Boost Magazine Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement

By Nancy O’Brien,

I am amazed at how many ad sales professionals I work with have only a vague idea of what sets their products apart from their competitors’ products.  “What makes your magazine unique?” is a question I regularly ask that is met with a bland explanation about how they are the bible of the industry or the premier publication.  Really?  What does that mean?

In order to position your publication for success in sales you need know, specifically, what you offer advertisers that no one else can.  You and everyone else in your organization needs to know this.  So how do you make this happen?

Unique Value Statement.

Creating a Unique Value Statement for each of your publications and offerings is essential in presenting a clear picture to advertisers about why yours is the best choice when doing a media plan.  A UVS should be short and to the point and it must be backed up with data or research.

Some examples of great UVSs are,

  1.  “ShowTimes is the only publication written and printed onsite and distributed to all attendees at the tradeshow”
  2. “ delivers more impressions than any other website  in the weather industry”
  3. “Band Magazine has the lowest Cost Per Thousand of any publication serving the college marching band market”
  4. “Cameras Expo has more attendees than any other tradeshow in the photography field”
  5. “The Niche Magazine Conference is the only conference targeting small to mid-sized publishers  with exclusive content on revenue generation.”

These Unique Value Statements all tell the advertiser that by buying advertisements or sponsorship with them, they are getting something that they can’t get anywhere else.  Without a UVS, publishers all look the same, which creates an environment where the media buyer makes decisions on price or circulation alone.

So how do you create a UVS for your products?  First gather all of the sales and marketing staff at your company and work on it together.  Determine three benefits that make your offerings the best of any of your competitors.  Do you have data or research to back up these three benefits?  If not, pick one that you can substantiate with data.  You must be able to support your claims so if you have no data it is time to do some research.  Types of data are circulation statements, rate cards, website metrics, tradeshow attendee numbers, in-house or readership research or any other data that helps support your claim.  You must have this information on your publication as well as all of your competitors.

Once you had found ONE (or the best) unique benefit with data, then create your statement.  It should start with the name of your publication and be as concise as the examples above.  Once you have a final UVS it should be used by every sales person on every call and in all marketing and promotion materials.  Take the guess work out of buying advertising for your customers.  Tell them why you are the best with a well-written Unique Value Statement. 

Nancy can teach you first -hand how to create a UVS at Camp Niche.


Other articles in Niched Out – January 2012:

• Ad Sales Mania: Boost Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement
• Custom Content Oz: Open New Revenue Steams with Custom Publishing

• Success Story of the Month: Texterity’s Help with Rich Media and Mobile Paves Peloton’s Road to Success

• Niche Notes

• Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Manure Manager
• Email Marketing Tip of the Month

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