*CYBERTORIAL The strength of radio as an advertising medium remains undisputed. The qualities of the medium perform particularly well when advertisers are looking to leverage the imagination of the listener or drive frequency in messaging. Even more powerful is radio’s ability to talk straight to the heart and mind of a listener in a conversational, personalised style, inviting feedback and increasing the genuine understanding.
Radio sales teams will need to remain agile and intelligent in their approach” – Simon Milne, operations director, Abundant Media
Despite the obvious attributes of radio as an advertising medium; selling radio airtime, sponsorships and other radio-linked media platforms, remains challenging for sales teams. If you’re a regional station outside of the three large metros, or a community station servicing a specific geographical area or community of interest, your sales team needs to be even more sharp and increasingly street smart. Consider these tactics for creating advertising demand for your station.
Start with the end in mind
If a radio station is pitching a 360 solution, starting with airtime, and culminating in an activation or exposure on digital platforms, why not start with a focus on selling the station’s owned digital spaces?
An understanding of the decision-making dynamics at client and agency level, reveals an opportunity to sell into digital teams, with the radio airtime as the complementary medium instead of the starting point.
This shift in focus does two things. Firstly, it avoids the common pitfall of radio salespersons offering social media as added value and creating a future expectation. Secondly, it opens conversations with decision makers focusing on digital media strategy and accessing different budgets.
Recently, I sat with radio stations in New Zealand, reviewing several of their case studies. An example I noted was where a station approached a well-known battery manufacturer and pitched a treasure hunt, using head lamps that were powered by this manufacturer. The secret treasure hunt led participants to an eventual venue, where they enjoyed an evening of live music entertainment.
The pitch to the client was on the strength of the brand activation and the treasure hunt, with airtime and digital being the complimentary drivers.
Design through intelligent programming
It is a compelling story when an audience motivates for a brand to deliver a service or product. The feedback received through carefully designed opinion polling and conversation starters, give sales people the tools to approach clients with opportunities or concerns, which are then resolved with airtime as part of the communication strategy. Usually, programming teams create content and features without asking, “can this feature or piece of content be sold easily to advertisers?”
Don’t misunderstand me, there is still plenty of value in a generic 30” campaign, however, with the daily introduction of new options into the advertising mix, radio sales teams will need to remain agile and intelligent in their approach.
*Cybertorial is sponsored content.
Simon Milne is operations director at Abundant Media. To find out more contact them on 010 595 9683/021 975 3330 or visit www.themediaconnection.co.za
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