Industry Views

Pending Business: Don’t Take Your Air Talent for Granted

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

Photography - SearchingI’ll bet dollars to doughnuts the updated sales facts below are nowhere to be found in your radio station’s collateral material. This bold challenge is in front of you today as a wakeup call before the calendar becomes your frenemy.

The traditional calendarized selling events are about to begin starting with Valentine’s Day and you need to be current. Ratings, on-air lineup, and outside marketing may be out of your control but sharpening your selling skills and updating presentation materials is totally a selfie.

I’ve used many “wow” stats on sales calls – sometimes together, sometimes separately – but they’re always an important part of the pitch. Radio metric showstoppers with local appeal are mission critical in today’s fast-moving sales environment. Here’s a three-point, freshen-up to be integrated strategically when packaging or in stand-alone radio presentations. Use them or lose them, but at least choose to consider them.

— Nearly 80% of listeners say they would try a product or service recommended by their favorite radio personality, so says The Power of Local Radio Personalities study published by Katz last year. Now that is one heavy duty number! Careful about making this a universal, across-the-board statistic. Recommending a retirement community to the Gen Z audience is a non-starter. But when the radio talent is talking to that 55+ crowd in the right talk radio environment, that sound you hear is the phone lighting up with leads. When great creative is delivered by a great radio personality the audience comes alive.

— “79% of on-line searches are initially prompted with hearing an ad on radio,” according to Harvard Media, a Canadian marketing firm. The hard number may seem high for many of us, but the concept of using radio to enhance a multi-platform campaign, especially at the local level, is a tried-and-true formula. Call the concept what you will – media mix, multi-channel/platform – consistent messaging across the board delivers results.

— Digital disconnects. Ad blockers are in. According to a recent Hubspot survey update, 64% of ad blocker users say ads are intrusive while another 54% say ads are disruptive. Talk about negativity compared to the nearly 80% of radio listeners who consider their favorite personalities a trusted friend. We all want to hear what our friends have to say!

Chances are your basic sales materials are 2022 rollovers. Freshen up your look and give yourself a new reason to make the next call.

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

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

Pending Business: Package for Profit

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

Matt Damon - PhotographyIs it just me, or has packaging become a lost art?

What was once a go-to revenue builder, has become a function of muscle memory and is presented with the enthusiasm of watching paint dry. Am I getting at least a “maybe?” If so, and you feel like the packaging treadmill is going to wearing you down, let’s regroup. For the manager and ultimately the seller, every package must answer four basic questions:

  • That is the (revenue) goal?
  • What is the timeline?
  • What is the unique factor?
  • If it fails to sell, do we drop it or revise?

Now let’s review the 10 basic packages:

  • New Business. You should have a simple new business package available each quarter that can either be sold as is or serve as a start point.
  • Event Tie-In. Like the title says, this package will help your advertiser benefit from an event your station is tied into or sponsoring.
  • New On-Air Talent. This is where you show the value-based opportunity to work with a new talent in your lineup.
  • Special Programming. Every radio format will run a special program of some kind during the year. From election coverage and exclusive interviews to countdowns, just package and sell.
  • Slow Season. Is there a special package offered on a limited basis to help power through when business hits a red light?
  • Sports. Needs no definition, just a little updated creative thinking.
  • Calendar Holidays. This is the gift that never stops giving. Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, come every year. What’s new in your package?
  • Base Programming. News, Traffic, Weather, if your radio station offers the basic service elements, talk to your programming people for new packaging ideas.
  • Emergency Programming. With direct coordination of programming, emergency programming offering special weather, disaster or other community-oriented programming can always open a new door. Remember this type of programming is always a spotlight for radio’s immediacy.
  • Bundling your digital and social media assets can help move the needle with local advertisers. I’m not advocating a giveaway, just suggesting competitive thinking in the fast moving, high growth digital advertising universe.

Back to where we started. This is the simple takeaway: Packaging is the art and science of selling with a value component that easily answers the question, “Why buy now?”

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