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Selling the Leftovers: Remnant Advertising in 2016

Remnant Advertising Is Valuable as 2016 Comes to a Close

September 27th, 2016   ||    by Callie Wheeler

A quick search for remnant advertising on Google returns articles with titles that herald it as a Great Industry Secret That Will Save You Money! But for sellers who know the power of remnant advertising, price point only touches on one facet. With thoughtful management and positioning, remnant ad space is more than a “cheap” alternative—it’s valuable inventory.

Many Options for Advertisers

Local and network television are still priorities for many advertisers. As the balance noted in its article on broadcast advertising, TV ads are still exceptional in their ability to reach large audiences. Radio holds a similar reach and is considered part of the broadcast family.

But broadcast isn’t the only medium with remnant advertising. Print, including newspapers and magazines, as well as digital publishers often sell remnant ad spaces at a discount. And though digital is a relative newcomer to the advertising space, the medium is leading the way in creative applications for remnant ad sales.

Value for Buyers and Sellers

In order to make the most of remnant inventory, sellers need to position it in a way that showcases its value. Oftentimes the very same reasons advertisers purchase inventory at the beginning of the year are why they should purchase remnant ad space at the end of the year—sellers may just need to remind buyers of those reasons.

Advertisers buy broadcast inventory because it still presents bang for the buck when it comes to reach, so when selling remnant inventory, broadcasters should leverage their audiences and data in addition to lowering costs. Programming with remnant inventory can be niche, giving better clues about its audience, which sellers should identify and highlight. Additionally, local broadcast—both TV and radio—and print publications can tack on another advantage with built-in location targeting.

Digital sellers have created their own unique opportunities. Digiday recently detailed how The Economist uses programmatic ad exchanges to sell its remnant digital inventory. In addition to selling remnant space, The Economist uses programmatic exchanges as lead generation tools, increasing their traditional sales after following up with advertisers who purchased remnant ad slots.

The Future of Remnant Selling

The Economist’s success is replicable not only for other digital publishers, but for traditional mediums as well. Using remnant ad buyers as leads for more traditional sales is possible no matter the seller’s medium.

Publishers have more access to data about their consumers than ever before. Whether a magazine collecting data from its website and social media, or a local broadcast network taking advantage of programmatic selling, publishers’ data is a huge advantage in selling inventory. It applies to remnant inventory just as much as it does to other ad space. And ultimately, that’s true across the board—remnant is just as valuable if publishers know how to sell it.

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