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Identify New Sales Prospects and Potential Big Spenders


FOLIO – Sales experts from HIMSS Media, NewBayMedia, and Northstar Travel Group share their thoughts on growing media sales.

In a sales environment that pits niche publishers against ubiquitous tech giants, media companies have one big advantage: direct relationships with both audiences and vendors. Whether a niche B2B publisher, or an association media team, growing sales prospects is about giving clients access to your devoted audience.

But how can you tell who will bite? We asked three sales experts from across the media spectrum, to find out how they appeal to big spenders, while growing the reach of their ad teams. 


The Account-Based Marketer 

Jane Bogue

Jane Bogue, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, HIMSS Media 

Folio: How do you identify new sales prospects when looking to grow your ad sales?

Bogue: Because we are the media division of a large association, we are in the advantageous situation of having access to the exhibitor list for the largest trade event in our space. This gives us a great pipeline of established and new companies to develop.  

But identifying big spenders is not as easy as it used to be. We need to be nimble and track lots of different initiatives. We pay attention to Google and who’s running heavy pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, LinkedIn and Twitter for clients that are trying to reach our audience segments through social media, Demandbase and others who maybe targeting ABM spending.  

Live events are important as well. And we will use traditional tools like MediaRadar to understand missed opportunities and where we can find growth or new business. I think one of the most important things we do is identify where our clients are going to shift dollars so we can stay current. Asking clients what new tactics they are exploring or how they anticipate their marketing mix shifting in the next 12 to 18 months helps us to uncover opportunities and areas where we need to focus from a product development perspective as well as from a competitive perspective.

Folio: How do you identify big spenders when it comes to media buys?

Bogue: Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to diversify our products and services in order to stay current and ahead of the market, recognizing the pace of change within the industry. We leverage internal information from our sister business units to analyze spend within the organization and in the market. We also look towards non-traditional opportunities that are popping up all the time in social, blog sites, lead gen and search. 

Folio: How can publishers make their media brands more attractive to big spenders?  

Bogue: We have worked hard to build our marketing services group over the past couple years. This allows us to offer integrated marketing programs that leverage products and services across different sections of the company as well as other business units when it makes sense. Our clients want to buy a very niche, hard-to-reach audience. That’s what we offer. We use the media properties as a way to engage those audiences. We’ve worked hard over the last few years to align more with how our clients are approaching the market from a performance-based and content marketing perspective to make sure we’re talking the same language and aligning our solutions with their goals and objectives. 

The Data Marketer


Steve Palm, CEO and President, NewBay Media

Folio: How do you identify new sales prospects when looking to grow your ad sales?

Palm: To better hunt for new prospects, NewBay has built a marketing process leveraging its Pardot/marketing automation tool. Bespoke campaigns are deployed via Pardot to efficiently and effectively target non-advertisers with select verticals, create awareness of our brands and the benefits we deliver and, ultimately, generate an engagement (a click-through, request for more information, or a call). Our sales team is able to convert these “engaged” prospects at a high percentage, relative to traditional cold calling.

Folio: How do you identify big spenders when it comes to media buys?

Palm: In the B2B and enthusiast markets NewBay serves, the big spenders are generally well known and likely already partners with us. To this end, we have developed a very close relationship with key advertisers within all of our markets and closely analyze their activities through MediaRadar. MediaRadar allows our sales teams an efficient and effective way to gauge market share, know where advertisers are allocating spending (between brands, media types, etc.), and provide insights into new opportunities.

Folio: How can publishers make their media brands more attractive to big spenders?  

Palm: To be more attractive, media brands need to better position themselves as solution providers. At NewBay, we have developed a portfolio of 30 distinct offerings beyond advertising, including native, content marketing, events, and awards programs. Packaged together, this integrated platform delivers three critical benefits: brand/product awareness; thought leadership; and demand generation capabilities. By delivering more benefit, NewBay has established deeper relationships with key advertisers and helped us grow our business.

The B2B Publisher 


Bruce Shulman, SVP and Group Publisher of the Retail Group, Northstar Travel Group

Folio: How do you identify new sales prospects when looking to grow your ad sales?

Shulman: We have a very professional sales organization, a very senior sales organization. Knowing our business as we do clearly gives us insight into the suppliers within each market for our sales people to have business conversations with.

Folio: How do you identify big spenders when it comes to media buys?

Shulman: Having business conversations with suppliers in all of the travel industry sectors, and having them ask themselves one simple question: Is our audience an audience that they want to talk to? And if their answer is yes, they need to identify within their budgets how much they can invest to do that.

So a big spender might be someone who only has a $25k marketing budget. To them that’s a big spend. 

Folio: What’s something you’ve done to make your magazine brands more attractive to big spenders?

Shulman: We look at the industry and help suppliers engage with our audience. In today’s marketing world, whether it’s travel or any other vertical marketing, an integrated approach is something which has to be done. Everybody in Travel Weekly’s world, we are engaging for the most part travel professionals and travel agents, they all consume information differently. Some consume information from our traditional print publishing. Some consume information by attending our events. Some engage with our digital assets, whether it’s our website or newsletter or education platform.

But when you have any group of people that consumes information differently, you have to be able to touch all of that engagement. So today’s marketer has got to embrace both traditional publishing, as well as a digital marketing program.


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