Here’s how a CVC audit can boost your ad sales

No ad sale begins until you hear the first objection. Have you heard any of these?

  • •I don’t think you have as much circulation as you say
  • •I don’t think that people who read your paper are the type who shop at my store
  • •Nobody reads newspapers any more
  • •People read newspapers for news, not for shopping information

You probably have heard one or more of these before and have your own way of answering them. Sometimes your answers work but what if you have definitive proof to rebut those objections? You will if your paper is audited by a respected third party such as Circulation Verification Council.

The Circulation Verification Council is an independent, third-party reporting audit company. CVC audits thousands of editions nationwide with a combined circulation of more than 55 million. Their audits cover printing, distribution, circulation, websites, digital editions, mobile, email, social media and readership studies to give an accurate picture of a publication’s reach and market penetration.

Your audience is what you have to sell.  CVC research data provides insight about the quantity of circulation you have, but also supplies the demographics of your readers, and in my mind the most important,  buying plans of your readers during the next 12 months.  Think about that for a minute. CVC audits can tell you how many readers you have in every demographic and what they plan to purchase in the next year.

Here is how you might use that in sales. Let’s say you have circulation of 5,000 weekly. An average paper’s audit might show that you have 1.75 readers per copy or 8,750 adult readers. The report will tell you what those readers plan to buy. One example might be, 12 percent plan to buy a new car in the next 12 months. The math says that that means that the readers of your paper will purchase 1,050 new cars (8,750 X .12 = 1,050). If the average new car purchase is $28,000 then your readers plan to spend (1,050 X $28,000) nearly $30 million on new cars. Imagine what that information in front of that car dealer you have been trying to sell might do to show the value of your readers.

Similar data is available for 37 categories, including appliances, lawnmowers, restaurants and many other categories. Shopping habits of your readers can become the biggest assist in building sales that you can have. Talk to my friend Tim Bingaman, president and CEO of Circulation Verification Council. He can explain better than I about the process, the small fee to be audited and the training they provide after the audit is complete. Reach Tim at [email protected] or 800-262-6392. Never fear those objections again.

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What you’re missing when you try to sell ads to national chains

You’ve tried to sell advertising to the manager of the store that’s a part of a national or regional chain.

And you’ve been told, “I don’t make those advertising decisions here.  I’ll give you the contact information for our regional office.”  You emailed and you called, but you either got no reply at all or were told that the store’s advertising commitments had already been made.

So you’re left wondering:  What do I have to do to get agencies and major accounts to pay more attention to my paper, here in small-town Texas? 

The good-news answer is this:  It is possible. But you need to have a presence on Standard Rate and Data Service, published by Kantar Media. It is simply the Media Buyers’ Bible.

Publishers listed in get daily visibility with active media buyers and planners. Advertisers have for years wanted to reach local markets that are connected to their community. Thanks to third party data (like the info in Circulation Verification Council readership studies), media planners are more comfortable than ever working with community publications.

How do publishers in small markets tell their story at the right time to the right person on the other side of the country? Successful ones make sure their info on SRDS is accurate and up to date. When you make it easy for a media buyer to find you, only good things can happen.

How do you get your paper listed in SRDS? First, you might want to have a look at what the data shows for a buyer interested in your market. I recommend my good friend David Crawford at Kantar media. [email protected] will get you started. He can give you login credentials to view the database and answer your questions. He can also send you the form to fill in your info to submit to SRDS and that will get your listing live.

When viewing the data for your market, you will discover that some media seem to be ranked higher (and are therefore more visible than others).  A paper that is audited by Circulation Verification Council (CVC) gets that added benefit because CVC automatically submits data to SRDS when the audit is completed and they purchase that elevated listing. For CVC info contact [email protected]

More on CVC in an upcoming blogpost.  But for now, look into an SRDS listing.  It’s free, and it’s the only way to get noticed by national media buyers.