Advertisers Don’t Want to be Advertisers Anymore!


Don’t throw your arms in the air. You can sell to those very same advertisers who are telling you “No!” Carl tells us how.

Seriously, advertisers don’t want to be “advertisers” anymore. That means ad sales people are finding that selling an ad page is very difficult. Add banners to the list of undesirable products, too. So, what do you do?

Here’s the situation: Buying ad sales is out. Buying booth spaces is so yesterday. But buying custom sponsorships is in, baby!!! Just give them what they want and make more money. Not such a bad deal if you play your cards right.

My point: This is the very same advertiser who is turning you down for the traditional buy, so you better figure out how to give them what they want.

Why are they doing this to ad sales reps? Because today’s marketer wants to figure out a way to stand out. Because in the online world they feel like they are publishers themselves now. They think they know what works best for them. (And they probably do.)

But remember, they still want/need a piece of the niche audience YOUR publication developed. Nobody knows your audience like you do, so capitalize on your unique position! Don’t fight ‘em—sell ’em!

Each advertiser is different—some may want be involved in a podcast or webinar. Some may want to sponsor this month’s product page on the web. Some may even want to be sponsor of a high tech demo hour at your next event. Most are interested in sponsored content on your site and/or want to add sponsored video.

Often it ends up that the advertisers also want some print advertising or a booth as well to round out the package. The key thing is to go to them with an open mind. Have a pricing schedule that you can stick to. Develop sponsorship programs that still provide value to your audience and your magazine, too.

You’ve got a bunch of advertisers that won’t advertise with you—right under your nose! Just start customizing…which translates into making lots of money.


Carl Landau




About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA. Check out the all new Niche EventFest this fall in New Orleans and the 2014 Niche Digital Conference in Minneapolis!


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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  1. Tiberiu Fueriu says:

    Customizing means more resources & effort, and in the end the costs go through the roof. Imagine that every advertiser wants his own project! I seriously doubt publishers have enough power to deliver unlimited quantity of customized projects.

  2. Interesting post . we actually have had quite a bit of success with this in the past when we published a leadership development magazine and would offer leadership companies a custom magazine. They could be their own “editor” have an editor note, two articles from their own people, logo on the front cover and a24 page insert ad inside plus an ad in our regular edition. It feeds the ego that they ave their own “leadership ” magazine without any of the production work. That sale/pitch has been harder to re-create as we have gone to a health and wellness magazine – but its all in how you position the benefits. And as a publishing company you would naturally limit the number of customers you would want to prospect for this custom edition … We charge 4-6,000 + for that “sponsorship” more typically then not – it would have a limited print number and be more available as a digital link.

  3. I enjoyed reading this post, my own brand is niche and aimed at the HNW International traveller, a demographic all luxury brands desire. Having said that, my clients want more than just advertising, I am having to sell the multi-platform package, which is getting some good results, I am finding for the first time advertiser the single page is the best introduction, but for my big accounts they need much more and also using digital it is vital to show some kind of ROI

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