News & Publishing

Back to the Wheelhouse: Advertising Sales in the Digital Age

By Gretchen A. Peck

It’s easy to wax nostalgic about newspapers’ heydays, when the selling of ads was as simple as it was to valuate the content, the service, the roles newspapers played in the community. Sales professionals back then need only dangle these carrots to compel an advertiser. It was, indeed, a simpler time.

Things became more dicey as marketing morphed into something far more sophisticated, with buzzwords such as “demographics” and “targeted marketing” representing new lingo, and ad decisions were now inspired by measurements and metrics rather than by the relationships between publisher and advertiser.

Today, technology drives nearly every aspect of the publisher-advertiser-reader relationship, and that’s had some notable influence on not only the kinds of ads that are selling and how they’re being sold, but also on the ad-sales labor market.

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Published by Editor & Publisher magazine, January 2014