Digital Ad Campaigns: 3 “Pre-Sale” Selling Tips Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on January 5th, 2016

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Digital Ad Campaigns: 3 “Pre-Sale” Selling Tips

Digital Media Landscape

Unoptimized sites, failure to maximize lead recapture strategies, and a lack of understanding of the interplay between search, social, display, and email all contribute to a Wild West selling environment

So before you get involved in selling a digital ad campaign, let’s figure out who you're trying to do business with by considering these three things:

  1. Conduct a needs assessment
  2. Determine the level of digital savvy
  3. Understand the relationship


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1. Conduct Needs Assessment

My favorite expression among professional sellers is “probing to find the needs.” Apart from sounding like an invasion of privacy, applied to digital media sales, it suggests that the brand and/or agency always know what they need.

However, this isn’t always the case because we live in a world with an uneven distribution of digital knowledge.

The three main questions that you need to ask are:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • How will you measure success?

2. Determine Level of Digital Savvy

As we begin the sales process, we must determine the other party’s level of digital savvy.

Do they know more than you? Do they know less than you? Are they new to digital marketing? If not, what has worked in the past and how have they measured success? Do they have assets they are currently using and like to use?

We should audit the advertiser’s website to identify all of the components of the brand’s digital constellation. Approach this from the view-point of what is missing.

Are they already hitting on all cylinders to monetize traffic, create visibility, and grow site traffic from every device? Before they tell you what they think they need, be a consultant and determine what is missing.

Now the need-probing conversation will be more two-sided and realistic.

3. Understand the Relationship

You may have heard the common complaint “half the advertising doesn’t work,” but in the digital advertising world that becomes an excuse not to buy, or pay for, advertising that can’t prove its own contribution.

The biggest problem is attribution. Attribution is “Who gets credit?” Brands like to give credit to the last media to touch the user even though the oldest notion about advertising is that it is synergistic with each part contributing to each other’s effects.

Optimize your website for search engines and all of a sudden you will see that organic search is hitting a homerun. Websites found through organic links are more likely to appear in a context that is relevant to the subject or keyword being searched for. But driving users to these organic links through banner ads on publisher sites doesn’t get the credit it should.

For example, branding campaigns on publisher sites eventually support increased sales and/or increased average order values in offline (brick & mortar) stores. But, typically, that campaign doesn’t get the ROI recognition it deserves unless the campaign is accompanied by a coupon that allows easy tracking.

Attribution is all about how we are going to measure the success of a campaign. Apart from impressions and click-through-rate (CTR), other relevant measurements for online campaigns are:

  • Ads viewed (especially on mobile devices)
  • Time on ad
  • Engagement with ad
  • Repetition of message (extending message to other media)
  • Post exposure: engagement with search
  • Post exposure: engagement with brand
  • Post exposure: impact on brand awareness
  • Reducing acquisition costs
  • Offline sales

The more we understand the synergistic influence that various advertising and technology platforms bring to the table, the more we will understand the importance of the interaction between display, search, social, and email marketing.

Download our free eBook for insight into how to use digital as a tactic instead of a strategy, how to create a successful gameplan, and more!

Transitioning into digital ad sales


About Steve Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.

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