Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Goldberg: Audio Merchandiser; Publisher Taps 800 Numbers, Store Displays, Free Samples and More in Pursuit of Ad Pages

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Goldberg: Audio Merchandiser; Publisher Taps 800 Numbers, Store Displays, Free Samples and More in Pursuit of Ad Pages

Article excerpt

Goldberg: Audio merchandiser

New York City--Stephen Goldberg learned how to sell advertising from the ground up--in the yellow pages.

"If you can sell yellow-page advertising, you can sell anything," says Goldberg, now publisher of Audio magazine and architect of a wideranging merchandising program that has helped increase advertising pages by 18 percent through June of this year. "You learn how to think on your feet," he recalls.

That experience has helped Goldberg cook up a myriad of merchandising strategies for high-end audio manufacturers, his advertisers, who have the same basic problem Goldberg faced in those early days: reaching the small merchant. To that end, merchandising, says Goldberg, has become essential to selling ad space in the 1980s. "The future of our industry lies in marketing magazines, merchandising their value to the consumer and retailer," he says. "You have to become part of the marketing mix. You have to make [an advertiser's] product manager or marketing vice president a hero by helping to move more products."

Goldberg's latest merchandising ploy helps car stereo consumers find the right product: Readers dial an 800 telephone number found in Audio and are asked to leave a recorded message with their name, address and car make and model; within a few days, they receive a schematic diagram of the car, including the dimensions and recommended locations of the ideal stereo system. They then turn to Audio's annual car stereo directory, in the May issue, and look for the car stereo specifications that match the ones they need. Finally, they dial another 800 number to find the closest retailer. "We're bringing bodies into the store and, hopefully, the cash register is going to ring," says Goldberg.

This purchasing aid generated 1,200 calls in its first three days, three-quarters of which came from pass-along readers, Goldberg claims. "Sony is not only getting our subscribers and newsstand readers but a new audience as well," he notes.

Last February, Goldberg helped record company advertisers promote a downsize compact disc called the CD3, which contains 20 minutes of material rather than the usual 45. Audio offered to give anyone who dialed an 800 number a free CD3; so far, 25,000 requests have been phoned in. Goldberg also polybagged a sample disc with the magazine for distribution at the Consumer Electronics Show. The disc promotion helped Goldberg attract record advertisers for an advertorial in the February issue on digital recording, in which the free-CD3 offer appeared. Record advertisers are fairly new to the magazine, which has traditionally featured mostly audio equipment manufacturers, notes Goldberg.

Aiming to please

An older merchandising plan, but one to which Goldberg points with pride, is an in-store consumer education program called Audio Information Magazine (AIM), begun last year. …

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