Print Publications Need to Adapt Ad Sales Business Model to Survive

If you’re a newspaper or magazine publisher, you surely read the news and see the decline in print ad revenues. Maybe you’re finding that your readership is still as strong as ever and your circulation is growing. But ad revenue in print is dropping and is projected to continue to do so over the next 5 years.

If you haven’t already, you need to start planning how you are going to adjust to the current marketplace to build a sustainable model of revenue generation. Modest gains from digital ad sales are not going to be enough.
If you are still trying to sell ad space in your publication by boasting that you have the most affluent, educated, engaged readership base – you’re wasting your breath. Advertisers want to talk to you about how your publication can generate results for their brand. Creating awareness is no longer enough.

The value of the ad space you’re selling is directly related to the results it can generate. And if you’re unwilling to have that conversation with potential advertisers, you are going to find you have fewer and fewer advertisers willing to dedicate a portion of their budget to print.

Advertisers are comparing marketing dollars across all mediums and looking to invest more in channels in which their dollar delivers the highest ROI. Attribution presents challenges for print when tracking mechanisms are not in place. And while it’s true that some more sophisticated brands may be able to calculate an appropriate percentage of lift to attribute to print, you should encourage your advertisers to consider ways to track results so you can have a data-driven discussion about whether or not their campaign “worked.”

If you’re not already using our per-inquiry program to drive additional advertising revenue to your publication, you’re leaving money on the table. Some publications use our ads when they have remnant space to fill as an alternative to running a house ad or giving it away at a steep discount – but even this strategy is leaving potential revenue behind.

Look at the advertisers we have available. Choose which ads you think will generate the most revenue for your publication based on their payout, taking into consideration your readers and their interests. Now run these ads.

Publications that arbitrarily claim “they do not run these types of ads” should think again. Your competition is running them. Publications in other markets like yours are running them. They are making money running them.

Print publications need to be willing to try new ways of monetizing their product. Call us today to see how we can help.

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