By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
Are you a multiplatform juggler? If you sell or manage for a radio station, the answer is yes.
Why? Because it’s been part of the radio ad sales DNA since radio advertising shrunk to single digit growth.
Maybe someone reading this column can research or remember the last time radio industry pre-pandemic ad sales grew at double digits. It’s a tough putt, for sure.
Radio sellers were the first to reach across the aisle and “cross-sell” event sponsorships, concert tie-ins, publications, prize catalogues, bridal fairs, recruitment fairs, half-off fairs, sports and leisure tie-ins, hurricane guides, meet and greets, and it all started with a simple concept called a “remote.”
Radio ad sales strategy has come a long way since the first five-year plan had no projected double-digit growth. Even worse was the negative growth forecast for many markets. I remember that famous local market slogan “last one out, please turn off the lights.”
Those simple, linear, fun-to-present packages that required nothing more than easy-to-follow graphics, reasonable pricing, and a testimonial letter required little training, re-skilling, and new technical understanding. The toughest questions were about electrical outlets, display details, and when do we load in?
Covid killed some of those income generators, but you can add in pre-pandemic tired, low-energy sellers and managers taking concepts for granted as the final nail in the coffin.
Wait a minute. Aren’t brides still making decisions? Is inflation driving us back to coupons and looking for daily deals? Seems like sports-related advertising always thrives, right?
Some concepts will return, others will be reimagined, and a few are gone forever. Back to the future. Digital and social media sales will shape your sales future whether you like it or not. The digital/social media growth trend is moving at a non-stop, double-digit pace, pushing every competitive sales team to learn more and sell faster.
Smart, energetic thinkers are planning the next move, reshaping the past for what will sell tomorrow. It’s been almost 25 years since the first Blackberry phone. Sometimes innovation leaves iconic concepts in the dust. Here is where all of this goes. Get your attitude ready to learn and earn.
— Your glass is never full. The next time a manager introduces a new opportunity open your thinking
— Ask questions. Remember “new” is a powerful sales world door opener. Be sure YOU know how this new opportunity works. Leave your ego outside the sales meeting.
— Local advertisers like a competitive edge. Procter & Gamble built the most successful package goods marketing in the world with “New and Improved.” Learn from the legacy winners.
Managers and sellers want to win new business. Are you prepared to learn how?
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com. Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.