Are you getting the maximum revenue from your association’s media sales? When was the last time you examined what you have to offer potential advertisers and sponsors?
During the Association Media & Publishing annual meeting recently, Carrie Hartin, Network Media Partner’s COO, co-presented a session on the five trends to watch in association media sales. Consider how these trends might affect your association and how they could benefit your bottom line:
Growth in Online Advertising Revenue
Companies are investing more of their marketing dollars into online advertising campaigns. Since 1996, digital advertising revenue has grown by $8 billion–yes, billion! Your association can benefit from this trend by continuing to develop valuable digital products for members that advertisers can leverage–webinars, e-newsletters, digital publications and more can drive your online revenue. Create a plan to grow your digital revenue by 50 to 100 percent annually. If you need ideas, look at what’s being promoted to the consumer audience and how those products are tested, modified and improved.
Ok, maybe not die, but you will be leaving advertising dollars on the table by continuing to sell single insertions in your various resources. By bundling your media products, you are able to create advertising packages that drive revenue across the board while making it easy for your clients to purchase a range of advertising.
A package could look something like:
- Six full-page ads in the association publication with premium positioning
- 12-month banner on the association website
- A standard booth at the annual convention
- Access to special partner logo for use on company materials
When building your association media, be sure to include the resources your members say are important to them; this could be your magazine, website and trade show. Use that data to let advertisers know the packages you’ve created are based on member feedback.
The companies buying your association media are data-driven, so they know what data sources are bringing in the business. Be prepared in your sales process to talk about the data. Your current and potential advertisers care about:
- Referral source: Where are their leads coming from?
- Lead metrics: Where is the lead in the sales funnel? How long does it take to covert a lead?
- Engagement: What is the readership of your association products?
- Options to segment: Can they connect with certain member groups? Can they geotarget?
Your site metrics and customer data can help drive advertising revenue; be comfortable with the data so you can better position your media.
The ability to constantly evolve based on feedback is crucial. The more agile you are in the sales process, the more quickly you can accommodate changes in the market. Consider ways you can be more nimble in these areas:
- Pricing–being nimble with your ad pricing allows for advertiser feedback. Are you launching a new e-newsletter but unsure how to price it? Think about giving introductory pricing to a select group of advertisers so you can gain feedback and be willing to change your pricing strategy quickly if something isn’t working.
- Ad management–advertisers want control of their creative. Allowing advertisers to serve their own ads and change artwork quickly can drive results for them and revenue for you. Think about simplifying the number of creative units advertisers need to submit. Can the same banner work for your website and e-newsletter?
- Marketing–as products and pricing changes, your marketing strategy also needs to adapt. If you’re spending time continually updating your sales pieces, you are limiting your selling time. Create marketing and sales collateral that are dynamic and easy to update.
This year, 39 percent of the average marketer’s budget is spent on content marketing–a 9.2 percent growth over last year. Advertisers want to provide content to your members and in order to capitalize on the potential revenue, associations need to think of ways to integrate content. A few suggestions:
- Allow top advertisers (hint, those who bought the big bundles described in trend No. 2) to post white papers on your website or share information through social media
- Create a sponsored content section of your e-newsletter
- Sell webinar sponsorships in which the company provides the content; you host and market it to your members.
Be aware of the trends in media and advertising so your association can position itself for success to your vendor and supplier community. For additional resources, check out The Content Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau or download Network Media’s latest issue of Bright Ideas in the app store.
Are you seeing other trends in the way your advertisers are engaging with you and your association media? If so, we’d love to hear it and share. Leave us a comment.
–Brittany Sullivan, Senior Account Executive, Network Media Partners.
Leave a Comment June 25, 2013