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Josh Gordon

Digital Media Buyers Want You to Remember What Business You are In

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 01/14/2008-16:10 PM

As media moves from being intangible to measured the details become more important, and lunch--the core tool of intangible sales-- less so. Along these lines, Ed Kelly executive vice president, digital media at KSL Media, offered sobering advice in a post last week on "Online Publishing Insider":

"We're not in the lunch business. We're in the advertising business. The publishers that heed this charge will outrun their competitors every time, even if their sites aren't quite as robust."

Kelly offers these guidelines for reps wanting to make the most of the new sales environment:

Respond to the full RFP. This sounds a lot easier than many major publishers evidently find it. Publishers can't pick and choose which questions to answer; it's an all or nothing proposition. If you're not going to address an issue, you have to tell the agency why.

Take it to the top. Senior management involvement is always appreciated. RGM chief Kamran Razavi managed JustLuxe's response personally, and at one point he had us collaborating directly with the JustLuxe publisher.

Prove the numbers. RGM provided Media Metrix runs, site surveys and anecdotal information without being prompted. That might seem ordinary, but it's not. Far too many publishers either don't have audited audience breakouts or refuse to divulge them.

Weave a program, not a buy. RGM bested the competition in several areas: the number of travel packages, the robust content and functionality of the program micro site, the variety of high-impact ad units promoting the program, and pricing that was aggressive in light of the demonstrated value.

Make pricing simple. The more complex the program, the more important it is to have clear pricing guidelines for CPM-based, fixed-fee and value-add program elements. RGM actually provided rates and pricing for three scenarios, with clear rules on what was included in each. Just as important: All of the scenarios synched perfectly.

Sound advice. 

Read Kelly's entire post on Online Publishing Insider

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Josh Gordon

When Selling Ads in Digital Magazines, Think ‘Web’

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 12/12/2007-11:33 AM

Digital magazines have all of the advantages of print magazines except they are online. Right?

In addition, readers have instant random access to content. Everyone wins. Right?

Wrong. Advertisers can lose. If a reader takes a random access skip over their ad, that ad is not seen.

Although digital magazines may look more like a print magazine than a Web site, the random access issue asks us to sell ads more like website advertising.

You will do better to sell positions in a digital magazine that offer adjacency to content that a reader may take a "random access" skip to visit. It is helpful to offer stats on which pages or sections get the most traffic. In short, use some of the same approaches you would use to sell positions on a Web site.

More here

[Above, right: a slide from a PennWell presentation during the CM show.]

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Josh Gordon

Without Meaningful Interaction, The Customer Will Want to Break Up!

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 12/10/2007-15:24 PM

Do the ad programs you propose promote interaction with customers? No matter what media you sell, you are now in the business of advancing your client's dialog with their customers ... unlike the couple in this clip.

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Josh Gordon

Non-Pushy Wording Can Be More Motivational

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 12/05/2007-16:19 PM

In a recent test on its own newsletters, MarketingSherpa wanted to know which two- or three-word phrase could get subscribers to click through to another article. Here's what they measured:

  • "Click to continue": 8.53% clickthrough rate
  • "Continue to article": 3.3% clickthrough rate
  • "Read more": (-)1.8% clickthrough rate

MarketingSherpa shared, "With these results, we had a strong feeling that the front-runner, 'Click to continue,' would win in the A/B test, and it did, producing 3.5% more clicks than 'Continue to article.' Needless to say, we immediately switched the words in our link in all of our newsletters."

The next time you send out an e-mail consider how important a few words in the title can make! Also consider that the least pushy wording got the most click throughs.

Visit MarketingSherpa's site.

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Josh Gordon

Is Selling New Media a New Skill Set?

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 12/04/2007-12:21 PM

Over at Media Life, Rachel, the chatty career advice columnist, gives her best advice for migrating to new media to those "Stuck in Traditional Media."

It seems that for people on the selling side, migrating to new media is less stressful. No need to change jobs as for we sellers the media comes to us! Most often it is just handed to us to be integrated into our product mix.

But when you read Rachel's column it is clear that some view interactive media buying as a fundamentally different skill set from buying traditional media:

"'Some interactive agencies will value your 10 years of (traditional) media experience and will consider you for an online media supervisor position,' says Marlene Kruelle, associate online media planner for Atlanta’s Definition 6.

But then again, maybe not.

'Other interactive agencies will see that you have no online media experience and will tell you to look for an online media planner position,' says Kruelle."

If many view interactive media buying as a fundamentally different skill set, should we sellers view the sales side the same?

More here.

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Josh Gordon

Just Because You're ‘Hot’ Doesn't Mean People Trust You

Josh Gordon emedia and Technology - 11/21/2007-10:26 AM

So it is with media. An October released study from The Nielsen Company revealed that, worldwide, the most trusted media is also the one most losing ground with advertisers, newspapers.

The two least trusted media are the ones with blue sky ad sales predictions, online banner ads, and ads on mobile phones. According to the study:

"...while new platforms like the Internet are beginning to catch up with older media in terms of ad revenues, traditional advertising channels continue to retain the public's trust. Ads in newspapers rank second worldwide among all media categories, at 63 percent overall, while television, magazines and radio each ranked above 50 percent."

The study also contains fun information on which media are trusted most/least in different countries.

Use it on a sales call: Often it is hard to shore up the "traditional media" part of an integrated media package. Start by asking your advertiser how important "trust" is in their selling process. Tell them that through an integrated package of traditional media and new media they get the best of both worlds-the functionality of the new media, and the credibility of traditional media. Then show them the study. 

Read about the study on the Nielsen website.

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Josh Gordon

Are Digital Magazines Still ‘Fish with Feet’?

Josh Gordon emedia and Technology - 11/21/2007-10:16 AM

In 2005, search guru John Battelle was credited with sound bite critique of digital magazines describing them as "fish with feet," merely a transitional product for the digitally challenged who need extra help migrating from paper to the Web.

If Battelle was right, digital magazines should be fading away and gone in a few years. Also, his concern about the long term could become an objection raised by clients blocking your next digital magazine media sale.

While digital magazines have detractors they are now enjoying huge growth:

Digital publisher NXTbook Media reported a 254 percent increase in sales and a 359 percent rise in traffic to its digital magazines over the year before. This August, digital magazine publisher Zinio announced the launch of 65 new digital releases.

Sorry Mr. Battelle, but growth is robust.

In addition, almost all current media could be viewed as "fish with feet." In fact, going through some kind of tech transition focusing on delivery is typical these days:

▪ In two years, the current analogue standard of television is mandated to shut down and be replaced with a digital system as per order of the US Federal Communications Commission.

▪ Five years from now radio may morph into a medium with as many time shifted listeners as live.

▪ Just now, there is a technology fight in cable TV where IPTV technology (like FiOS from Verizon) is being deployed to compete with the current generation of cable delivery.

▪ The current Internet you are reading this blog on will one day be replaced with Internet2 technology now in beta at Universities.

If digital magazines are evolutionary products they are in very good company.

Today, Digital Magazines are robust and growing. To those detractors that suggest that they are irrelevant because they may yet evolve, remind them in today's media world evolution is a sign of viability, not weakness.

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Josh Gordon

Media Buyers and Sellers Agree: Stop the Buzz Words!

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 11/21/2007-09:53 AM

Earlier this year, MediaPost subscribers-which include media buyers and sellers-were surveyed by Dynamic Logic and asked if there were buzzwords they would like to have people stop using. About half (49.5%) said yes.

Top of their "stop using" list? "Web 2.0" and "engagement."

On a call, it's a good idea to check the buzzwords at the door. The problem with words like these, is they mean different things to different people, so using them often does not advance communication.

Download: PDF of the survey

Read more here ...

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Josh Gordon

Why Didn’t Someone at Sports Illustrated Start ESPN?

Josh Gordon Consumer - 11/21/2007-09:49 AM

In the late '80s while managing the sales and marketing of CableVision magazine I saw magazine myopia at its worst. As I watched, first hand, the rapid growth of many new cable networks I wondered how the opportunities they represented had slipped by my publishing peers:

Why didn't someone at Sports Illustrated start ESPN?
Why didn't someone at Time or Newsweek start CNN?
Why didn't someone at Rolling Stone start MTV?
Why didn't someone at National Geographic start the Discovery Channel?

The list could go on...but I fear history could be repeating itself, this time with regional magazines.

Read more here ...

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Josh Gordon

Magazines Drive Buying Intent ... More Than TV!

Josh Gordon Sales and Marketing - 11/20/2007-16:06 PM


The Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) just released a U.K.-based study that tests advertising on different media for their ability to drive traffic to search engines. Of the all the media tested, television was the top driver beating out magazines by a nose.

But in the second part of the study magazines pulled off an upset. Of the people who were both driven to search AND made a purchase, magazines beat TV. While magazines may not generate the big bang that television does, it has greater influence for people driven to search who are purchase oriented.

Use it on a call. This study sets up a great story: Magazines may be second to television in driving traffic to search, but the nature of the audience magazines drive is different. Since a magazine ad can be revisited, marked up, and torn out and carried to a store it is a superior ad medium for driving search traffic that results in a sale.

Download: PowerPoint
Visit: PPA homepage

Read more here ...

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