Do You Sell Space or Sell Engagement?
A few years back a professor running a class in which I was enrolled said the single biggest mistake he saw in media sales was that the a typical media salesperson sold space, not the benefits of that space. Yet in a more detailed discussion he could or would not expand on what he saw as the benefits; that Intellectual Capital, I learned later, was what he used to generate consulting assignments, his special sauce!
When I started to buy media I realized that this professor was correct and I was being sold space. It was annoying at least to have to educate the salesperson to support my needs. I felt and still feel that selling the benefits is the way to go. The problem is the benefits change based on many variables, variables that can include publication, product, market and demographics.
Today I think the benefits sold or offered begin with the process of engagement. Yes, the demographics are critical, but an incorrect use of data is like using no data at all. Every piece of ad space has some value, but what will enhance the value is defined engagement based on a series of defined, measured and easy-to-use processes.
I offer the TIESS concept, a self-invented process that not only sells the benefits of the space and of the brand but defines the specific stages that are needed to fully take advantage and provide an offering that expands the direct and indirect benefits into a sales process that is worthy of the publication.
Your client agency, or the advertisers themselves, want more than just readership information. I think you will agree they deserve more, the question is what to do with the information that your publication has (Intellectual Capital) and how to turn that information into a defined plan. Think about developing the process of engagement in a “How To Assemble This _______” fashion. Your publication is the material, you have the parts that will connect the materials, and parts include data, readership, CTR, demographics, sales cycle and other relevant information.
What you need is a five easy steps assembly plan and diagram to put this all together.
That is where a program like TIESS comes in: Touch, Interact, Engagement, Sales and Support. Whatever your process may be, you will need to define and teach—not train—your clients that there is a process, a process that when integrated with your publication, adds value and direct benefits to the media buy. When assembled correctly in your publication, the core material needed for the correct assembly will in the end be converted into a very valued source of not only media space, but the process of filling shopping carts and cross-selling the market while offering that all-important need of support after the sales process has been completed.
A change in the marketplace, or as they say, an environment change, is driving this need: low click thru rates, the need to define relevant content, define editorial need, scale the need, understand and evaluate the readers need and yes, yes, provide valued and worthwhile information to your client, the agency or advertiser.
To hear more about TIESS or request a simple flow chart touch me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise I will interact, engage and, if the engagement is done correctly, attempt to sell you on my consulting services. E-mail me your contact information with the term FLOWCHART in your subject line and I will send you sample flow chart of the TIESS process.
Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.