RADIO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR RESULTS.
OK, this one takes a little work, but direct marketers are accustomed to passionately monitoring and measuring results to optimize performance from their ad spend.
Pricing for radio commercials can fluctuate like the cost of seats on an airplane. The next 10 might sell at 10 different rates, with each buyer confident they got the best deal. It’s a supply-and-demand marketplace tempered by individual buying power, leverage and negotiation. And just like seats on an airplane, radio ad time is a perishable commodity. If the plane leaves the gate with empty seats, there’s no way to turn back time to generate that lost revenue. The same goes for unsold radio ad time.
So let’s start with the premise that you’ve negotiated your best deal and lowered a $350 spot rate down to $265. Nice job. Now comes the important part. Did your campaign “work?” If you needed to generate a $50 lead cost but ended up with a $70 lead cost, you might decide not to throw more money at the medium. However, if you could negotiate a 30% rate reduction – and buy that $265 spot for $185.50, you’ll beat your $50 lead target and might be motivated add a couple of zeroes to your radio budget.
Crazy? Sure it is. Until you realize that the radio station projecting unsold inventory for the coming weeks would much rather take 70 cents on the dollar than zero cents on the dollar. Best of all, you (or your agency) aren’t just trying to beat up the medium for lower rates for sport. Your objective is the same as the radio station’s objective – to keep the client on the air as a cash customer. And you’re more than happy to do that if you’re generating the return on investment that justifies the investment. You won’t if it doesn’t.
This responsible approach to radio advertising gives the radio station, network or delivery platform a chance to keep your business, extending the chance for radio reps to live up to their promise to be your marketing partner.
NOTE: This tactic is effective – and honorable – for direct response advertisers who have very specific metrics to define success. It’s vague – and more difficult – for branding advertisers to wield the same leverage citing cloudier measurement metrics like brand affinity and Facebook page likes.
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A decade ago, it was uncertain whether or not radio would survive the proliferation of new media. The death of radio was predicted so often, I kept a black suit and tie in my office, just in case they ever actually announced the time and date of the funeral. Today, it’s clear that radio – in all of its forms – has weathered the onslaught of would-be assassins to cement its place in our lives and lifestyles.
And as these five examples illustrate, radio has learned how to project its voice in the new media marketplace, rather than go softly into the night.
If radio’s not a prominent part of your media mix, I urge you to contact The Radio Agency to put the best of this powerful marketing medium to work for you.
Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com