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Innovation: Key to Surviving the Recession?

Media buyers take notice.


Josh Gordon By Josh Gordon
08/07/2008 -12:51 PM






Media buyers have noticed. In the ad recession, we sellers have to work harder and innovate more to make the same sale. On the Media Life Web site, written for media buyers and planners, an article ran last week entitled "When the going's tough, the tough sell." Writer Diego Vasquez dug into the innovation being used to chase fewer ad dollars:

Conde Nast Traveler’s Hughes says it’s about coming up with better ideas. “You have to be really out there, you have to be aggressive as a sales team. Advertisers are demanding great programs, and they scrutinize every dollar they spend. The titles that are hungry for the business and coming up with good ideas are going to win the business."

Says Rachael Ray’s Balaban: “This is when it really counts to have good product and smart programs--building a base of smart programs that are unique to our brand and compelling enough to advertisers that makes them feel they’re getting so much value with their dollars. “

Says Tom Morrissy, OK!'s publisher: "Those who have strong programs in place and are strong brands will do fine. It just won’t be one of those years where everyone is breaking open champagne bottles.”

Popular Mechanics’ Congdon observes that good programs have a way of rooting out ad dollars. “It's not so much that ad budgets are totally cut. Advertisers are just being cautious. But if you keep going in and keep bringing fresh ideas, they'll still have that money."

Valerie Salembier, publisher of Harper's Bazaar, says it’s also about being where your competitors are not.

"Things are tough, but they’ve been tough before and all of these magazines continue to publish and last and endure,” she says.

“In terms of selling advertising, it is back to basics 101. Get out there and make the calls. You don’t get ads by sitting behind your desk on the phone, you get them sitting at your client’s desk.

Claudia Malley, vice president and U.S. publisher of National Geographic, says it’s also about being able to stand apart from your competitors, and a big part of that is reader engagement, which she says resonates with marketers.

“Integration will be a key. Those brands who can differentiate by being a brand leader and then have communication with consumers across all media will be the ones that succeed.”

But this is the kind of article you would find in FOLIO: magazine. The fact that it ran in Media Life, which targets readers on the buying side, tells us that expectations for innovation are now higher.

Read the entire article here ...

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Josh Gordon By Josh Gordon -- Josh Gordon is president of Smarter Media Sales.com where he works with publishers to maximize their online and print revenue through training, consulting, and representation.

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