The other day I received our latest issue of one of the performing arts trade magazines that we have (or I thought we had) a standing ad in.
To my surprise, after thumbing through the issue twice, I did not see our ad anywhere.
I immediately emailed our account executive and asked if they contact renewal advertising accounts.
For the uninitiated, a renewal account is an advertiser that had placed an ad in the most recent issue. Sometimes an advertiser will sign a full season agreement, or a partial season agreement. Regardless, whenever their current ad agreement comes upon the expiration (i.e. the last issue that their agreement carries them through) someone needs to contact them to get them in the upcoming issue, hence, a renewal account.
Shame on me for not keeping a better editorial and marketing calendar to remind myself that I need to make sure that our current ads run without skipping a beat in all the trade magazines we advertise in. But this is one of a million things as a business owner I am juggling.
To my surprise, when my new account executive emailed me back, he was very apologetic and said that our former account executive who we have been dealing with moved on.
And herein lies the problem. Naturally, any sales office will have turnover. But how those accounts are handled by the sales manager after someone moves on is the difference between success and failure.
If these accounts are not immediately gone through and re-assigned to be handled, money will be left on the table!
Don’t misunderstand me here, a renewal account still needs to be sold. These are not “lay-ups” by any means. But these program book or playbill advertising accounts are going to be a lot easier to sell than a new account, because they are believers in the product already.
So, when a renewal account goes by the wayside because of carelessness, and this is truly what it is, expect your program book advertising sales canvas to go by the wayside as well.
To the non-sales person, the thought of continuously staying in contact with an advertiser may sound like pestering. But this can’t be further from the truth. When an account executive has a good relationship with an advertiser, they in a sense become an extension of that advertiser’s marketing department.
And so, when I am reminded by my account executive that my advertising is up for renewal, this is a huge benefit to me, and I do not perceive this as pestering. This person saved me from letting my ad miss an issue. This is not selling, but simply customer service, and this account executive is going to be a valuable part of my team!
And this is what should be expected from any good publisher, as well as any professional program book advertising account executive.
By simply staying in touch with your current advertisers, keeping them apprised of their advertising agreement renewal dates, offering them other program book or playbill advertising opportunities that may pop up here or there is the difference between a professional advertising account executive and a non-professional advertising account executive. And the beauty of this is that the effort on your part becomes minimal if you are simply reaching out every once and awhile to the advertiser. Good selling!