Bulletin photo by Jordan Griffin
NENPA Fall Conference
ad strategies is key to
creating positive momentum,
halting negative momentum
If newspaper companies
are to remain relevant, publishers and their advertising departments
are going to have to adjust their strategies for building advertising
revenue or face being phased out of business.
Jerry Kackley, president
of the K Group, a marketing consultant company based in Scottsdale,
Ariz., was steadfast about that during his presentation to about 50
people that kicked off the 2012 New England Newspaper and Press Association
Fall Conference Oct. 11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick, Mass.
He was joined by
Patti Hannan, vice president of advertising for the largest newspaper
in Oklahoma, The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. Hannan participated via
Skype to talk briefly about how the Oklahoman had increased ad revenue
since she worked with Kackley and the K Group
advertising has plummeted the past 10 years, in part because of the
rise of online ad sales. Kackley said that downturn can be turned into
positive momentum only if newspapers remedy issues as Hannan did at
“The sales force can no longer outsell the level of negative momentum
created by the current go-to-market and pricing strategies,” Kackley
said. “We can’t pour more (revenue) into the top of this
funnel and make this thing work anymore.
The level of negative momentum
-- from lost advertisers and advertisers who are advertising less than
they did previously -- has continually increased the past six years,
in large part because of “broken” go-to-market strategies,
Strategies that worked before
2006 are no longer effective, he said.
He said new platforms, such
as search and social media, are affecting the ways in which advertisers
build their advertising campaigns.
Kackley recommended a number
of strategies for advertising departments to reverse those negative
For example, sales representatives
can’t just make small “asks” in recommending ad campaigns.
Kackley said newspapers are making a mistake by merely wanting sales
representatives to go out and take “any deal.”
One of Kackley’s main
points was that ad campaigns need to be sufficient to achieve “results
thresholds” for advertisers. Three of four advertisers, when asked
what’s more important, the results of an advertising program or
its cost, said the results were more important. Focusing on the cost
of a campaign, as opposed to the results of that program, is a big mistake,
Kackley said advertising
pricing is most effective when it is used to control behavior, not to
control demand. Lowering the price to increase demand for something
that isn’t selling well to increase demand for it is another common
mistake, he said.
“Think about this:
We lower the prices on things that don’t work well and raise prices
on things that work the best,” Kackley said. “So we push
people out of the advertising vehicles that are getting results for
advertisers and into ad vehicles that work the least well.”
Kackley challenged audience
members to explore in their organizations how sales representatives
go about filling their sales pipeline. Industry analysis shows that
most of the accounts in the sales pipeline are not going to consider
or make a change in their advertising program, he said.
“We want reps to load
their pipeline with accounts that could be impacted right now,”
He said the K Group
has developed strategies to help sales representatives fill their sales
pipeline with accounts in which impacts can be made immediately.
Bulletin photo by Daniella Iervolino
Patti Hannan, vice
president of advertising for The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City, told the
audience via Skype how a change in advertising strategies suggested
by the K Group helped the Oklahoman raise its ad revenue.