local media insider

TAKE THE FIRST STEP: Use these worksheets to calculate current site sales against potential

Robert Granfeldt contributed these tools he used as a starting point to help his company grow digital by 85% in 2011.

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The live worksheets are in the attachments below.

We love metrics and simple worksheets for each of the new business models - and this is the best we've seen for banner ad sales (including our own). These worksheets start from scratch: What are you selling now and who is selling it. Then move on to the site potential and how to set sales goals to make targets of 50% or more in digital banner sales increases in 2012. Worksheets were supplied by Robert Granfeldt Vice President of Digital Media for Southern Community Newspapers in Georgia. His 15 steps to 85% digital growth year over year are here.

We think the worksheets (attached below, at the bottom of this report) are pretty intuitively self-explanatory, but just in case here's a breakdown of how each works and what it's for.

Worksheet 1: Current CPM Analysis

This is a critical step to understanding what accounts are buying and what they are paying. So.... just list them. You can easily calculate your average CPM - of what your sales force is actually selling - by adding up the CPM column divided by the number of buys.  Good basic start! 

Worksheet 2: 2011 Sales Rep Analysis 

Apologies to Granfeldt, LMI staff threw this one in (hence not pretty, but still functional) so any errors are ours not his.  This is a way to look at how dedicated reps are to including digital buys and, of course, address the issue of who is bundling without valuating in the system, and so on. Plug in the rep names and  numbers, verticals are there for categories that are assigned to specific reps like Auto or Real Estate. You could also ad a column for the sales rep to the original Worksheet 1.  What we like about this worksheet is that it allows managers to see on a granular basis how small increases in how and what digital products reps sell - say from 10% of the sale to 20% of the sale, can double the digital revenues overall - then to train on how to make this happen.

Worksheet 3:  Revenue Potential

This was the shocker at the API conference for most publishers and ad directors in attendance (which was itself a shocker given the change that has already occurred in consumer and merchant behavior.)  The lovely aspect of this worksheet is that it's dynamic, so just fill in your own numbers as long as you don't have more than five sales positions.  We tried selling out the bottom leaderboard at .50 as remnant space and the Average CPM fell from $9 to $7.30, with monthly sales dropping to a still awesome $36,875 at sell out.  Cool!  Thank you Mr. Granfeldt. 

Worksheet 4: Site Potential - Volume

And now for the geekiest of the spreadsheets, numerically, anyway. Under Impressions Per Position (A through D, so you only get four positions here), you are just adding up the total impressions on the site for column F. The rest of the chart shows total site revenues at each average CPM from $2 to $12. This is useful in calculating the two factors together...that is, moving up traffic via a variety of methods, and moving up CPM via a variety of sales strategies or ad network opportunities. Nice chart! 

Thanks again to Robert Granfeldt for providing these charts for LMI members. He has agreed to be one of our advisors to the ad directors who are members and we so appreciate his energy and contributions to the field. For more questions on these worksheets please call 408.892.9815. 

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