Provide great value to your small advertisers

December 2, 2014

By Bob Berting
Sales Advice 

There is a trend to create promotions for smaller advertisers and have them commit to a lengthy schedule running business card size ads. This is part of the thinking that generating quick profit is what will help keep the publication afloat. This could be the theme for a fantasy Broadway play: “How a publication can make money selling advertising—getting dollars from the little guy makes sense.”


How can the smaller advertiser get any value from such a project?

The reading public gets little value from this approach, and the advertiser is not only throwing money away but usually sees no good response or new business. What can be accomplished from such an approach? In the long run, the small advertiser realizes that funds used for such an endeavor has been wasted, and the publication running its business card size ads was only out to make some quick profit at its expense. Many times, a program can be designed with well-designed ads that will enable the advertiser to truly project not only the right image, but tell the story of its business in a meaningful way. In other words the advertiser will recognize that the publication wants to give it value for its investment in the publication’s advertising program.


Why should the smaller advertiser invest in a

stronger ad program?

The assumption should not be made that a smaller advertiser has a limited income and can only afford a business card size ad. In many cases, there is money spent on competing media that is not known. However, the creative ad sales pro needs to make his or her publication the major player in the customer media mix. Smaller advertisers cannot only get increased value, but their advertising can be profitable to the publication. Here are some ways this is possible:

• Provide co-op help. If your salespeople can find co-op dollars for their smaller advertisers, they can help them into a stronger and more dynamic program with the publication.

• How can your pre-print insert service help? Can you provide zoned coverage for them? Will you let small advertisers share a common insert? Could you create a small advertiser coupon booklet to be inserted in your publication?

• Your website can be a great place for smaller advertisers who can have strategic placements that get great readership.

• How about sponsoring a seminar for your smaller advertisers? I have conducted over 300 seminars for the customers of newspapers, and they are extremely effective. Invite your regulars, inactives and prospects to a morning seminar that can start with a continental breakfast or end with a light lunch. Your smaller advertisers will greatly appreciate such an event sponsored by your publication.

Your staff can do a better job with your smaller advertisers.

These advertisers can be cultivated to grow into more dominant, high profile advertisers that will get more response from their ads in your publication—but not running business card size ads in full pages over a long-range program. © Bob Berting 2014


Bob Berting, newspaper marketing consultant, has published his new e-book for sales professionals in the newspaper industry entitled “Advanced Selling Skills For The Advertising Sales Pro”. This is a publication for beginning salespeople who can learn advanced selling techniques and experienced salespeople who can sharpen their selling skills. Salespeople can learn more about this publication by using the link and see the table of contents as well as reading the complimentary first chapter. Payment of $24.95 to download the 34-page e-book. He is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted over 1500 live seminars and tele-seminars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, and print media associations in the U.S. and Canada. His 40-year background includes 15 years in newspaper management, 5 years as university marketing instructor, and owner of a full-service advertising agency for 20 years. He can be contacted at or at 800-536-5408. He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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