Before software, I worked in textbook publishing. This was twelve years ago, long before the Interwebs began condensing information for us but even then, we saw things beginning to change. The industry looked (albeit not hard and fast enough) for ways to remain relevant and one of those ways was allowing professors to customize their own readers (using other people’s works) and providing them with a royalty for doing so.
Even at that time, parts of the dying industry realized they had to do something to remain relevant. However most would agree the publishing industry is not a bastion of innovation as of late.
Yesterday I read an interesting article that may make me change my mind. The Association of Magazine Media is offering a sales guarantee. This pledge guarantees a minimum level of return on investment for qualified advertisers who buy a number of ads. If the return on investment is not met, the advertiser gets their money back or free ad space.
At first glance, this sounds like a progressive thing to do. While guarantees on performance are hardly innovative in and of themselves, rarely do media companies offer a guarantee on return on investment. There are simply too many moving parts.
Can the magazine be held accountable for the effectiveness of a campaign? This is not an ad agency promising a company will see a certain level of revenue. This is a magazine that is accepting ads others designed. Sure you can assume a business knows its target audience but it’s not something you can guarantee.
Would Your Chamber Want to Do This?
We all know that a chamber membership is an investment in the community and the health of your business but again, how can you control how someone uses it? There’s a certain amount of member responsibility involved — you get what you pay for.
I certainly don’t know whether this will pay off for the association in additional advertising dollars or whether it will flop like JCPenney’s deciding to end sales a few years back, but it’s an interesting idea and one that should open up conversation about what we choose to stand behind.
Wondering how to promote the benefits of new chamber membership? Here’s an article with great ideas for marketing.