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Lots of performing arts organizations tell us that every year their program book advertising revenues are eroding little by little; but why? It is very important to keep your eye on your current ad revenue base and plan your sales canvas accordingly. It is a huge misconception to believe that every year advertisers will just renew, because they will not. Let’s face it, print advertising is not exactly easy to sell anymore with all the other mediums out there. We call this drop in revenue from existing advertisers Decrease & Loss.

Most performing arts organizations never factor Decrease & Loss into their ad sales campaign, and simply think that “last year we had $30,000, this year we’ll shoot for $38,000, so we only have to sell $8,000” and off they go. You must factor in that every year you will lose between 20 to 30% of your base revenue, and in some cases, we have seen as much as a 60% drop in ad revenue. This is just the nature of the business.

Using the $30,000 base revenue example, figure on about only $22,000 of that actually renewing (26.6% Decrease & Loss.) So to achieve a target of $38,000 you will need to sell at least $16,000 of new revenue—double what is normally thought.

So remember to factor in a 20 to 30% drop in your revenue base and do your projections from that. Good Selling!

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