Getting out of the Office Means More Sales

After 6 months learning the corporate sales ropes at Metroland and leaving the office for presentations I started to think to myself that there has to be other ways to increase revenue beyond general presentations. Sales do happen once relationships are established via email and phone and even social media with the emergence of digital but for those of us who sell traditional media we have seen traditional dollars shrink with increased digital spends. With these challenges come increased reporting, more attention on analytics, intelligence and focus on high impact presentations as the higher ups are watching the dollars all while paying more attention to the sales cycle. To add to this at corporate sales we have account lists in the millions with major service responsibilities so it is not always easy to get out of the office which I refer to as “doing my job”. If we do stay put and are primarily only servicing our current business we run the risk of not capturing the all-important NEW business including digital opportunities. In my humble opinion the best way we to make the gains we need is to get out of the office and make things happen.

I have been told the corporate sales cycle is different than what we see in the local markets I came from. But is it really that different??  I don’t believe my new life is that different and I will explain why. In the corporate environment each account has many moving parts dealing with agencies and in some cases direct. Step 1 for me was to set out to get a handle on each moving part for each account. No I am not doing this strictly by emailing my agency contact I am devoting 1-2 days per week of my precious time dropping in on the agencies with some old fashioned discovery at play. In some cases this means dropping in unannounced. But the agencies are too busy for that type of attention right? Not according to my early findings. I’m not saying they aren’t busy but I am getting the audience I need to do the discovery. What I am finding is I am ending up in boardrooms pitching planning teams, making key contacts at all levels, making my way around the agencies learning more about the structure and even getting the ear of the president. I am uncovering new opportunities and maybe even more importantly when I need a meeting I get it. And those that know me know that’s when I truly shine. I am establishing right relationships with the right people and get plenty of one on one time to sell my ideas before getting an official meeting with the respective planning teams.

From my experience there are many internal teams working on multiple opportunities and the best way to uncover these is to get out there and make your way around the agency. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against the general presentations and do them often but overall there will be additional sales opportunities uncovered doing regular discovery which also means you will be putting the right information in your decks while establishing key relationships. The challenges we face can be overcome but we need to change our approach.

Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey

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Online Advertising Click Thru Expectations

It is no secret that digital advertising is on the rise and traditional print is not. It hasn’t happened yet but slowly but surely my digital sales are gaining ground on my print sales such as newspaper display and the direct mail product I manage FlyerMail. Out of the 80 to 100 advertisers whom I manage their digital platforms 100 per cent of those were exclusive print clients in the past. This is good news in the sense that I am keeping these dollars away from digital competitors or at least getting my share. This becomes more important as print budgets get cut and businesses  allocate that revenue to online advertising. The challenge I have is virtually all of my clients had never spent a dollar online before I converted them.

There are many digital platforms at Metroland Media but one of the most popular for new advertisers wanting to get their feet wet in the digital world are online display ads. The most popular online ads for first timers are the big box, double skyscraper and leaderboard. Your digital advertising rep can show you examples on their tablet. At Metroland we sell impressions. These aren’t expensive  a local customer can purchase 20,000 impressions per month for as low as $240. Being so inexpensive makes this type of advertising very easy to sell as it fits most advertising budgets. One of my greatest challenges is managing click thru expectations due to platforms such as google ad words and other pay per click services. Impression advertising is much more than this but this all too often seems to be forgotten. (Read my blog “It’s about more than just the click).

So what click thru rate should you expect? From everything I have read the average click thru rate in Canada is .09 per cent.  So this means if you run a campaign at 20,000 impressions per month you would receive 216 clicks on 240,000 annual impressions. Not bad if you consider the campaign just brought 216 people to your store which in the digital world we call a website. My clients running campaigns on the Metroland network generally receive a click thru rate between .2-.5 per cent. This is 2-6 times the industry average pretty amazing right? It is but for first timers I spend a lot of my time educating  that their campaign is performing very well. The initial client reaction is usually the same “240,000 impressions and only 500 clicks?”  I then explain that their ad appeared on webpages 240,000 times and 500 people clicked. Where else can you track an ad campaign like that? Maybe coupons but no other traditional media can.

Whether you are a first timer or already advertising online please be realistic with your expectations. Remember every impression counts in the advertising world and if your program is performing at or above the national click thru average stick with it. Be consistent, change the call to action from time to time and this type of advertising will become an important part of your marketing strategy. Give it a year and you will see results with a decent ROI.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/is-cross-border-online-shopping-becoming-canadian-retailers-biggest-threat/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/

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Is Cross Border Online Shopping Becoming Canadian Retailers Biggest Threat?

With Black Friday just around the corner and Remembrance Day behind us Canadians are now approximately 2 weeks into their annual 6 week holiday spending spree where we spend more than we earn. Traditionally what this has meant is that retailers ramp up their advertising dollars increasing their digital, print, radio and television media buys in order to ensure they get their share. For the most part these ads are designed to drive foot traffic into retail stores. This is after all part of the Christmas experience which many of us curse and yes some actually enjoy it. This trend is slowly changing with the emergence of online shopping. There is even an online version of “Black Friday” dubbed Cyber Monday which falls the Monday following Black Friday. This is a good thing in the sense that it does drive people away from their computers and mobile devices for at least one day as shoppers know that another mega deal shopping day is right around the corner which they can do from home.

One plus for Canadian retail is that many US online shopping sites do not ship to Canada which traditionally has benefited large retailers who do have a presence in Canada such as Old Navy. Well this has changed. Leading up to the 2014 holiday shopping season I was approached by a Canadian company called myUsaddress.ca which in a nutshell provides shoppers with a US mailbox so you can shop anywhere in the US and they charge you $29 to ship to your door in Canada. What does this mean for Canadian retail? I am first going to provide a few stats to set up my stance. Canadians spend $15.3 billion annually shopping online. An ISPOS Reid survey found 82% of Canadians are making purchases online with an average annual spend of $954 annually per person. So you can understand the impact that companies like myUsAddress could have on the Canadian retail landscape as a significant chunk of this spending will be going south of the border. This isn’t all bad especially if you are a consumer; Big box retailers will have to increase their product line to compete and one would guess prices will go down. But there is a down side. If 82 per cent of Canadians are shopping online what does this mean for smaller local retail?  Many retailers such as those in downtown Kingston have unique product lines that separate themselves from the big box stores. Product lines that in some cases shoppers are going online to find, and often end up on international online shopping sites to place their orders as they do not realize that they could very easily just head downtown. In order to do this they need to know where to go and what is available. Many shop online for convenience but a significant chunk go online to find products they can’t find at home.

How can local retailers combat this inevitable change in consumer shopping habits? The first thing I would do is ensure that you have a suitable website that properly illustrates your product line. If it is in your budget invest in a site that allows customers to make purchases online just as easily as they can with the national retailers. If you shop around you could have a full functioning online shopping site in the five to ten thousand dollar range. This will allow your customers to make purchases just as easily as they can with the online superpowers. An example of a local company who has done a great job of this is http://www.fitness-solutions.ca. The next thing I would do is embark on an online advertising campaign. Think about it these are online shoppers we are dealing with so the only way to really reach them is with an online campaign. While online shoppers are surfing national shopping sites such as Metroland Media’s Save.ca and WagJag you have every opportunity to reach your local audience with an IP targeted impression campaign targeted to your local market with ads on sites just like these not to mention the 50 other sites you can target. You can purchase 20,000 impressions on the Metroland network for $300. If you feel you need a more targeted approach you can take this to another level and look at an audience extension or a retargeting campaign that reaches customers searching for your specific product line even if they go so sites not owned by Metorland. I would back this campaign up with a content marketing strategy such as our In Your Neighborhood platform to increase product and brand awareness. Of course a daily deal on a site such as WagJag is also an excellent option to bring people in.

If you take anything away from this blog it should be that online shopping is on the rise and isn’t going away any time soon. More Canadians are cross border shopping especially now that they can do it from home on their computer or mobile device. As a Canadian retailer regardless of your size you need to have a plan to combat this because if you do not your sales will start to decline and you run the risk dying a slow death as a business owner. Make sure you have a strong web presence supported by a digital advertising strategy so you can get your share.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/the-modern-day-print-advertising-rep/

The Modern Day Print Advertising rep

Oh how the life of a print advertising media rep has changed. For the first 20 years of my advertising career life really was pretty simple. I sold one product which for most of that time was flyer distribution inside newspapers. I worked very hard, built up an account list in excess of 1 million dollars annually which is a lot of local flyer distribution. My job consisted of convincing local business owners as well as national agencies, big box stores, grocery chains etc that they should be distributing their flyers in newspapers that I represented and I did that job with much success. This is after all how I initially established myself in the industry. At the time I saw myself as a passionate, hardworking “flyer guy” and if you asked me then I would have told you that what I was doing was very complex and it was to an extent. Most newspapers did have specialists to deal with this part of the business and still do. I decided to move on for a new challenge and start my own company FlyerMail which provided me the opportunity to diversify myself by adding commercial print and graphic design to my areas of specialty. Again this seemed to be a huge challenge at the time but I was about to discover that my life as a print media advertising sales professional was about to drastically change with the sale of FlyerMail to a multimedia giant in Torstar.

After I sold to Torstar I came back thinking that I would continue to drive FlyerMail for the new company which I did. I knew there would be some minor changes such as the format, design, new printer etc but overall I would be pushing one product. Sure there was the co-branding with an online flyer site in save.ca but for the most part my life would be the same. What had changed since my last stint in the industry was the business was no longer just about newspapers. In fact newspapers were no more than one of the many core products that I was expected to push. I was expected to push our many digital platforms which included content marketing, daily deal sites, flyer sites, impressions, IP targeting, take overs, audience extension, retargeting and this barely scratches the surface. There were magazines, newspapers, direct mail products and a heck of a lot more. What happened to the days when all we had to worry about was asking “do you want to buy an ad in next week’s paper?”  Well it was clear those days were gone. The message being sent was simple if our industry was going to survive we were going to be hitting the streets with a multimedia approach with a heavy focus on digital. So that’s just what I did. We were now packaging digital with FlyerMail which was a natural for me as we had a Flyer site (save.ca) and to be honest adding a measly $120 for the online portion on a $3000 direct mail campaign was easy. But I had so much to learn in a short period of time. I knew I needed to embrace the digital world so I quickly learned all about our content marketing initiatives (In Your Neighborhood) and I sold this is waves. I was shocked at how easy this was and how badly my clients craved this once I hit the street. And for $300 per month which included business profiles, monthly content, video production, online advertising, social media there was a lot of value for the price.  And guess what? About 80 per cent of these customers bought newspaper advertising as part of their annual contract. So we were using our strong digital platform to sell newspaper display advertising. What a far cry from the old days when we sold all print customers a $12 upsell on their ad to put the ad online.

My life as a print advertising rep has definitely evolved as now I call myself a true multimedia rep. It’s about listening to the customer and selling them what they need which for me is more and more becoming a digital platform whether on its own or part of a print buy. For print media reps to not only survive but grow they need to embrace this approach or very shortly they simply won’t exist. The days of “a half or a full page this week?” are gone. Listen to your customer and put them in the advertising product that will best suit their business even if that isn’t a full page in the local newspaper.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/

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Print Advertising is dead? I guess I missed the memo

We have been hearing for years nothing but doom and gloom for the newspaper industry. I have been meaning to write about this topic for some time now as I see this as completely false and I will explain why. First off I must clarify most of the press concerning the newspaper industry being in such rough shape is coming from the mainstream media (reference CNN and other major news affiliates).This media attention refers to daily newspapers and even more specifically  the larger National Daily’s. For whatever reason this has led to a misconception print is a dying medium and more importantly in my world a dying advertising medium. This is definitely not the case and nothing could be further from the truth.

I am going to take this opportunity to define print advertising as far as I am concerned. Print advertising is anything printed on something such as billboards, busses, flyers, magazines, posters, benches and yes even newspapers. Radio reps have become masters at spreading the word to the business community that print is not only dying but it’s completely dead. Really? When I hear this from clients all I have to say is this; Have you checked your mailbox this week? Then we have a little reflection time, the advertiser thinks about all of the annoying printed advertising material that has landed in their mailbox in the past week and boom just like that they are back on the print train. The pic I have attached to this blog is one week of advertising that recently landed in my mailbox at home. Convinced yet? Well if you aren’t talk to my customer base who advertise in FlyerMail, a regional direct mail product which I am the former founder and president that I sold to Metroland. There are many repeat customers who haven’t missed an edition in years and many who get hundreds and sometimes thousands of coupons back regularly. This doesn’t even take into account the numerous phone calls and traffic from customers who do not use coupons. This may strike a response from my friends in radio but as an advertiser you will not have this impact from a digital or radio campaign. I am not saying these aren’t effective mediums but not thousands of customers over a short period of time that much I know.

To provide an example ask a top used car dealer why they distribute flyers to promote their inventory (and yes all the big ones do) and the answer will be the same all the time. “That flyer drives our sales but please don’t tell everyone as only a few of us have figured this out” Yes they do radio and have digital campaigns but it’s the PRINTED flyer that drives the sales. This is no secret as I’ve heard this over and over  from those that invest in significant print campaigns.  Another great example on the health of print ask any major retailer such as Wal-Mart, Loblaws, Best Buy, Canadian Tire and many others what their number one advertising medium is in terms of ROI (Return on investment) and you will hear every time the weekly flyer and by a wide margin. I will also add that the flyer print/distribution alone is a multi-billion dollar industry. Sounds pretty healthy doesn’t it?

So if you are looking at spending your advertising dollars wisely with a high ROI as the holiday season approaches despite what you have heard make sure you give print a serious look. Whether your medium of choice is a community newspaper, magazine, direct mail campaign or even a billboard, print should be included as part of the media mix. I will end on this note despite what you may have heard print is alive and well.

Follow me on twitter@geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/