Here is an email message I received from one of our District Mangers after I pointed out a poor ad layout I spotted that was scheduled to run (I removed the names to protect the innocent, :-)
I will review with the sales rep when he is back in and see what we can do to improve it.
Understand this is a 16 year old account, they are an old Amish couple and it is an auction house.
This used to be an inside sales account years ago and they were very set in their ways demanding their logo be top and center because they claimed people recognized it.
I agree with your info but sometimes we need to give the customers what they want.
And my response back to the District Manager:
And more times than not, the advertisers want RESULTS. So I encourage you to train all the sales reps to be truly advertising consultants.
Role play… so reps are comfortable saying:
This is your advertising space and we will design your ad to your liking. However, I want you to know, we study readers, their reading habits and we are trained on ways to get the maximum results for our advertisers using the most effective ad strategies.
There are six types of advertisements. (Institutional - image or branding, Indirect - selling reg merchandise at reg prices, Direct - call to action, Educational, Informative - combo, Instructive - educational assistance) and Your ad copy is a “Direct or Call to Action”.
For the most effective results, start with a headline that is a benefit to the reader. Perhaps use a comment that will draw the reader into the ad to learn why they should come to this sale.
Your logo and address will certainly be large and recognizable, but I would highly suggest the “offer” and the details to be shown at the top of the ad to entice the reader to read more. Would you be open to my showing you a sample of your ad with our suggestions for your approval?
Sometimes we justify being an “ad taker” by thinking that we are giving the customer what he wants. I highly encourage all IFPA member publications to train all your sales reps to be the experts in your area. Help each and every advertiser to get the best possible results from their advertising investment. Please don’t allow your reps to merely pick-up and run whatever lame ad copy the client wants to hand him.