship;
that a sound, perhaps less revenue-productive
initial ad sale may well result in a profitable
long term relationship.
I talked to Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, LLC,
about the issue of forced buy. “Any publisher who tries to sell people things they
don’t want, or is unwilling to sell them things they do want to buy is just being
silly – or worse. If an advertiser wants to advertise in online-only and you don’t
sell it to him you’re just missing a huge opportunity.” The same, he emphasized,
could be said of a print-only request. Zollman’s suggestion is to make multime-
dia packaging available but also offer standalone. “The pricing should be such
than an advertiser is strongly encouraged to buy what we believe is the best
value, which is combining print and online.”
Michael Kranitz, founder of Kaango Classifieds, recently wrote a white paper,
“Vertical Market Vertigo & Cobbled Online Markets: Fixing Newspapers for the
Future. “ About self-service online ad placement, Kranitz wrote that leading with
print is backwards – that print should be a luxury upsell to the online.
individual placing the ad online is already predisposed to use the Internet as his
advertising medium,” Kranitz said. “That person may not be so inclined toward
print, and this will increasingly be the case as customers migrate to the Internet.”
Kranitz said that making print an upsell would “create and preserve value in the
print medium, as well as distinguish the newspaper from online-only sites in the
mind of an advertiser who is more willing to part with money to gain competitive
Peter Zollman stressed the KISS rule. “Have a recommended package which
includes a number of elements and also offer one or two additional packages.”
While he said that a la carte should be an option, he emphasized that it is better
to say, ‘Here is what I think is best,” than “Here is everything we have to offer.”
In summary, newspaper ad departments would do well to drop the forced buy, be
assumptive and concise in their packaged options, and offer print as an upsell to
an advertiser’s self-service online ad placement choices.
Sales & Marketing Manager
online ad placement,
Kranitz wrote that lead-
ing with print is back-
wards – that print
should be a luxury
upsell to the online.
Most members already know that
SNA is much more than a trade
organization. It is a living,
breathing resource for its’ members to tap whether they need updated contact data
on a major retail advertiser, want to take advantage of the many low cost learning
opportunities presented each year or seek peer to peer networking in the important
alliances that are free to all members via periodic conference calls (see a full list on
Another resource that may be less considered but is certainly a great value is the
SNA website which has links to conference presentations from many noted speak-
ers and industry experts, the latest news found in original articles published only on
the website, the results of the largest research study ever undertaken on behalf of
the suburban and community newspapers and links to winners of the four major
contests held each year. Those contests include editorial excellence, local communi-
ty websites, advertising & promotions and the general excellence/newspaper of the
Need inspiration for your media kit? Check out category 4 (Best Ad Sales
Promotion Materials) within the advertising & promotions contest results.
Redesigning your rate card? Check out the winners of category 6 (Best Rate Card)
of the same contest. It’s found at www.suburban-news.org/contests/RetailAd.aspx.
The point is that the website is in itself a tremendous resource and it’s all there just
for the looking. Since David Lee joined the SNA staff as Director of Information
Technology the website and its’ related links have taken on a depth and breadth that
make this tool tremendously useful to members.
Sniff around the website frequently - you’ll be glad you did!
How ideas are born!
Beg, borrow, steal
LocalPoint Media has hired Byron D.
Morriss as Director of Sales. Morriss
joins forces with current staff members
Cindy Hefley, Director of Sales, Karen
Ardery, Sales and Customer Service
Manager and Mike Zuniga, Chief
Operating Officer. Byron brings more
than 17 years of media sales experience
to the LocalPoint team.
"Byron Morriss is an excellent addition
to the LocalPoint staff," says Mike
Zuniga, COO, LocalPoint Media. "His
hands-on national sales experience cou-
pled with his desire to succeed and his
excitement about the network make him
a perfect fit. He can hit the ground run-
ning immediately - and is a terrific com-
pliment to the rest of the staff!"
Morriss most recently held a position
with The Wall Street Journal as their
a slew of major
over $15 million, Morriss' accomplish-
ments far exceed the ordinary. As a
National Account Executive with
Tribune Media Net (Los Angeles Times,
Chicago Tribune, etc.), Morriss directed
a $10 million sales territory and
increased online sales by more than
250%. His many outstanding achieve-
ments will serve well in his new role
with LocalPoint Media.
Morriss also has considerable communi-
ty and suburban newspaper sales experi-
ence as a Regional Sales Manager for
The Newspaper Network where he man-
aged a start up office to $10 million dol-
lars in new business sales surpassing
goals by more than 200%.
LocalPoint Media Hires Additional
Director of Sales
“He can hit the ground
LocalPoint Media COO
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