Industry Views

How to Justify Your Ad Rates

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To go to the bank!

Have you been to the supermarket lately? The dairy section where eggs are typically available is looking more and more empty. I shop at the biggest supermarket chain in Florida where a dozen and half eggs cost $8.70, or $5.70 a dozen.

The price of a dozen large eggs has gone up from around $2 to nearly $5. So where are all those rich chickens? Some families are raising their own chickens to beat the high cost of eggs. Others are looking for alternatives to the traditional supply chain, like buying eggs directly from the farm. Talk about adopting the farm-to-table concept! Why haven’t we all adopted an alternative to that simple protein packed egg? Later for the nutrition questions and suggestions, for now let’s learn the basic lessons in this game of chicken or the expensive egg.

1)         Classic supply and demand. Welcome, Captain Obvious. Demand stays constant, supply goes down, prices go up. What’s in your pricing formula?

2)         We are creatures of habit. Unless you have an allergy or other medical prohibition, chances are you’ve been eating eggs as a source of protein since childhood. Most will pay more to stay with the same tried-and-true rather research an alternative. How are you motivating your prospects to move away from habitual buying to trying your station/concept today?

3)         What happens when supply improves? Once accustomed to paying more, we may never see that $2 dozen again. Let’s face it, most radio stations never sell out 100% of their inventory. So how do you keep that value proposition high year-round through various economic cycles.

4)         One year in the making. The price of those now expensive eggs increased 60% in a year. Do you have a mid-term or long-term strategy or are you still stuck on making the month?

5)         The rationale. Our skyrocketing price of eggs is being reported as the result of an avian flu. Almost anyone can understand that cause and effect equation. How about your sales strategy? Is yours that easy to understand?

Maybe this “eggcersize” seems a bit of a stretch. But consider this simple reality. The price of almost everything has increased, yet my radio friends still struggle with price management. It’s the same for almost every audio-based medium. Let’s not chicken out of the innovative pricing approaches we need during this challenging economy.

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

Industry Views

Local News Matters Most

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

Beard - ForeheadWhy? Done right, it makes you special. Because new-tech audio competitors don’t do local news, and with most broadcast radio hours now robotic.

“Why waste your time with AM/FM radio?”

Responding to that recent SiriusXM Marketing campaign, NAB president & CEO Curtis LeGeyt:

  • “Unlike our competitors, listeners do not need to fork over a monthly subscription fee, purchase a program or afford an expensive mobile data plan.”
  • “During times of emergency, Americans are not told to turn to SiriusXM for lifeline information. They are not going to get emergency alerts, hear up-to-the-minute reporting or find out where to get help on Pandora or Spotify. No other audio medium can replicate our service when lives are in danger.”
  • “Broadcast radio also provides an engine for economic activity. When local businesses want to get the word out about their goods and services, local radio stations provide an affordable way for them to advertise and reach the consumers who live in their area.”

These are not “normal” times

  • When Trump was on the front burner, his controversies alone changed daypart-to-daypart, even hour-to-hour. The talk part of the news/talk format remains largely static, no minds change. But our news content is dynamic.
  • In a monsoon in Las Vegas (NOT a misprint) someone drowned; and video of rain cascading through the ceiling onto blackjack tables at Planet Hollywood went-viral. We prayed as Kentucky drowned and Buffalo got snowed-under. After tumbleweeds piled-up around her Colorado home blocking windows and doors, Marlies Gross told AccuWeather: “We have so many fires here, and we have a drought and those tumbleweeds, they would just go up and explode into flames all over, and we probably would go with it.”
  • After 2+ years of arguing about vaccines, Polio is back and COVID is back again’ and RSV isn’t just a kid thing. Increasingly noticeable in my travels: Without being required to, people are re-masking.

It’s easier to add Occasions than Duration-per

Translation: There’s little we can do to keep someone sitting in a parked car with the key on Accessories. And AM/FM has never had more competition. So, to keep ‘em coming back, keep telling them something they can’t hear elsewhere, and make it sound different than last hour.

And TELL THEM that’s what you do:

  • “Are you on-the-road? Stay up-to-speed with us!”
  • “What happened since breakfast? We’ll tell you before dinner.”
  • “Stay close to the news.”

Be known for knowing. And tell them when and how you’ll tell them, on various devices.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke