By Jeffrey Hedquist
For many advertisers, the knee-jerk reaction to a soft economy is to sell for less, to try to compete with huge low margin retailers on their playing field. Not the best idea for success.
There’s a better solution and you can help. First, ditch the commodity mindset. How can your advertisers lift themselves above the crowd, preserve profit and still attract buyers? By adding value.
Are they a service business? Then add free or low cost products or services to what they’re now selling.
Are they primarily a products business? Then add associated services or companion products. In most cases, these extras will have a high-perceived value to customers, yet won’t be that costly to the advertisers.
Bundle associated items, showing the aggregate price and the savings of the bundled price.
Examples: Music stores: With the sale of an instrument – free lessons, accessories (strings, picks, tuners, reeds, stands, straps, mutes, sticks, etc.), sheet music, song books, DVDs, CDs.
Appliance or electronics retailers: Add free set up, instruction, maintenance, accessories, software, or extended warrantees, blank media (CDs, DVDs), a year’s supply of detergent, filter bags, toothpaste, light bulbs… use your imagination.
There’s no advertiser for whom this exercise won’t work.
Examine each of your on-air clients and prospects. Ask yourself, “What could they add to a purchase that would be an enticement for customers to come in?” What would be the lagniappe?
Lagniappe refers to a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th donut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”
It’s a way to help local businesses compete with national chains.
Brainstorm with colleagues or friends to come up with as many possibilities as you can for each advertiser. The more you come up with, the more likely your advertiser will adapt one or several.
The how-to seminars, coaching, lessons, or advanced training could develop into separate products or courses, giving your advertisers additional profit centers. More on this later.
Now, you’re a marketing partner with your client. It’s a much stronger position to be in than “the media rep. or producer.”
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