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Singapore Press Holdings’ 5-step sales approach starts with an idea

11 November 2015 · By Geoff Tan

I am astounded by the anecdotal evidence of sales organisations that are still putting the cart before the horse when it comes to selling a product or a service. The archaic 19th-century practice of shoving inventory down a prospective customer’s throat without too much care or concern whether the item fully satisfies the need of the potential buyer is unfortunately still prevalent today.

It is fortunate, however, for these legacy practitioners that the burning of guilty culprits at the stake is banned across the civilised world we live in – otherwise these human fireplaces would never run short of “live” fuel to stoke its flames!

Given the fact that “solution selling” as a sales discipline was developed way back in 1975, I am hugely surprised that some old-school methodologies have made it to our current era!

Across our offices at Singapore Press Holdings, we adopt a consultative selling methodology when dealing with our prospects. The elements intrinsic in this approach include:

  1. Finding out what the customer is really looking for.

  2. Developing cutting-edge ideas that address these needs.

  3. Building value in our multi-faceted ...
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Products or solutions: Can your sales team perform a diagnostic?

25 October 2015 · By Bob Provost

I recently was in a position to review a series of high-quality sales presentations for several media organisations, and, at the same time, on the receiving end of yet another media organisation’s sales effort. It was quite a diverse array of players – a television station, metro newspaper, and cable entity – all with an arsenal of digital tools and Web/mobile audiences.

I was impressed with the quality of the presentations, both in graphics and content. In fact, I found myself developing enthusiasm with each organisation, their product portfolios, and the earnest professionals who were involved from each media organisation.

But the end result was the same in every case.

After providing an analysis of the marketplace, customers, and competitors, and then providing an overview of their capabilities/products, they in effect asked me to choose what products/services/tools I needed.

To me, this is tantamount to bringing a vehicle in need of repair to a reputable mechanic. The mechanic tells you all about your vehicle, provides an overview of the highway system and traffic situation, and shows you an marvelous array of shiny ...

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Why publishers should consider a brick-and-mortar move

08 October 2015 · By Geoff Tan

Image of a brick wall representing why publishers should move to their own brick and mortar stores

As a marketer, I’ve always been curious about brands, especially FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) or grocery store staples, which move from the aisle to the street via the form of brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Popular Greek yoghurt company Chobani opened a café in New York City’s Soho neighbourhood in 2012, featuring its yoghurt as the main hero. Another example is Nestlé Toll House Café, which serves cookies, smoothies, and ice cream, the majority of which are made with Nestlé products.

What’s up with these brands, one might ask? Isn’t it good enough that they sell well at mainstream supermarkets? What does this extension strategy do for ...

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Is it better to retain a current subscriber or acquire a new one?

27 September 2015 · By Scott Stines

An illustration showing how media companies should identify the existing issues before acquiring new subscriber.Most news media professionals with “audience” in their job titles face the challenge of allocating limited resources where they will generate the greatest return on investment.

Sometimes it comes down to a choice between using resources to retain existing subscribers or acquire new subscribers.

What is the best choice? I must admit, I feel strongly both ways.

Most marketers will tell you it is easier and less expensive to retain a current customer than acquire a new customer. They will also tell you that an exclusive focus on customer acquisition – without a plan to reinforce value and nurture a relationship – is a recipe for short-term success and long-term failure.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Fill the holes in your bucket before priming the acquisition pump. If you are shedding subscribers like a calico cat in July, you need to identify the issues within your control that are driving customers away.

    It starts with timely delivery, accurate billing, and responsive customer service at a minimum. These are the “basic requirements” for ...
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What media companies can learn from a beer company about brand extension

09 September 2015 · By Geoff Tan

Assortment of Carlsberg Brewery's newly launched shaving line.

When I read recently about Carlsberg launching a line of men’s grooming products that includes shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion, I rubbed my eyes, did a second take, and then Googled to verify that this was not an April Fool’s joke.

This beer giant has indeed embarked on a brand extension outside its core area of specialty and competency. “What were they thinking of?” I thought to myself.

Could it be that the folks in Denmark had become desperate due to the sharp drop in beer sales? Were they simply clutching at the closest available straw to come up with this idea? Or was it as a result of a strategic and well-researched move on behalf of the brand to appeal to its core target audience by servicing their other needs?

The world’s fourth-largest brewer by sales said the idea came from studies highlighting the beneficial effects of vitamin B and silicium that are contained in ...

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Why your media company should be your client’s Web partner

30 August 2015 · By Bob Provost

Hosting and developing Web sites for advertising clients can bring advantages to media companies.

If you host/develop your client’s Web site, then you can (and should) own the preeminent client relationship. There is no product or service you can offer a client that binds you more intimately and intrinsically into his business operations.

If you are not already offering your clients robust Web development and hosting capabilities, I strongly urge you to “regroup” and consider doing so.

Since leaving the media industry more than a year ago, I have had the opportunity to delve deeply into a number of organisations’ marketing budgets and practices, and I find one consistent behaviour: They spend far more digital dollars with their Web provider/host than with any media organisation. And they spend it on a lot more than just hosting a Web site.

In fact, it is not unusual to observe the client spending more with or through the Web partner/provider than he does with all other media organisations combined.

“Winning” the right to be the client’s Web provider can eliminate once and for all the brand perception that traditional media organisations aren’t in step with ...

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“Share a Coke” campaign offers 3 lessons for news media companies

03 August 2015 · By Geoff Tan

It all started with a 151-word creative brief. This brief was issued, together with a free-reigning license for the agencies pitching for its business, to deliver a disruptive idea that would make the biggest of headlines for the brand and shake everyone to attention.

Lucie Austin, then director of marketing for Coca-Cola South Pacific, was huddled in a Sydney conference room with her colleagues in 2011, listening to five agencies pitch concepts for Coke’s upcoming summer campaign. 

The rest, as the saying goes, is history!

This campaign, known as “Project Connect,” was based on its ambition to both strengthen the brand’s bond with Australia’s young adults and inspire shared moments of happiness in the real and virtual worlds. You and I know this campaign more commonly as “Share a Coke.” This unique breakthrough activation accorded consumers ...

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Straits Times gets more local, global, visual, social for its 170th anniversary

12 July 2015 · By Geoff Tan

The Straits Times rebuilding mobile and digital content for the media industry to remain competitive.

The year 2015 marks Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence. The year also marks the 170th anniversary of Singapore’s oldest printed newspaper, The Straits Times.

These are two significant milestones distinctly marking the journey we have taken as one people and one nation. In the same way Singapore has transformed from third world to first, The Straits Times has mirrored this evolution by going from a print-only product to an interactive, full-blown expression across a multiplicity of devices and platforms. 

These are exciting times for us at Singapore Press Holdings! Starting on July 1, The Straits Times began a major revamp with a consistent new look and feel that will cut across both print and digital, giving readers the quality content that has come to be associated with the brand.

Our investment of US$1.19 million for this revamp extends the group’s commitment to excellence in the context of today’s current media landscape, where most readers ...

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3 reasons news media companies should adopt B2B e-marketing

05 July 2015 · By Scott Stines

News media marketing and B2B e-marketing helping with audience engagement and cost reduction.

Selling multi-platform advertising presents a number of challenges for news media companies. New products don’t always fit existing sales channels or sales staff skill sets, and there is the ongoing challenge of managing selling costs and sustaining relationships with customers.

Here are the top reasons why news media companies should adopt business-to-business e-marketing ...

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Advertising client as publisher, account executive as service(s) provider

23 June 2015 · By Bob Provost

Successful publishers offering advertisers services to find, retain, and optimize customer audience relationships.

One paradox that escapes the sensibilities of many media advertising sales professionals is that you (the media representative) are no longer the only publisher in the room. Your client most likely has a Web and mobile site, social media platforms, e-mail marketing vehicles, and a host of other digital points of visibility.

Your client is a publisher.

This “paradox” is further complicated by the fact that many media organisations fail to acknowledge and understand that today the typical “advertising” client is actually a marketing client. Their needs transcend simple advertising exposure.

In the age of digital marketing, many of your “advertisers” are as apt to be discussing audience metrics as they are customers. Because today, many of their best customers have ...

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About this blog

The “Bottom-Line Marketing” blog aims to bring together the principles behind marketing with the real-world experiences of newspapers transitioning to newsmedia companies. Our bloggers are some of the leading marketers at the world’s leading newsmedia companies today, most with experiences with packaged goods and brands such as McDonald's and Disney. They will aim to show how marketing – often under-utilised in the news industry – improves the bottom line (even a baby's bottom).

Meet the bloggers

Bob Provost
Distinguished Executive-In Residence
Rutgers Business School
Newark, USA
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Scott Stines
Cedar Rapids, USA
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Geoff Tan
Senior Vice President & Head of Strategic Marketing
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
News Centre, Singapore
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November 2015 ( 1 )
October 2015 ( 2 )
September 2015 ( 2 )
August 2015 ( 2 )
July 2015 ( 2 )
June 2015 ( 2 )
May 2015 ( 2 )
April 2015 ( 3 )
March 2015 ( 4 )
February 2015 ( 4 )
January 2015 ( 4 )
December 2014 ( 4 )
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September 2014 ( 2 )
August 2014 ( 3 )
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