Raise Billing Without Adding New Advertisers

Radio is caught in a downward spiral – some of it of its own making.

Dropping rates or using digital to drive down prices just begs advertisers to run cheaper spots and more of them.

Last year the projections were not pretty for radio revenue and when all the loose change is counted, 2014 will go down as one of the worst in radio history.

The most optimistic forecast for 2015 is 2% growth from an analyst who got it wrong in 2014. And the most pessimistic I have seen is -3% for the industry.

Look, if radio stations think they are going to increase revenue or even hold off more losses, they won’t be doing it by recruiting new advertisers who pay cheap rates.

One of the things I am going to share at my March media conference is a surefire and proven way to increase revenue without using more advertisers to do it.

You can always work on new business development – that’s a good thing, but it is time consuming and no guarantee to help your station avoid a continued revenue downturn.

Here’s an outline of how to raise billing without adding a new advertiser:

  • Isolate the existing advertisers who bring in 30% of all your billing and change the way you deal with them. New language you should use to talk to them.  A different focus on results.  A guarantee that takes some guts but that good radio stations can carry off.
  • Build a new rate eco-system for these advertisers (not a rate card) because you are going to offer them more. Let me show you how to charge more on day one and then get even more with every flight.
  • Right now there is absolutely no reason any advertiser has to commit to one year of advertising at full rate. Let me show you one that they cannot and will not resist. When I owned Inside Radio most of my advertisers were on 3-year contracts at full rate – want to know how they gladly paid more and committed to longer terms. I used to kid my good friend Barry O’Brien who was the top seller for R&R when he asked me how we did it that I told the advertisers if you buy from me, you won’t have to listen to Barry’s pitch for 3 years! In fact I sent Barry prospects. What makes an advertiser pay full price and commit long-term?  I’ll share it.
  • Right now, your best advertisers can be poached by other stations desperate for business. Let me introduce an “insurance policy” against sharing ad revenue with low-lying radio stations by offering a guarantee of performance. Of course you’ll want to make sure you can deliver on that promise so the concept will have to be based on what we know is working elsewhere.
  • How to offer the top 30% of your advertisers the first class service they want, how to help them do better commercials, find a fair way to assess a successful campaign and build in a “reward” to your station for delivering the provable results. In other words, you deliver, they buy more.
  • A “maintenance manual” for keeping your top 30% happy and loyal.
  • Ways to introduce the next 30% to the potential of getting this new improved results-driven service by upping their spend.
  • Discover the number one place to look for 5 more advertisers – just 5 – who have the potential of making your top 30% list by the end of the year.
  • At the very least, come away with numerous things you can do to make all advertiser spots more effective.  Here’s a few: test them if they spend with you and allow them to use the same spots elsewhere. Yes, they will gravitate to putting it all with you when you put it like that.  Another way is the number of voices that work best on truly effective commercials. That number is not one voice – the industry standard.       You’ll find out what works better and the number that works best.

So if we sit back and repeat last year, it’s going to be ugly.

I hope you’ll check your calendar and invest in a day with our training that covers revenue, product, social and alternative digital revenue streams.

Here are a few more action steps you can take after attending:

  1. Change the way you do music radio.  YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, mobile devices have diminished the importance of music radio. How to focus on a handful of things that these popular services cannot do.
  2. Win younger demos when they are hard to come by. Money demos think radio is too old school. But you can change the approach to the way you do content to make more compelling programming.
  3. Get into short form video before it’s too late. Not as an add-on to radio, but as the license to print money that video is.  How polished should the content be?  What topics are homeruns? How to monetize station produced video.  Do you use air talent for this or do you avoid air talent for video.
  4. The 5 things Millennials want most from radio that we are not giving them. We’re making it too easy for them to choose another form of entertainment. From my work as a USC professor discover the critical Millennial checklist. These are the 5 things that 95 million Millennials insist on. It defines them and they expect these things from you. I use it in my business and I will show you how you can use it in yours.
  5. Change up the way you do social media. It’s not a promotional tool. It’s a conduit to your audience. Hype is the enemy. So what do you do with all those names if you can’t promote your station? Exactly!  Don’t promote your station.  Here’s what’s even more effective.
  6. Get into storytelling. Storytelling is not podcasting and it is important to know the difference. Serial had millions of people downloading shows from iTunes without being a traditional podcast. All formats can do this – even music. But what about the money? How does that work?
  7. Eliminate radio’s 3 biggest weaknesses. Repetitious music, lousy and too many commercials and outdated morning shows. How about I give you a slew of ideas. If you take home even one solution for each of these 3 radio weaknesses, you’re going to attract and hold new audiences.

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in Philly March 18th.

There are 24 fewer seats this year – I want to create an atmosphere where we can work together for the day and I’ve got a great room built for collaboration.

Join the radio executives and digital entrepreneurs who have already reserved their seats and inquire about group rates to bring your team.

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