4 Key Questions to Ask When Selling Digital Ad Campaigns
It’s not merely what you ask, but how you prepare for the meeting “interview” that allows you to get the most mileage out of asking key questions. You can research what other campaigns this brand is currently running by using tools such as Quantcast, Media Radar, MediaMonitors, and/or other 3rd party services. These types of research tools can reveal campaign information including screen shots of that brand’s ads on publisher pages.
By doing research up-front, this will help lead you into the 4 key questions you should be asking:
1. "Who are you trying to reach?"
"From my research, it looks like you are typically targeting users in the ____ demographic group. Is that who you will be targeting in a future campaign?”
Obviously if your pre-meeting research included learning all of the demographic, psycho-graphic, and geographic data points about your site’s audience, then you would be in a better position to justify to the agency why your site is a good fit for their goals.
2. "Have you run campaigns to this group before?"
“What have you done that has worked? What digital assets did you use? What websites (owned media) did you direct users to?”
Now, if you did some research (on Comscore, Compete, SEMrush) you might already know that they have a corporate official site and a campaign specific micro-site, a blog, a discussion group, a Facebook page, a Pinterest page, etc….in other words, you would already have a head start on knowing which sites/properties they own.
You can go to those pages to see what forms of engagement are available to users who land on those pages—(tell a friend, store locator button, register for coupons, watch video, etc.) and you can ask which form of engagements have worked in the past.
Buyers like when you ask smart questions, but they especially appreciate when the seller has obviously done their homework before the meeting. It’s a competitive sale and the winner is usually the better prepared. If audience engagement is the key success metric that brand (or their agency) cares about, you are in a better position to explore that when you walk in already armed with key findings.
3. "What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign?"
When you combine the research preparation described above with the first two questions, you will get into this third question with a running start. Your pre-meeting research makes it look like you are a real digital insider. And, knowing that you already understand digital in general and this marketer in particular, they will likely share more with you and you will end up having a better, deeper discussion.
It’s one thing for a marketer to tell you their goals, but quite another thing for them to tell you that in the context of their past history, their assets, and their learnings from previous campaigns, etc.
4. "How will you measure success?"
For this one, the pre-meeting research is all internal – “What kind of campaigns have already run on this site? What kinds of results were achieved? What happens when the site puts together a real sponsorship package with unique elements like custom content, co-branded pages, 100% SOV (share of voice), etc…?”
Knowing what is already possible gives the seller a better idea of how to evaluate the agency’s answer to your question. If they say that their performance benchmark is a standard that neither your site has achieved nor the marketer has ever achieved, then you will know that you must negotiate in order to find something you can both agree upon.
Sometimes that negotiation is simply – “Mr. Agency person, you have suggested benchmarks that make sense, but perhaps for this first campaign we should scale back those benchmarks in favor of using this opportunity as a way to test new things and collect new data. Once we know how our site’s audience engages with your brand, we can be in a better position to see how to optimize the campaign performance and scale the results—with a bigger budget—going forward.”
About Molly DePasquale
Molly DePasquale is the Manager of Operations and Sales Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.