By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
What’s old is new again.
From Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain to Winston Churchill, Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager, historic influencers have been credited with owning that phrase as long as I can remember.
That single concept is one of the foundational principles of media sales, even today. If you have been selling or managing long enough to remember pay phones on street corners, in hotel lobbies and airports, you should have a special appreciation for what follows. Let’s start with:
1. The “Golden Choice: Ratings or Results.” Which would you rather be selling? Top-rated content, or content that generates top performance results? No, they do not necessarily go hand in hand. Just because you sell major-scale delivery, doesn’t necessarily mean your audience will meet the advertiser’s expectation of performance. Like many of you reading this column, I’ve had the privilege of representing both sides of the dilemma; top-ranked content in radio, TV, digital and social media that did not meet the Key Performance Indicator requirements and smaller scale content that delivered annual renewals, year after year. I work with content that generates millions of impressions weekly and content that does not participate in Nielsen surveys, or delivers moderate scale, yet the old dilemma of ratings or results seems new to the newer digital/social media sales teams making calls today.
2. Does the creative match the audience? This is one of my favorite questions, especially when it comes to host-reads. The greatest talents I’ve worked with are never afraid to ask for the creative freedom to tweak copy points to match their audience. Every great host knows the audience. Sometimes it pays dividends to allow for creative freedom and sometimes it becomes a fast track to a cancellation. The difference is the confidence the advertiser has in you and the talent you represent.
3. Just say no, or go with the flow? When business is soft, most sellers and managers will take the short-term test dollars. Thirteen-week minimums become two-week tests and thus a product or service is given a short-term ride on what should be a longer-term campaign. But let’s face it, we’ve all compromised somewhere to help make the cash register ring a little louder. With a respectful nod to every seller and manager, that timeless call is totally up to you.
From local radio sales and podcasts to digital and social media sales, what’s old is new again and again.
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.