How to Conduct a Needs Assessment With Your Advertiser

by Julie Foley Second Street

In order to conduct an effective needs assessment conversation with your advertisers, you need to prepare before each and every sales call. Advertisers don’t have time to educate you on their business, so it’s up to you to educate yourself as much as you can before you pick up the phone or walk in the door.

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The more that you know about your advertisers before you begin, the better-positioned you will be to help solve their challenges. After all, if you don’t do your research in advance, why would advertisers believe you can drive results for them?

Here are some areas you definitely want to know about before you go:

  1. Their website. Do they have one? What is on it? How do they maintain it? Do they actively drive traffic to it? Is it mobile-friendly?
  2. Their social presence. What is their social media presence like? What channels are they using? How many fans and followers do they have? How often do they post? Does it look like they have a strategy? Does it seem to be an effective one?
  3. Their emails. Does the advertiser send emails regularly? When they do, what is their message? Where are they driving people?
  4. Their competitors. If you can, search for what businesses in the same category are spending on advertising in your market. How much are they spending, and how are they allocating it? This information will help you understand what these advertisers value and what audience they are trying to reach.
  5. Their calendar. Do they have any upcoming events? Pay attention to seasonal opportunities, holiday-related celebrations, major sales, openings, and so on.
  6. Their history. What kind of advertising does the advertiser already do? Have they worked with your company in the past?

Once you have done this preliminary research, you will be able to avoid asking questions that waste an advertiser’s time and make you look unprepared and unprofessional, such as “Are you on Facebook?” or “Do you have any upcoming events?”

Questions to Ask During a Needs Analysis

Once you have done your research, you can focus on the questions that will be valuable, like the following:

  1. How do you see your business growing in the next 3 months or year? Do you see anything holding back your growth?
  2. What are your goals for business growth in the next 3 months or the next year?
  3. Do you have any sales goals for the next quarter you are looking to hit?
  4. What are your key challenges when it comes to driving foot traffic?
  5. Is there something big on the horizon that you haven’t already announced? A new location, product, or service?
  6. I see that you have a presence on [social channel]. Is there anything that you are struggling with or trying to do to increase your engagement on that channel?
  7. Tell me more about your social media strategy.
  8. How much of a priority is your email list?
  9. I see that you’re sending a regular email newsletter. What is the size of your list and how are you trying to grow it?
  10. Who is your target audience? Your ideal customer?

Based on the advertiser’s answers to the questions you ask during a needs assessment, you can more effectively answer their challenges with solutions you offer. Learn how to choose the right promotion type to meet your goals – or your advertisers.

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