Throughout my three years in performance marketing, I've had many debates with advertisers about the need for publisher days. I've heard them say 'what’s the ROI?', 'will it impact our sales in any way?' and 'isn't it a waste of a day out of the office?' All fair questions. I am pro-publisher days in most cases and below I will make my case.
Performance marketing has technology at its core, however unlike most other internet marketing channels, it still relies heavily on people. It falls into the relationship marketing category; relationship comes before marketing. There are no Google algorithms, electronic PPC bids and no display engines making real time bids; performance marketing relies on Mr. and Mrs. Marketer to get promotions live, set rates, work strategy and pick up the phone.
Answering advertisers' questions
I hear advertisers say things like 'why don't our publishers get our commercial strategy?', the publisher day is the advertiser’s chance to ask these questions and present their strategy for the performance channel, proposition and point of view. The advertiser has the publisher’s full attention for a day, that’s their time to educate them and it's the publisher’s time to educate the advertiser on their promotional methods and strategy to drive traffic and revenue. The day allows all barriers to be removed and breeds an environment that encourages collaborative sharing and learning.
Publishers need to learn and appreciate up to hundreds of advertiser’s propositions which is a difficult task to ask of anyone. The day allows advertiser’s to make their proposition stick out a little brighter than the publisher’s other brands. This can be achieved through presentations, round tables, Q&As;, one-to-one time, and further learning from handouts. The content of the presentation should be an equal balance between getting the advertisers point across to how this will benefit the publisher. We all want a collaborative working environment however we still must look after number one, so make sure the content is written with both parties in mind and detail the growth opportunities for the publishers – think win-win.
Opportunity to explain strategy
Internal commercial challenges are inevitable in business and when this leads to CPA reductions and drawbacks, publishers can become frustrated and rightly so. The day gives the advertiser an opportunity to explain why it made programme changes and help the publisher understand the reasoning behind its decisions, helping to improve the relationship and reduce problems the next time round.
People buy from people and publishers want recognition and appreciation for their efforts. Yes, they get paid a commission however a ‘thank you’ goes a long way. As the saying goes, 'you'll catch more bees with honey'. The day isn’t all presentations and commercial chatting, it usually involves fun activities: chocolate making, paintballing, go-karting and ends with a meal and some drinks. This is the time where everyone can bond and possibly make friends. These relationships will add not only enjoyable interactions going forward, but better, more profitable working relationships.
Publisher days best place the advertiser and publisher to build and grow their relationship, so both parties go forward in commercial harmony.