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/