COMMENT 

Keep selling (or at least communicating)

Hats off to salespeople everywhere. For many publishers, they still bring in the lion’s share of revenues, but now face the toughest of advertising environments.

By James Evelegh

Keep selling (or at least communicating)
Photograph: Karl Bewick on Unsplash

I see the economy roughly dividing into three unequal parts. The first part consists of those industries that seem to have vanished overnight, like leisure and tourism. The second consists of those many industries that continue to tick over. Sales have been hit hard, but they are still trading and counting down the hours until the end of lockdown. The third is those few sectors that have never had it so good – food, drink, toilet paper manufacturers. As a nation, have we ever eaten and drunk so much?

The ad sales strategy publishers adopt will clearly depend on the sector they’re selling to. If your clients are in leisure and tourism, then it’s all about keeping lines of communication open. You won’t be selling anything in the short term, but you need to be talking to them regularly, so that you can spot and capitalise on any change of thinking.

If your advertising clients are in the ticking-over group, then it’s worth recalling the oft-quoted adage: “When times are good, you should advertise; when times are bad you must advertise.”

There have been many studies over the years demonstrating that those brands that continue to advertise through a downturn, bounce back higher than those that don’t. Brad Adgate put the case well in an article on the Forbes website last September: When a recession comes, don’t stop advertising.

If food and drinks companies are your primary advertisers, then, notwithstanding the logistical challenges thrown up by the pandemic, there should still be lots of sales potential.

As always, knowing your audience is key. Keep communicating, keep making the case, but never stop listening.

(Finally, we’ve spruced up our LinkedIn page and now share most of our content to it. Please feel free to follow…)