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How to drive local ad sales in times of crisis and short-time work

How to drive local ad sales in times of crisis and short-time work

Talking to a lot of publishers in Europe over the last weeks, we came to the conclusion that the current crisis of the local advertisers due to the lock-downs is just one of the problems local sales teams are facing. Even worse is a lot of publishers reducing hours for their sales teams, ad and campaign managers or designers.

This increases the challenge as now we do not only have

  • less budgets from the advertisers
  • but also less time to satisfy his needs if he should have campaign

The following issues need to be tackled to get local advertising sales back on track:

1. Short-time work

Reduced hours at internal and external banner designers as well as the agencies of the customer call for a

  • scalable processes to build local banner ads
  • with a solution that understands local ads and can focus on best practises there instead of opening up more discussions and confusions by offering a full-fledged briefing
  • universal solution across all IAB formats
How to drive local ad sales in times of crisis and short-time work

2. Reduced Budgets

Advertising budgets decreased significantly for local advertisers due to the crisis. That means less budgets for

  • ad impressions
  • ad creation
  • campaign management (incl proper landing pages)
More than ever local publishers need the following cornerstones to be successful in this challenging environment:

  • profitable business modell for local ads in the price range of 50€+
  • bundle of ads and landing page to really track and prove the advertising effect
  • no feedback loops and lengthy briefings for ad creation with often mediocre results but standardised best practises
How to drive local ad sales in times of crisis and short-time work

 3. Increased need of communication

The most interesting effect of the crisis we watched might be the widening gap between need for communication and budgets for communication. Here all levels of communication are hit: From advertisers to customers (who is still open, who overs delivery, etc.) and publishers to advertisers (new offerings, support, etc.) to the unique opportunity in the market for using the new trust into media brands to win back advertisers and readers.
How to drive local ad sales in times of crisis and short-time work

This need of communication should the focal point of all activities of local sales teams. And they need the time to focus on the advertisers in those times. The communication should be focused on the big stones rather than small banner briefings.

  • The complexity of ad creation must be kept aside the sales team / advertiser relation, e.g. by standardizing the way print and web data of the advertiser is leveraged to pre-build ads and campaigns
  • focus of sales talks should be on relational level and to enforce trust instead of briefing talks (which in most of the cases do not lead to good results as both parties – sales teams and advertisers – are no banner experts)
  • Selling the online ad including the creation of banner and landing page needs to be so intuitive, straight forward and pre-defined that ticking a box in the order form with every print order does the job. The best upselling rates are achieved by those publishers that pre-set this tick box for advertisers already.


There are different solutions out there to tackle those issues but when choosing your way, keep in mind that

  • you want to sell 100s of ads per week of this upselling of small local advertisers and need a scalable infrastructure/product on production as well as on operational sales level
  • only the combination of banner and landing page will benefit the local advertisers and allow yourself and him to really track results and have reliable call-to-actions on each campaign
  • now is a great change to win back trust, relations and in the long run business and speed is of essence which is why you should opt for a solution which is field-tested, proven and quick in time-to-market.


Want to see how “Smart Ads” solves those issues, feel free to reach out anytime.


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MD: Christian Scherbel, Simon Kriener

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MD: Nikolay Lazarov, Christian Scherbel


In Smartico´s blog and newsletter we inform you about the latest trends in local and regional advertising. We present best practices from over 200 publishers, and share ideas, inspiration and recipes for success on which advertising concepts can be used convincingly and profitably for you and your SME advertisers.