Top 5 Ways To Avoid The Ad Sales Summer Slump

Too many of our Publishers and Advertising Representatives accept that a slowdown in advertising sales is a fact of business life during the lazy days of summer. Well, nothing could be further from the truth, and as the Publisher/Manager/Advertising Director of your publication you need to get out of that frame of mind, and quick!

A 2016 Summer ad sales slowdown may be something many people want because they expect this to be a season for vacations when the living is easy. But you don’t have to accept that! When others go to sleep, you need to wake up. If you follow these tips, you can create opportunity for your publication while other print and web medias are off to the lake or to the beach.

  1. First, make a firm decision not to participate in a Summer ad sales slowdown.

Don’t allow your Ad Reps to buy into this thinking because I assure you that they will make a summer slowdown one of the first excuses if their current advertisers take some time out of your publication’s editions or they have no new advertisers to ad to your publication. Hold a daily meeting to discuss what you are going to do to grow your total number of advertisers and how to prosper–not contract—this summer.

Set clearly defined new account and total dollar sales goals for every remaining week this Summer. List the activities that need to be undertaken to achieve them. Give yourself deadlines for your goals and create a no excuses, no negativity environment. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve to turn a lazy Summer into a upbeat ad sales effort.

With all the craze over World Cup Soccer, Phil Woosnam said, “The Rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.”

Summer ad sales are a lot like soccer, kick all possibilities, kick them every day, no matter how hot it is, or who’s on vacation.

  1. Take care of your regular advertisers.

Get out in front of the Summer Ad Sales slowdown and let your best advertisers know that their Ad Rep and you will  be available all Summer as there is no slowdown at your office. Target any advertiser who has bought from you in the last 180 days…through mail, faxes, phone calls, emails, tweets, texts, or any other social media that your paper is going to aggressively try, and help them make this a Summer of increasing their sales. Personally call your larger advertisers and see how you can assist them above and beyond the norm this Summer. For example, find out what you can do to assist as they prepare for vacation or to help fill a gap in their absence. Can you prepare a multi-issue ad campaign that they can pre-approve before they leave town?

  1. Give special attention to your smaller advertisers who can’t take a long vacation.

Focus some of your marketing efforts on prospective small advertisers and your long-term ones who plan to be around all year around. Remember that these are clearly busy people who are pressed for time and can’t afford a vacation or leisurely summer work pace. Take the initiative by distributing flyers, getting on social media and updating your website to let people know you will be around too, and can offer some valuable ad space in your paper and web site to help them deal with their time constraints.

  1. Offer a value-added Summer ad…plan to avoid discounting prices.

You will probably need to make more profit from each sale to compensate for decreased summertime ad volumes. So, figure out creative ways to repackage your ad plans to provide something extra, such as a special summer-themed promotion or extra exposure for them on your web site and face book page. For example, offer buy-one-get-one-free packages, or add additional reader ads with all additional inch contracts. On your web page, sell patriotic themed ads or flag page sponsorships and packaged them into a Fourth of July special to run thru the Fourth of July and all of July in total. Come up with new and Summer themed value-added ad propositions.  Hand these out to your Advertising Reps to sell for the remainder of July and August, and include ‘themes’ until school starts back up.

  1. Put Service first this Summer over just selling ads.

Advertising service should be a year-around commitment for all of our Advertising Reps. Therefore, it is even more important during a Summer slowdown when your media competitors go into that “living is easy” mode and take their eyes off the local ad ball. Show that your Advertising Reps are motivated to make things happen quickly, and empower all your paper’s employees to accommodate special requests, even if it means opening your business early or letting customers enter your establishment in flip flops or beachwear. This is your chance to shine and make a lasting impression. After all, your goal is to make sure your old and new advertisers this Summer keeps coming back to you long after the heat of Summer 2016 is over.

Featured Image Source:Sunglass Warehouse

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