In sales call planning, background research can turn poor pitches into perfect ones. Even doing just a little homework before can help any ad sales executive close more deals. But, everyone’s homework is not the same.
National consumer media companies, for instance, choose to focus on brands. These are the questions that national consumer media companies should be asking themselves about their prospects before a sales call.
1. Where do your prospects place ads across media – including TV, print, online, and/or social?
50% of advertisers buy more than one ad format. If you can pinpoint exactly where and how your prospects are placing their ads, then you can decide which channels to pitch, understand where opportunities to upsell are, and, finally, get verified contact information for media buyers. With this knowledge, you can increase your advertising revenue across multiple media platforms.
2. Do your prospects prefer to purchase higher CPM units rather than lower CPM units? If so, do they buy high CPM units across print, native, online video, or even YouTube or Snapchat?
It’s important to know if high CPM is part of your prospects’ strategy. Do they want to advertise on a print magazine or newspaper’s back cover or inside cover or do they prefer advertising digitally on apps like Snapchat? If they’re pursuing Snapchat’s customized and sponsored lenses, for example, then they are attempting to target a younger demographic. They are also early adopters, looking for innovative and thoughtful solutions that appeal more to the youthful population in their twenties. Having the information about which prospects are buying high CPM lenses or videos on Discover channels provides an expansive view of the fragmented digital marketplace and will help you expand your own portfolio of clients.
3. How are your prospects allocating their advertising budgets and which product lines are they focused on? Do they value linear TV, digital, mobile, email, print, and/or programmatic more?
There’s no denying it – money matters. If prospects have a larger budget, then they have more resources and a greater ability to experiment with many different product lines from linear TV to digital to mobile to email, print, and programmatic. And you have more capital to gain from them as a result.
4. What’s your prospects’ messaging like?
Understanding a brand’s messaging is crucial to unlocking its core needs and desires. The resonant and cohesive message a brand crafts engages with its audiences that mean the most to it on terms that the audiences can understand and in ways that also support the brand strategy. Here are three examples of brand messaging that you may recognize, in the form of slogans:
- Subway: Eat fresh.
- Walmart: Save money. Live better.
- Excedrin: Power to hit pain where it hurts.
Subway champions itself as the healthiest fast food option while Walmart highlights its affordable prices and Excedrin emphasizes the strength and effectiveness of its medicine.
If you study your prospects’ most recent creative, including the actual ad, when and where it ran on the page, and what editorial content surrounds the prospects’ digital ads, you’ll get a way better understanding of any of your advertisers’ brand messaging.
5. Did your prospects hire new representation? Did they increase their ad spend or start placing with your competition?
Note when your accounts have new agency representation. This is usually an indicator that they are looking to shake things up. Also, determine when your advertisers are increasing their spend or beginning to place more ads with your competition. How can you outshine your competitors?
Before a sales call with a prospect, you, a national consumer media company, should make a point to come up with answers to where your prospects place ads across media, if your prospects prefer higher CPM units, how your prospects are allocating their advertising budgets and which product lines they’re focusing on, what your prospects’ brand messaging is like, and, lastly, if your prospects hired new representation, increased their ad spend, or started placing with your competition instead. If you do this, you’ll put yourself in a better position to close the deal.
Check back for more upcoming blog posts that will list even more questions that other types of companies and agencies should be posing to their prospects.