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It’s Friday afternoon and you receive a call out of the blue with an amazing, discounted offer. Half the rate card price if you commit today and further discounts if you agree to go for more than one advertisement. Initially you don’t even realise that you are about to be sold to because it’s an offer for partnership, questions to which you can only answer yes, and a relationship building spiel that is designed to put you into the mindset to make an impromptu purchase.

We have all had them. The call that arrives because the sales person needs to close their order book before the weekend and achieve targets. You can understand how they are feeling. They’ll almost agree to anything and any price to secure your business. Go on, take that advertisement, it’s a great deal.

Before putting down the phone in ire, just pause a moment and reflect on whether there is an opportunity here for a win-win. Not the kind of win-win that means in reality the calling sales person wins and you don’t, but a moment to reflect if there is actually an opportunity here for you. Afterall the caller didn’t just find you for no reason. You were likely targeted because there was a potential fit and the win-win will certainly be something that is one of the intentions of the caller.

So firstly you should think about this advertisement and whether you currently have anything real and valuable to say. Are you currently in a marketing communications or lead generation campaign where this could be a useful and timely additional tool? Have you been thinking for a while about extending your reach and does this opportunity present such an opportunity?

You’ll only begin to understand the answers to these questions if you ask some pertinent questions.

First, when is the deadline and can you achieve this without any pain in terms of providing content, images, and back up resources?

Secondly, who is the target for the publication or website? Not just the number of readers (that is likely to be a speculative and inflated number anyway) but the geographic relevance of the audience, the job roles and titles of the opted-in database, the sectors from which they come. Is there a fit and are these exactly who you would like to target? Can you provide a joined-up customer/prospect journey for enquirers? This is not an advertisement or advertorial in isolation, it must be part of a truly integrated communications campaign.

Thirdly, you should ask for previous examples of campaigns, editions and projects the publication has run recently. You need to establish if there is a fit between them and your brand. The tone of voice, the emphasis of the publication and the other types of advertisers. What outcomes can they demonstrate as evidence that this will work for you? Not generic promises but tangible, objective evidence.

Fourth, the best filter you have is if you leave the call with the feeling this is a cost or is it an investment? If it feels like a cost to your business then you should say thank you but no. If this offer feels like an investment and you are confident that the seller has demonstrated it is low risk and highly likely you will see a great return on investment, then this will be something worth pursuing.

Top Tips When Committing To Impromptu Advertising Calls
1. Remember it should be a win-win for both parties
2. There should be a fair price for your commitment to multiple adverts
3. Seek advertorial rather than a simple advert. Sharing thought provoking content adds huge value and relevance for the audience
4. Only advertise as part of a joined-up campaign and never just place an advert as a speculative punt
5. Always secure evidence that the target audience is exactly who you want to be targeting. If the ad is successful you want the right kind of enquiries and new business leads.
6. Remember that advertising should be an investment and not a cost. If you have doubts, then it’s a cost and you should politely say no.

For help and advice in creating joined-up marketing and lead generation campaigns contact Neil Wilkins


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