Niche magazine titles challenged by agencies: Prove your worth



Specialist and B2B publications need to start demonstrating that advertising with them works, a panel of media buyers has told the industry.

Speaking at an event for media sales professionals in Sydney organised by Publishers Australia, MindShare’s chief of knowledge Nick Durrant said: “Find a way of proving that you will deliver the results. There is no room on a client’s budget plan anymore for luxuries. I want to know how many Land Rovers (for example) it’s going to sell me. So what you have to do is show me the idea and then show me how that’s going to work, and if you cannot show me how that’s going to work then you are going to lose, every time. Because everyone else is showing me what this is going to deliver back.”

Durrant added: “The clever ideas within my schedule will be the things that stay on their longest. And the things that come off quickest are the things that aren’t delivering numbers, or the things that cannot prove they are as effective as other measures.”

Durrant recommended running pre and post campaign surveys to ask readers how likely they would be to buy the product before and after it was advertised in the publication.



Michael Bass, trading director at Initiative, said that niche titles simply trying to sell ads in the print product no longer cut it. He said: “You can sell your $5000 page its just going to be a harder thing to do in niche titles.”

“So if you have got a package or some kind of integrated solution and you can build a story around it, that’s actually quite a compelling proposition. It’s really the thought process that goes behind it.”

Integrated approaches that work across all media platforms are easiest to sell, Bass said.

Durrant also called for sales people to make sure that when they got time in front of a media agency they made the most of it – taloring presentations to the potential advertiser, rather than simply focusing on their own audience.

He said: “You can talk to us about how awesome your audience is until you’re blue in the face but if it has no relevance to the brief I’m working on it becomes a wasted conversation. Tell me why the audience you have got is awesome for the brief that I have got in front of me.

“We want to take good ideas forward to clients but to do that you need to understand what the brief is and what we are trying to achieve.

However, niche titles do have benefits that differentiate them from mass reach titles, said Clare Tsubono, Client Services Director at Maxus. She said: “Niche titles are in a really unique position, having an audience that are a lot more engaged,” Tsubono said.

“Use that, show us that, prove that to us, because it’s all about engagement and activation and if you are able to do that with a reader that pays money and looks forward to getting your magazine and reads it, that is a very unique and powerful position and I think that’s something that you need to start thinking of, rather than page rates and spots and dots.”

Meet the buyers Q&A panel Publishers Australia Media Sales

Nick Durrant, Michael Bass, Clare Tsubono and Camille Alarcon


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