Current Issue:



September 8:
The Radio Show Issue
Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan




Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.






Radio Ink Writers




















Wizard of Ads

How Does Your Client Like To Buy?

7-14-2014

Not everyone buys radio according to the same criteria, so why do we always try to sell it in the same basic way?

The first thing you need to know is how your client will make his or her decision. Regardless of what you may have been told, advertisers never make a decision based on price alone. Their criteria may be as simple as price divided by audience size, but its never spot rate alone, so please dont hide behind that myth.

The second thing you need to know is that virtually everyone in radio has a blind spot. (Dont be embarrassed. If you knew it was there, they wouldnt call it a blind spot.) Radios blind spot is its relentless preconception that every advertiser should have a target demographic: Who is your customer?

There are three main groups of radio buyers:

1. Advertisers with no firm criteria for decision-making regarding ad schedules. They need you to be the expert.
2. Advertisers who just want the best deal they can get on one or more of the right stations. They have specific demographic and/or psychographic targets.
3. Advertisers who think of radio as mass media and believe radio audiences to be largely interchangeable. Theyre buying 12+ or 18+ reach and frequency at the best prices they can find. You dont like to hear that, but there it is. You cant corner these buyers into a target demographic, but on the other hand, theyre willing to pay you for every listener youve got, regardless of age, sex, income, or other qualitative criteria.

These three main categories of ad buyers can be separated into distinct groups at two precise forks in the road:

FIRST FORK: Do you have a preferred method for evaluating radio schedules, or would you like me to give you some recommendations?

Basically, what youre asking is, Whos going to be the expert here? Me or you? If your prospect has no specific criteria for making decisions, youre dealing with a babe-in-the-woods, a neophyte. Youre the expert. Youre in charge. Be very careful to craft something that will deliver obvious, identifiable results because this client is counting on you. Not on your station, on you. Deliver consistent results and youll be in control of this account forever.

On the other hand, if your client does have specific criteria for making decisions, you need to quickly get in step with it: Be for what is. Dont try to get the prospect to see things your way. Dont politely argue with them. Dont present them with new information in the hope of getting them to make a new decision. And for the love of all thats bright and good, DONT have a standard presentation that you impose on every buyer.

Asking a buyer to reconsider their buying criteria is like asking them to change their religion. If your prospect wants to be their own expert, let\ them, because theyre going to do it anyway, even without your permission.

Lets assume your prospect answered the first question by stating that they do, in fact, have a preferred method for making decisions.

SECOND FORK: Some advertisers have specific demographic or psychographic targets while others use mass media as a way to reach the masses. Id consider it a huge favor if youd let me know how I can best get in step with you. Tell me what youd like to see in my presentation and Ill do my best to show it to you. Listen very closely to the answer. The next words from your prospects mouth are likely to be the truth, even if they dont realize it.

If the prospect talks only about audience size and rates, give them those and nothing else. If they want a ranker, give them that. If they want qualitative, give them that. If they want specific dayparts or sponsorships or added value in the form of participation in station promotions, give exactly what they name.

You can try to convince buyers to buy according to how you prefer to sell, or you can sell according to how the buyer prefers to buy.

I wonder which of these works better? Why not try both and see? .

Roy H. Williams is president of Wizard of Ads Inc.
E-mail:roy@wizardofads.com





 
Advertisements

Advertisements