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Dear Tig: Sales Cannibals, Selling Not-for-Profits, and Who “Owns” Advertising?

by Tig Tillinghast  |  
October 22, 2002

** Tig's weekly column fields questions from and for marketers. Got a question for Tig? Email him by clicking here. **

Dear Tig,

We're preparing a proposal on sponsorship of our weekly email newsletter that reaches between 45,000 and 50,000 members. We also have a printed magazine distributed to our entire 100,000 membership. To complete this proposal, I'd like to be able to reasonably predict what impact soliciting sponsorship of our newsletters will have upon advertisers in the printed magazines. The fear is that it would cut into the success of our magazine advertising.

Thanks, On the Fence

Dear Fence-Sitter,

I'm quite confident that an email sponsorship will not entirely cannibalize offline sales. Of course, there may be some budget shifting among your existing advertisers. But remember that most companies keep two very different budget line items open for offline and online sponsorships.

(That this is the wrong way to handle budgeting is an entirely different matter that I won't address here.)

Suffice it to say that you can count yourself lucky that you get to exploit this market inefficiency. The fact that there is an independent pool of dollars for offline and online means that you're not getting your fair share of advertiser dollars unless you offer an online component.

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Tig Tillinghast writes from the banks of the Elk River near Chesapeake City, Maryland. He consults with major brands and ad agency holding companies, helping marketing groups find the right resources for their needs. He is the author of The Tactical Guide to Online Marketing as well as several terrible fiction manuscripts.

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