Local advertisers to station sellers: You’re doing it wrong
Each spring, Magid’s local media team challenges itself to define clear perspectives on the broadcast industry that will guide our thinking and approach throughout the year. This is a comprehensive process: an internal and external review of the industry, ideation sessions with the consultants and analysts across our company, and research to understand how all of this thinking sits with consumers.
Our process this year has been particularly insightful, as we have expanded our approach to look not only at the consumers our clients want to reach, but the advertisers buying their inventory, and the employees who do the work each day. This complete view of the landscape has been a powerful tool in defining the very real challenges broadcasters face in 2019, as well as the opportunities that can make for growing businesses in the future.
We’ve been sharing our key findings from this process in a series of posts that look at the path forward for your brands and content, the keys to aligning station staffs, and the right approach toward platform expansion. This week we’re focusing on a very important topic – engaging local advertisers.
Top local stations looking to differentiate have worked hard to create powerful news brands that build audiences and increase viewership – but what about a unique sales brand that attracts advertisers? Advertisers largely see stations’ sales organizations as brand-less. This is a problem given less than 20% of advertisers think stations are focused on their business.
So how do you create a sales brand that stands out?
Show unique value to create differentiation
On average, 40% of advertisers across our studies say they don’t know enough about a station’s brand to evaluate it. Clearly there’s an opportunity for your sales organization to demonstrate the unique value they bring to advertisers. Stations who have brands built on function need to realign and instead build a brand based on clients’ needs. It’s imperative to show you’re focusing on their goals first, then demonstrate differentiation and unique value for your specific services. Ask yourself:
- If advertisers get 100 calls a day, why would they return yours?
- Everyone is offering everything right now. Why is your offering a better choice?
- Advertisers have clear expectations – are you meeting them?
- Are you helping advertisers meet their goals, or just offering the same solutions across the board?
Expand focus from reach to quality
Right now, advertisers’ interest in local news is more about reach than quality. On the positive side, it’s great that 86% of advertisers feel your newscasts reach engaged consumers and 76% believe it reaches their target market. However, only 48% of advertisers associate your brand with quality content and likewise, only 48% of advertisers believe it delivers strong ROI.
We seem to be performing well on only half of the equation. It’s time to expand our focus to not only reach engaged consumers in their target markets, but also provide quality content that delivers strong ROI for our advertisers.
By redefining your station’s sales brand and focusing on what advertisers really care about, you will not only set yourself apart from the competition, but also be an indispensable resource whose call gets answered.