I attended the MN Magazines & Publication Association's annual Summit & Expo on May 21. This year's theme was How to Be Up in a Down Economy. The day was filled with four different tracks that include: Editorial, Circulation, Sales and Leadership. Deciding which sessions to attend was a difficult choice with so many valid options. I followed the advice of Hervey Evans, magazine consultant, who suggested I attend the sessions on advertising as I will need to start approaching advertisers at some point in the next year.
The Sales sessions focused on internet/web site sales rather than the print sales. I think it would have been beneficial for me to have more information on the print side, especially as a start-up magazine. But there was some useful information and the presenter, Wendy McHale of the Laredo Group, was an experienced sales professional and an excellent speaker.
The key to online sales is to know who your audience is and to understand your stats (unique views, length of visits, how viewers are getting to your site, what they're doing while they're there, etc). It's important to value the online advertising space and partnership opportunities because historically this space has been seen as less valued than print, when we actually have the potential to know more about our subscribers and viewers than we have with the printed version. Very interesting.
I have begun taking notes on the marketing information I need to gather so that I can put together a sales packet to help prime me for this new role- advertising sales. Definitely going to the National Stationery Show (NSS) this month also helped in that regard as I met stationery store owners and potential advertisers there.