From the Editor: Your Opportunity: Solve Problems
• Rodale has a Custom Content and Marketing service, which has served brands such as AstraZeneca, Kraft Foods, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Nissan, among others.
The trend to tap publishers' expertise in their markets, and the ability to reach engaged audiences in those markets, is further exemplified by the launch of Meredith 360 by The Meredith National Media Group. Meredith 360 is "a strategic marketing unit providing clients and their agencies with unparalleled access to the vast portfolio of media products and services Meredith has to offer," according to the company's website. The goal is for the Meredith 360 team to serve as marketing experts, not salespeople, who "deliver innovative solutions across multiple media channels by integrating … insight and content into programs that engage [the] audience around [the marketer's] brand."
Meredith 360 Chief Innovation Officer Jeannine Shao Collins writes in this month's Guest Column that the key to serving today's marketer is not to sell, but to "solve." Find out what your prospects' biggest challenges are and present solutions to solve them. In the column, she gives a great example of "a solution-driven program to help our client achieve their marketing goal."
While some of you may already be taking this approach, many are not even close. Sure, it's nice to get the last-minute ad into an issue because a topic of interest to them is being featured, but overall, is this the best use of your client's marketing dollar? Will the results inspire them to spend more with you? Is the ad solving a marketing challenge for them? Do you even know what their challenges are? If you don't, it's time to find out.
As the year begins to draw to a close, it may be time to evaluate your sales tactics and the services you are offering your clients and prospects. Perhaps, as Shao Collins suggests, "Stop thinking of yourself [or your sales team] as a seller, and start thinking of yourself as a 'solver.'"