Palling Up with Publishers: How Salespeople Can Work Publishers for the Greater Benefit


By nature, sales people are pushy. We’re not afraid to negotiate, and we’re not afraid to ask for what we want. In fact, you may not realize it, but even if you are not a sales person, we are all trained in the art of negotiation to some degree. Ask any married person to give you an example of a situation that required negotiation and I would bet they can come up with a half-dozen in less than a minute. I can do it in 30 seconds flat.

The art of negotiation is what makes the advertising world go round. Media buyers want to the best results for their client and publishers want to give it to you: for the right price of course. Being able to find the solution that works for both sides takes testing and it takes negotiation. With that said, in the end your publisher wants your campaign to succeed because they value your business above all, and they want your renewal.

Great customer service is a hallmark of a great online publisher. To stand out among publishers in this complex online media world, advertiser and ad agency support needs to be a publisher’s number one priority, particularly after the insertion order is signed.

Publishers must be proactive to earn your business and to keep it, so don’t be afraid to ask for services that go above and beyond the standard campaign reporting and optimization tasks.

To get you started, I’ll let you in on a secret. Here are a few additional services you should know that most publishers will provide, if you ask:

1. Campaign impact research initiatives
Publishers will happily bear the cost of brand impact studies on their sites if they can share the results publicly.

2. Create a great case study
Publishers love a good case study, but advertisers aren’t always necessarily thrilled about informing competitors of their strategy. However, for some advertisers the reward can far outweigh the risk. Agencies can ask publishers to document a campaign’s success for their future new business efforts. Marketers get the free press. Think of the recruiting potential. It’s all good, and publishers are happy to do the work to make it happen.

3. Creative re-sizing
Ask a trusted publisher if they can help you re-size creative. You will be amazed how quickly the creative teams on the publisher side can turn these types of tasks around at no cost to you or your client.

4. Creative “localization” for geo-targeted campaigns
It is no secret creative tends to work better when it is customized to the user’s experience. Publishers have creative teams and dynamic localization technologies that you can, and should, take advantage of—it will save you and your client time and money.

5. Custom creative concepts
Publishers are always happy to create unique creative concepts for you or your clients. You’d be surprised by the great ideas that come from publishers, and they are more than happy to let you play the superstar. We won’t tell if you won’t.

6. Joint public relations and event hosting
Publishers have marketing budgets, too. If a campaign goes well, or a new targeting technology test yields good results, let the publisher pay for PR. The only thing we ask is that you let us put your name on it. Publishers promote their successes no matter what, so why not take advantage of the free publicity?

7. Industry insights and trends
If something is happening in our niche, in your industry, or in your client’s industry, we are happy to send you a note to keep you informed. We keep track of the news, helping you stay ahead of the trends. Sometimes your publisher has access to information and resources that you don’t.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I trust you will take this info to heart and work your publishers for every last benefit you can. Just don’t tell anyone I spilled the beans! Seriously, I encourage media buyers and publishers to keep the dialogue going. The key to getting the most out of your relationship with your publisher is to ask. You may be surprised at the answer you receive.


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