There is nothing harder than finding effective digital sellers. So hard, it is logical to conclude that there aren’t any great digital advertising sellers. The job listings are packed with ads begging, “Sharks wanted.” “Are you a shark?” “Can you bring business with you?” “Closers only.”
The account executive turnover at major digital firms is very high. Start-ups raise funds to salary qualified, experienced shark-sellers but their hires sell—nothing. Not a little, but nothing. In talking with dozens of start-up CEO’s they share the same story:
By Al Herskovitz
BRADENTON, FL — A current, long-running, hit TV show, “The Big Bang Theory,” is going bonkers over a very old concept called product placement. This is where advertisers pay to have their product either placed into visible positions or mentioned within the context of the show. In a couple of recent “Big Bang” episodes there were references to Target Stores, Eskimo Pie, the Chevy Cavalier, Quiznos Subs and Chanel perfume. They easily could have said super stores, ice cream, car, submarine sandwich, and just plain perfume, and the jokes would have been just as funny.
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — A vital revenue and programming trend to understand is “hyperlocal” marketing. It is easy to assume that live, local radio is hyperlocal but in marketing terms it is not. Hyperlocal to a brand marketer is content, technology and commerce that is one step in front of the target customer. Hyperlocal marketing influences the buying decision at the moment of decision and purchase.
For example, if your station offers an app with hyper-local commerce capabilities, a listener carrying that app could pass by a Dunkin’ Donuts, and through GPS, the app could signal the listener that they can walk into DD and receive a free donut. That’s hyper-local marketing at its simplest.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND — Assume that, in meetings you’re not invited to, tough decisions are on the table. And as cutbacks continue, it’s real smart for on-air personalities to seem real valuable to the sales department. If your endorsement spots move product, bean counters view you as “revenue,” not just expense.
Savvy hosts are pro-active, not just reactive. They THINK sales, spotting prospects everywhere, and tipping-off the sales department.
Next time you slide-into the dental chair, you might chat-up your doc…at least until he or she numbs you.
HAILEY, IDAHO — Jeff Haley is president and chief executive officer of Marketron, the, Hailey, Idaho-headquartered company that is the media industry’s leading provider of business software solutions and services. Prior to joining Marketron almost a year ago, Haley served as the president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). Prior to that he served as senior vice president for Time Warner Global Marketing where he was responsible for creating marketing programs for some of the largest advertisers in the U.S. Haley worked extensively in advertising sales and marketing at Time Inc. and Children’s Television Workshop (CTW). He is on the board of directors for the Ad Council and a member of the Arbitron Radio advisory council. He also serves as co-chair of the Radio Creative Fund (RCF), the governing body of the Radio-Mercury Awards. Haley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross and attended Boston University’s School of Management. The RadioInfo interview with Jeff Haley was conducted by Michael Harrison.
RI: What led you to leave the RAB and join Marketron? Erica Farber - then a recently signed-up VP of the RAB – has publically stated that she was surprised by your announcement to leave (which led to her ascending to your position). What happened to spark the decision?
JH: At the RAB, my goal was to reenergize the radio advertising business, taking advantage of all that radio does best. The time I spent there was the perfect preparation for this role – which focuses on providing stations the support they need to be as successful as possible in a new, much more competitive environment.
By Al Herskovitz
BRADENTON, FL — If there is a difficult challenge facing the novice radio sales rep it’s dealing with objections. Even veterans of the sales wars can become discouraged when the potential advertiser begins to reel off a list of reasons why the presentation is being rejected. The basic principal to remember here is that the objection is generally not why the pitch is turned down. It is only an excuse not to commit. That is why the sales rep must prepare in advance to anticipate what the objections will be. It is like that old saying in the legal profession that “you never ask a question to which you do not already know the answer.”
By Al Herskovitz
H & H Communications
BRADENTON, FL — When I was growing up my old Hungarian uncle, Sandor, enjoyed taking our family on auto trips. He was proud of his recently acquired American citizenship, driver’s license and new, used-car. He loved being behind the wheel, but always became distressed by his wife’s, my aunt’s, incessant back-seat driving. When her carping finally drove him to the point of total exasperation he would shout out in his strong middle-European accent, “Who’s driving this machine, anyway?!”
This is the question that a number of radio sales reps have expressed to me privately. Their concern stems from the realization that they are the face of their stations to the local community. Since so much of radio emanates from music packagers and syndicators there are few, if any, local hosts upon which the community can focus. In many cases. where there is a local host, he or she is confined to sterile voice-tracking. So it is upon the sales reps that comments, criticism and concerns rain. It is not that the quality and caliber of the product that causes the worry. In fact, these sales folks generally acknowledge that the programming their stations carry, by in large, is good with the music offered living up to the promise of the format.
by Holland Cooke
DALLAS — This was the best session I attended at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. A summary is available for free download on Arbitron’s client website. This document is a powerful selling tool, and real instructive to programmers and on-air talent…especially on-air talent that sells (and smart on-air talent does).
The sample for this study is “the buying demographic of 25-54, because that’s where the money is,” per conventional wisdom. Data Bill presented was from USA Touchpoints, a national sample that captures media usage, shopping behavior, emotional mindset, via smartphone app, every half hour, from 10-day panelists.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI – Even with Google now sucking SO many local advertising dollars away from legacy media, local radio can still be local retailers’ best friend, and that’s not an opinion. Data from the Radio Advertising Bureau and elsewhere continues to demonstrate that radio is, mathematically, the most efficient way to tell-a-lot-of-people-something. And being the #1 in-car medium, we can still reach consumers closest to the cash register.
And your relationship with listeners can be a powerful bond. Radio is an intimate medium, with decades of cred’ to the two generations which control most retail spending. So the local DJs and talkers who will survive the ongoing bloodbath do so by being more than just voices. Properly applied, the trust you have earned with listeners can sell-sell-sell, in a way that makes Arbitron numbers irrelevant.