SalesVantage.com >> Article Archives >> Advertising >> Integrated Marketing: The Client's Point Of View

Advertising
   
Integrated Marketing: The Client's Point Of View
By Helen Berman

Today's advertisers aren't simply interested in choosing the "best" magazine, Website or TV program for bringing their product to their end users.

If you're at a hot nightclub, you know it's no fun to cool out by the velvet rope.

In sales, think of the RFP - request for proposal - as the equivalent of the waiting to get to the other side of velvet rope. It's essentially a last-minute invitation to compete for a client's business. By the time you get it, you can be sure that that client isn't contacting you primarily because he thinks you've got fantastic ideas and great creative media solutions. He's contacting you because he's already gone through the big decisions about what kind of media he wants to use to solve his company's particular needs, and now he's looking for the best price.

Trust me: The velvet rope is not where you want to be, either in sales or clubs. You want to be one of those people who's swept through the door early because your presence is valued. And in the sales game - as in society - the way you get there is by establishing a relationship long before the event. This has become particularly true now that we're in the age of integrated media.

Today's advertisers aren't simply interested in choosing the "best" magazine, Website or TV program (however they define "best") for bringing their product to their end users. Instead, they also want to use media in creative ways to solve marketing problems. This means you, a sales professional, need to be on hand to help the client understand their sales challenges and select the best combination of media to meet their needs. Even if they have their own advisers, when you become their best advocate, you can get beyond the velvet rope.

Here's an example. Say you work for a consumer automotive publication and your client is Goodwheels, a number-three tire manufacturer among car customizers. For years, your client has struggled for number two by increasing its distribution network and investing in public relations. But while brand awareness has gone up, sales and perception haven't budged: The tires are still seen as old-fashioned and non-innovative. As a salesperson , it's not your job to now push an ad schedule at Goodwheels. That's just the sales equivalent of crashing a party. Instead, take the time to understand how Goodwheels will make its ultimate decision on a marketing program
  1. Define the marketing problem. Goodwheels needs to increase market share, particularly among young, college-educated, single men. Establish media objectives. Goodwheels goal is to expand its image from older, established, reliable brand name to cutting-edge, innovative brand choice.

  2. Establish media objectives. Goodwheels goal is to expand its image from older, established, reliable brand name to cutting-edge, innovative brand choice.

  3. Evaluate media types. Goodwheels needs to examine each subset of media options to determine which would best help polish its image and reach target consumers. For instance: Should Goodwheels expand beyond custom-car titles and begin advertising in "mens" magazines? Should the company overhaul its Website to appeal to a more sophisticated shopper? How about company sponsorship of educational programs on leading-edge automotive issues, or of industry research on new technologies? Does traditional media still reach the types of young men who buy custom tires? And if not, which media would work?

  4. Determine the media mix. Now Goodwheels needs to match its goals to the types of media best suited to meet those goals. Following its media research, Goodwheels might decide to target young men via event marketing at car races and custom car shows. It might also decide to move more print advertising to Web site sponsorships in order to appear more leading-edge. It might look into niche audiences found on cable TV, and it might also decide to invest more in media research to keep on top of where potential buyers are going.

  5. Select specific media brands. Here's where the RFPs come in. Having decided on media categories to pursue, Goodwheels and its agency scouts for specific magazines, shows, television programs and Web sites that can deliver on the company's objectives. Not only is Goodwheels looking for great proposals, it's also looking for companies that can fulfill promises, think creatively, present a lot of bang for the buck, and be fun and easy to work with. Clearly, then, no salesperson wants to join the process only at Step 5. To become indispensable marketing consultants, salespeople need to be involved right from Step 1, helping clients determine marketing needs and goals. That way, there's no more waiting at the velvet rope: You'll be ushered right through to the sale.
Integrated Marketing: Stepping into the Client

An exciting speaker and inspiring sales mentor, Helen Berman has appeared at dozens of media conferences and seminars worldwide, in addition to writing popular sales columns for Folio and Expo magazines. She's also written the two-volume book, Ad Sales: Winning Secrets of the Magazine Pros and is working on a new book, Integrated Media Sales: Beyond the Page, Beyond the Banner. To contact Helen directly, call 310-230-3899 or learn more online www.helenberman.com

More articles by Helen Berman
More articles on Advertising