Integrating Ad Sales & Everyone is Talking About It, But No-one Is Doing It

Leading advertising executive says “giving digital ads away for free is dumb” and reminds publishers to understand their role

During one of the final panels at MPA’s 4th Magazines 24/7 digital conference titled “Ad Sales: Are You Structured for Digital Growth?” Jacki Kelly, Executive VP of Media Sales for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia grabbed the audience’s attention by stating flat-out that giving away digital ads for free as part of a print package deal is just dumb. “Am I the only one here who feels this way?” asked Kelly. From a quick look around the room, the answer was no.

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Kelly mentioned that the future of print really is incredible, because it drives so many things. “There is definitely a challenge, but print plays such a critical role (in driving the success of other platforms),” said Kelly. Functional expertise is still required, said Kelly, and it’s important to avoid creating a competitive environment internally.

The moderator of this panel, Mark Dacey from Korn/Ferry International said that in a recent conversion with an unnamed “senior magazine publisher”, he was told that “Integrated ad sales are like sex – everyone’s talking about it, but no one is doing it.”

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