On Marketing : Buy Ad Time Right
BY JIM ACKERMAN
Published in the April 2012 issue.
Part 3 of 3: Revenue from Radio
Iour No. 1 priority should always be the sales floor. Whether you’re an owner or a salesperson, nothing else matters — not advertising, inventory, store environment, nor anything else if you’re not effectively working with clients and remaining aware of what’s happening on the floor.
>> START YOU OWN, IN-HOUSE AD AGENCY. You’ll need to name it and generate broadcast order forms, and that’s it. Make all your media buys through your agency and the stations will award you a 15 percent agency discount. If you used to spend $1,000 a month on a station, you’ll now spend only $850.
>> BUY "FIRE SALE" TIME. Time is a self-liquidating commodity. Once it passes, it’s gone forever. Stations would rather sell their time for almost nothing than have to run program promos or public service announcement.
To do this, you’ll need to have spots prepared, recorded and ready to go. Then simply ask your rep to let you know anytime he or she has a fire sale opportunity. You should get the time for half price, and you still may take your agency discount.
Take it further. Deliver to the station a produced commercial and a check for whatever amount you determine. If you’re used to spending $1,000 a month with a station, give them a check for $500. Tell them they can run the spot anytime during the month if they get fire sale time, as long as it’s in morning or evening drive (or whenever you want it). Let them know, however, if the month passes without a fire sale opportunity in the day part you want, they can simply tear up the check.
You’ll be amazed at how often they’ll literally “find the time.”
>> TRACK THE RESULTS OF ALL YOUR ADVERTISING. Always make offers and calculate your ROI. What does an individual ad cost you to generate a lead and convert it into a sale. When you have those numbers, you’re suddenly in a position of power.
“Look, Mr. Radio Sales Rep, I track all my advertising and my average cost per lead is $53.76. But the results you’re bringing me are $81.93 per lead.
“So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to give you $1,000 to run my ads. Run them as often as you like, any time you like. But when you say my investment is used up, I’m going to look at my ROI. And if your station isn’t producing leads at $53.76 or less, we’ll be at a crossroads. Either you’ll have to keep running my ads for free until I get to my target cost per lead — at which time I’ll give you another $1,000 — or we’ll be done doing business.
This only works if you have ads and offers that you know produce results. But in today’s media market, it really can work.(And not just for radio. Use it on TV and in other media as well.)