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With the new year fast upon us, it is always a good time to set both personal and professional goals.

And why not, the beginning of a new year is always a great, clean starting point, right?

As a company, we are continuously setting advertising sales goals throughout the year. We set these goals for the different performing arts program book markets that we work in. However, these are very calculated sales goals. These are not shoot from the hip, I think we should have a gazillion dollar goals.

Yet, I can’t tell you how many times performing arts venues approach us wanting this type of miracle goal. And a miracle is what they’re wanting when we do an analysis of their current program book advertising situation.

You see, setting the proper program book advertising goal is more science than art. There are many factors to look at before deciding what a realistic program book ad sales goal should be.

The first thing that needs to be looked at is the overall cost of the job. Lots of performing arts organizations think their only cost for the program book is the print cost. But this can’t be further from the truth. There are many other costs to capture as well as what we call hidden costs that are never considered when setting the program book advertising sales goal.

These are costs such as sales costs, graphic design costs, billing and collections costs, and the hidden administrative costs. Hidden administrative costs entail things like entering advertising sales contracts, chasing ad files down, sending out tear pages, etc. These little costs will add up very quickly so they need to be captured as well.

Once you have these costs, the next thing that needs to be looked at is the previous year’s advertising revenue. Where did the previous season’s advertising revenue end up after all bad debts, adjustments, etc. are accounted for?

Hopefully this number is covering the above costs discussed. But if it’s not, don’t get discouraged.

The next thing to look at is the market itself. What type of market is it? Is it a large metropolitan area? A small town? What is the advertising competition like within the market? Are there many other periodicals, local magazines, newspapers, etc., or is there very little competition within the market?

And finally, what is your CRM indicating? Hopefully, there were many “eggs laid” the previous season, but not all of them hatched. Looking at these prospects, what does the program book advertising sales funnel look like for the upcoming season?

After all this information is gathered, a realistic program book advertising sales goal can be forecasted.

The point is, a realistic program book ad sales goal can only be set after these factors are taken into consideration. But by going through this exercise, your eyes may be opened to some adjustments that can be made on the cost side of things, making your program book ads sales goal even more realistic than you had thought. Good selling!

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