Promote Your Brand with Metroland

In recent years I have made my living selling multimedia campaigns for clients which include printing, flyer distribution, direct mail, posting the flyer on save.ca (Metrolands digital flyer and coupon site) and various online marketing platforms such as geofencing, sponsored content, behavioral targeting, ROS you get the idea. I have always been a believer in the multimedia approach as opposed to being a 1 trick pony. In today’s ever changing advertising landscape if you are just responding to the customers ask that is no longer enough. With the emergence of digital media and Metroland’s reputation being the kings of print we need to introduce and sell our digital platforms to our customers. It is crucial that we offer these digital opportunities to our clients along with traditional media such as Metroland’s targeted flyer distribution, creative executions (door hangers, post its, flyer wraps etc.) and ROP.

At Metroland Corporate Sales we tie in traditional and new media which is proving to bring positive results for our advertisers. We have many flyer options both printing and distribution utilizing our 170+ community and daily newspapers. We have creative execution options such as door hangers, post it-notes, leaf bags (not the sports team thank thankfully), post cards, flyer wraps, false fronts (this gets you a wrap around the front of the newspaper), and anything else you can dream up. Now comes the fun part. Advertisers are still learning Metroland has many viable digital options. Most know save.ca, WagJag and our community sites which are all very strong, industry leading high traffic sites which boast over 8.5 million monthly unique visitors. What many still do not know is Metroland offers an ad exchange through another Torstar property EyeReturn which has over 30,000 sites in the network including nearly 90 per cent of the most visited sites in Canada. It is through this arm that we offer our geofencing and behavioral targeting. Another digital trend sponsored content is a natural for us as we can share your message on our 40 plus community and lifestyle sites. Tap into our 3 million opt in emails through WagJag, Save.ca and Travel alerts and target these deal seekers by lifestyle, income, postal code and more. Use Save.ca to promote your contest, run a daily deal with WagJag or challenge me to come up with a creative solution to meet your advertising needs. We also have a strong automotive audience with Metroland owned sites like Wheels.ca and Autocatch and a very impressive behavioral targeting platform with literally hundreds of user segments on auto alone which you can target. Of course there is much more depending on your marketing needs.

So give me a call, send me a note and let’s sit down or set up a call to discuss your marketing needs so that we can together come up with a multimedia solution to promote your business or product.

Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey

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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/

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Tis the Season If you work in advertising

So the kiddies are back to school and Halloween which is the second biggest holiday as far as retail sales are concerned is just around the corner but for an advertising rep regardless of what media you work for the Holiday season starts now. Selling a monthly direct mail product like I do I am always a month ahead so for me it is already October. For most reps in my industry they just sell for today. What I mean by this is picking up ads for next week’s paper, selling 50 more radio spots, locking their client down for another 20,000 impressions for this month’s renewal on their online campaign you get the idea. The Christmas holiday season requires proper planning if you are going to find success so you need to be thinking at least 3 months ahead. What most media reps will do is hit the street in November or even December and start selling their holiday promos such as special sections, holiday greetings, Boxing Day promos the list goes on and on. This is after all the busiest time of the year for the retail industry so you want to grab every penny you can especially since we all know what happens in the first quarter which begins in January. In order to get your fair share before the competition does you need to hit the ground running in the first part of September which is right now. The timing is perfect, the dreadful July and August in terms of sales has come to an end business is picking up and virtually all retailers and business owners know the cash flow is going to increase significantly. This is the perfect time to go out and get it. Top advertising managers who have known this for years start this process in the summer (July) when things are slow and brainstorm product ideas, prospect lists, deadlines, rate cards etc. So once September hits they have their plan in place all they need to do is execute. While their reps are on the streets selling their holiday advertising most other managers are just starting to think about Christmas with the plan of having their attack ready for the streets in November. Well I am sorry to say the big advertising dollars are already spoken for and all you are going to get are the scraps such as holiday greetings.

As an advertising rep you want to get a significant chunk of holiday budgets not the leftovers. How many times in November do you hear “this is a great idea but my Christmas advertising dollars are already spent”? Get out on the streets this week and start presenting your holiday promotions to your top customers with the largest budgets so you can beat the competition to the punch. And If you are a business owner and haven’t started thinking about your holiday advertising  you are about to as I will be knocking on your door this week.

Twitter@GeoffJosey

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Using Twitter as a Business Tool

It is a common occurrence that I am sitting with a client and the topic of social media comes up, in this case we will focus on Twitter. As much as advertisers know they now need this presence many have no idea where to begin and are misguided by the notion that it takes too much time. Not only do many small business owners not understand Twitter most multimedia reps who sell digital media do not get it. If you are a traditional print multimedia rep like I am and do not yet have a twitter presence I suggest you get one and use it to promote your brand. Of course the product you are trying to sell is the best thing to come along since the invention of newspapers so the client does a simple Twitter search to test you out and you are nowhere to be found or you have 3 followers and haven’t tweeted yet. Sound familiar? Ok clearly this rep knows nothing about digital media so is this the best place to spend my digital dollars? This blog will educate multimedia reps and small business owners how to effectively use Twitter to grow their business.

The first thing you need to do is have a professional portrait taken so that the image represents your brand not a pic from Saturday night’s bender. Twitter also allows you to use a background photo which I use to promote my brand as your Metroland East Multimedia Representative. Next create a profile that makes it clear to followers what your purpose is. In my case this includes deals, interest stories, and community events pertaining to my clients, partners as well as myself. Oh yeah throw the Montreal Canadiens and Tennis tweets in there for your entertainment. My followers know exactly what they have signed up for. Once this is complete you should find tweeters who are after the same audience you are and steal their followers. I believe you can follow up to 1000 right off the bat. Not all will follow you back but many will and those who don’t you can unfollow them at a later date. Now that you are ready to start tweeting make sure you tweet as promised so for me as an example I promote my deals from my advertisers that are live on save.ca. If the client you are tweeting about is on Twitter make sure you let them know by including them in the tweet i.e @Bathsolutions. This way they will know that you are spreading the word which is a great way to score brownie points. Make sure you are frequently searching for your clients to see if they are on twitter and if they are follow them. Include hashtags in the tweet i.e #saveca, #coupon. Think of hashtags as a search engine. Coupon lovers will #coupon looking for deals they can use on their next shopping expedition and when they do they will find the last save.ca coupon I just tweeted about. When your clients tweet about a deal or a charity they are involved in make sure you retweet their message this can go a long way as they are notified that you retweeted the message. Content, videos and pictures are also popular tweets that will bring new followers. It just so happens if you are a multimedia rep with Metroland Media we produce content, videos, online deals,flyers,coupons and much more for our advertisers so Twitter is the perfect outlet. Should you be at an event waving the company flag make sure you take a picture with your smart phone and let the world know where you are Twitter loves this.

Just remember we are marketers and business owners in the digital world so let’s embrace it and no better way to do that than social media. Create a brand, be consistent and show the advertising world that they need to be doing business with you as you clearly get it and have the Twitter presence to prove it.