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.

By Dick Colvin

Dick Colvin has made a career of working with newspapers. With his background of dailies, weeklies, free and paid papers, his sales and marketing sessions have trained hundreds of people in the past 40-plus years. He also directed two different newspaper associations over the past decade.