MB: What techniques are proving successful for your ad sales staff today?
Smelzer: We're sitting with our advertisers, listening to their needs and concerns and responding like true marketing consultants, with solutions ranging from direct-mail postcard mailings to the ... gatefolds off our covers. In each case the client is paid attention to. We're still largely dealing with an unconsolidated base of wholesalers and manufacturers, and this approach works very well with them.
MB: How has the makeover of JCK impacted ad sales?
Smelzer: It's been the driving force behind people seeing us and buying advertising. We rethought what the book should be and layered our in-depth coverage with red-carpet photography, fashion reports, better covers. We asked "Can you be successful by making a trade publication look and feel more like a consumer publication?" and the answer has been a resounding "Yes!" Don't skimp on your product. You've got to invest in it and be the most cutting-edge, spectacular publication out there.