In advertising, four wins are better than two

Jodi is a sales manager with an interesting philosophy. “We’re all familiar with win-win,” she said. “It’s a common cliché these days. In business relationships — especially any kind of negotiation — each side should benefit. I help you win, and you help me win.

“Win-win is a noble objective, but I don’t think it covers all the bases in the advertising business. I’ve heard people say that we’re dealing with four wins, not two. We talk about this all the time in staff meetings. As long as we focus on winning in four areas, we’re on the right track.”

Let’s take a look at Jodi’s four wins:

John Foust, advertising, ad-libs
John Foust

The advertiser

“It all starts here,” she said. “Advertisers and prospective advertisers want results. The purpose of advertising is to generate sales and market awareness, so we go into every presentation with that in mind.

“After all, that’s how they judge the value of running ads with us. They constantly ask themselves, ‘Are the ads working?’ If they can’t answer ‘yes’ to that question, we have a big problem. If there’s no win for the advertiser, the other wins don’t matter.”

The newspaper

“When we tell prospects we’re working for a win-win, they automatically think of their business and our newspaper,” Jodi explained.

“We work for the newspaper, and everybody understands that we’re expected to keep our employer’s interests at heart. When our advertisers get good results from their campaigns, they’ll naturally run more ads. That boosts our business as well as theirs. By helping them win, we win right along with them.”

The consumer

“This is the first of the additional wins,” Jodi said. “Even though it doesn’t apply to every industry, it’s a big part of what we do in advertising. In a lot of ways, you could say we’re a bridge between businesses and their customers. If it weren’t for advertising, a lot of people wouldn’t know what’s available in the marketplace.

“Around the office, we joke about being consumer advocates, but that’s our way of saying we work to take care of our audience. We’re obligated to help advertisers package their messages to help readers make good buying decisions. If an advertiser hands us a bad idea, we don’t hesitate to say it’s a bad idea. Our ad team knows principles of effective advertising, and they do everything they can to steer clients away from weak ideas.”

The salesperson

The fourth win hits close to home. “We want the people in our ad department to enjoy their work and celebrate their successes,” she said. “When someone lands a new client, renews a contract or sells a campaign, it gives their confidence a big lift. We believe each victory is a stepping stone to more accomplishments.

“The better our team members feel about their work, the more valuable they become — to the paper, to advertisers, to our readers and to themselves.

“In our business, two wins are not enough. We go for the win-win-win-win.”

Copyright 2019 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: john@johnfoust.com