Historically, Record-Journal has had significant success with promotions and interactive content, so when we started making a plan for 2014, we assumed our staff would keep up the momentum and focus since they were used to selling promotions and interactive content and understood the concept. However, it just didn’t happen, and we struggled to drive revenue for most of 2014. Without a dedicated resource, the leadership we needed was gone.
We quickly realized this strategy wasn’t working, so I went to the 2014 Second Street Summit.
As I sat in the room, I realized that the companies having a lot of success with promotions and interactive content weren’t very different from my company. The difference was that they had promotions and interactive content written into their job description.
“I left the Second Street Summit knowing we needed someone to focus on promotions and interactive content to ensure we’re driving all the revenue possible”
I came back to Record-Journal, wrote a job description, started recruiting, and hired a Promotions Manager to start in September, 4 months after the Promotions Summit.
Our Promotions Manager is housed in the advertising department and works closely with the sales teams to train the reps on promotions and interactive content and collaborates with individual sales reps on one-off campaigns for specific advertisers. Now, every sales meeting has time devoted to the 2015 promotions and interactive content calendar.
Second Street University launched at the 2014 Summit, and our Promotions Manager and entire sales staff have all gone through the program and earned their certifications.
The Promotions Manager is also responsible for creating an annual promotions and interactive content calendar for the team, much like our special sections calendar. The calendar includes all of the promotions and interactive content we’ve planned for the year, and we add to that as needed for custom one-off campaigns based on our advertiser’s needs. We’ve also set monthly revenue goals for each promotion and interactive content type. The Promotions Manager uses these overall goals to set individual sales goals for each sales rep at the start of each new initiative.
In addition to hiring a Promotions Manager to handle the sales side of promotions, we allocated more resources to the administrative side as well, creating a part-time assistant role. Since we made these changes, promotions and interactive content have had a lot more visibility in the company, and we are seeing a lot more success.
The Second Street Summit opened my eyes that promotions aren’t just something to do – they’re something we need to do. We will certainly be sending our Promotions Manager to the 2015 Summit!