Has the publishing industry inadvertently devalued its own print ad space? Some industry experts think so, after years of giving advertisers list rentals, web ads and event sponsorship thrown into their annual ad proposals to sweeten the deal.
“The value-add has been part of the advertising landscape of B2B publishing for so long now that many sales reps can not recall a day when it hasn’t been part of the annual proposal,” writes D.B. Hebbard in Talking New Media.
“Those add-ons that are included in the proposed ad schedule, or used to entice the next ad placement, has taken on a life of its own,” he continues, citing the “what else do we get” mentality of many advertisers.
The problem, according to Hebbard, is that “advertisers became conditioned to see their ad pages as the least important part of their marketing programs with B2Bs.”
For the publishers that have reinvented themselves into brand publishers, this may not be as big an issue. These brands can easily create those add-ons in their digital properties and event sponsorships, keeping the advertisers feeling like they got their ads and their goodies.
For publishers that continue to view print as core to their business, it’s time to reeducate our advertisers about the true value of the print ad. Print remains the anchor for the enthusiast market, and ad spend is up in niche categories. Print ads engage more deeply than digital, resonating with consumers in ways that other media cannot.
Keeping these facts in mind, publishers must be careful not to devalue their own worth in the process of making the sale. Sure, add in what makes sense for the particular advertiser, but never ever forget the value of what you offer: Enthusiastic readers looking to engage with their message.