The MediaShop Group managing director Chris Botha tackles the disparity between the statistics and adspend and what really drives the media decision-making process in a story first published in The Media magazine.
The MOST Awards is a brilliant celebration for the media industry. But what is it that we are really celebrating? Are we celebrating great media insight? Are we celebrating great work, and amazing media? Or are we celebrating great relationships that transcend average media delivery?
The importance of relationships in our industry is something that often blows my mind. Call me naïve, but the fact that media types with billions invested in them can fall flat on their face because the person selling it simply does not have good relationships with the industry, terrifies me. On the flip side of the coin, how often does a new, untested media type not get a foot in the door with a whole bunch of brands because the person selling it is not ‘a mate’.
Meetings, foot in the door and introductions are one thing, but when it has financial ramifications I start to wonder.
Here are a few examples to illustrate my point (and here a few feathers may be ruffled).
There is a brilliant magazine called Finesse. It has a circulation of 83 000 copies per month. It is one of the stronger magazines in the female market, with just over 70 percent of their readership sitting in LSM 8-10. It received just under R7.5-million in advertising revenue, according to AC Nielsen’s AdEx (for the calendar year 2010).
Now let’s compare that with Elle Magazine…
Elle has a circulation of 41 000 copies (less than half that of Finesse). Elle only has 54% of their readers in LSM 8-10.Yet, when we look at advertising revenue, Elle seems to outperform Finesse massively. Elle according to AdEx got R25-million in advertising revenue in 2010. This is four times more than Finesse! Even the Elle offshoot – Elle Décor – makes more money in advertising from their eight issues per year than Finesse makes in 12!
Does that mean that the Elle rep is doing a better job than the Finesse rep? Maybe. Is it because Elle is perceived as a ‘cooler’ magazine than Finesse (previously a magazine with a strong religious slant)? Either way, the adspend revenue and the magazine performance simply does not match.
The radio picture is similarly scary. I love Talk Radio 702. I listen to it quite avidly, but I do believe it gets a disproportionate amount of advertising revenue. The station has a past seven day listenership of 636 000 listeners. Of the 636 000 listeners, 215 000 are in LSM 10. Talk Radio 702 earned R214-million in ad revenue in 2010.
Now compare that with RSG (a national Afrikaans station). RSG has 1.9-million listeners (three times the listenership of 702), and has significantly more LSM 10 listeners than 702. There are 351 000 as opposed to 215 000. But now, let’s look at their relative advertising revenue. RSG earned R144-million in 2010, which is 33% less than what 702 earned.
Again, is it a case of a good sales rep versus bad sales rep or should that be a good reputation versus a bad reputation?
Either way, the difference seems way too big to be simply logical. It makes one think how much of the advertising decision gets made by the numbers and how much gets made by personal preference, perceived perception, or gut feel. The fact that Highveld Stereo, with a listenership of 1.5-million, earns 17% more revenue than almost any other radio station in South Africa speaks volumes. Planners too often pick what, or who they know, when they should be taking a closer look at the real numbers. It is a very, very dangerous situation for our industry.
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