Newspapers can take advantage of today's economic downturn and refocus attention on advertising sales that make a difference, said Mike Blinder, principal of The Blinder Group and author of Survival Selling: Even in the Toughest Times.

Blinder said that, counter-intuitively, a recession has benefits for those who can effectively sell. It makes salespeople better at their craft, it thins the herd of others who are not as good but who took some market share nonetheless, and forces advertising salespeople to provide solutions for their prospective clients' business woes.

“When you want to grow your business, you're going to purchase some media,” he said, asserting that media was vital to small- and medium-sized companies staying afloat. They need their brand to remain in the public eye. “The bean counters think we sell inches – (but) we rent eyeballs. The reach of those eyeballs needs to be figured out.”

He pointed out that the average North American consumer sees 5,000 ads per day, so frequency is something that is important to offer advertisers. Advertisers' messages...

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