E-Media Strategist: Time to Trash the Rate Card
Finally, create eight or nine pre-set packages with different media mixes and spending levels. Use these as a starting point for discussions with your advertisers and allow them to customize as desired. As long as the customizations stay within the total spend of your partnership-level packages, the discount remains the same. For example, you may have a small, medium and large version of the “Print Lover’s Special” or “Online Lover’s Special,” but based on dollars spent rather than frequency. You may have the “Hawaiian,” which combines both print and online together. Or you may have the “Supreme,” which mixes print, online, events and other products together. All you’re doing here is creating packages as starting places for the discussion, but feel free to substitute ingredients of like value.
Advertisers can buy a la carte, select and modify a pre-set package, or you can work with them to create a custom package with discounts based on total ad spend.
Think It Through
What if an advertiser signs a contract later on that moves them up a tier? Don’t pro-rate backward—only give them the new discount level on media they buy going forward. Remember, you want to encourage up-front contracts and spending-level commitments. What if an advertiser cancels all or part of a contract later on that moves them down a tier? Make sure your contract stipulates that, if their total spend in a year winds up moving down a tier, you will go back and bill them for media earlier in the year at the higher prices of the downgraded tier.
Yes, this is a radical departure from how we’ve always done business in the past, but this is a brand-new media world, and the old ways of doing things simply won’t work anymore. Even if you don’t use this specific model, find a concrete way to reward your customers based on total spend rather than just rewarding them for print frequency.
Eric Shanfelt is executive vice president of eMedia for Virgo Publishing. Prior to this, he served in executive roles at Penton Media and Aspire Media and as an industry consultant helping private equity, b-to-b, and consumer media companies evaluate and grow their online media businesses. Shanfelt has an extensive e-media background spanning 18 years and specializes in practical revenue-generating strategies for publishers.