Successful sales executives know that knowledge is power. We break down seven top trends emerging in broadcast sales, and how you can navigate them successfully.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that lacking the willingness or ability to adapt is a recipe for failure. Nearly every business — and hey, almost every person! — underwent some type of massive change in the way they did things, from adjusting to your kids’ remote learning to securing revenue from clients you can’t pitch in person. Those that were most successful are the ones that genuinely thought differently about the way they do things.
The fact that success today requires a change of approach is especially true in broadcast sales. In addition to the massive shifts everyone has experienced in the way they work, brands have changed how they think about ad dollars’ budget allocation. While radio and television stations used to be able to rely on gross audience numbers to sell their reach, today brands understand that a targeted (smaller) audience of qualified buyers provides a more substantial return on their ad dollars compared to a larger audience of inefficient consumers.
Having the tools and data to tell the unique story of your audience and their buying habits is key. With this type of information, you can maximize a brand’s advertising dollars and become an indispensable part of a brand’s team and win you a client for life. How do we know? Well, that’s what we’ve been doing for years with TopLine, the sales intelligence system that pairs AI with expert human analysis to advance every stage of the sales process. We work with hundreds of broadcasters across America in markets large and small, and we helped deliver $130 million in advertising and sponsorship revenue for our partners in 2020. Already, we see 2021 off to a strong start.
In a recent episode of the podcast Innovation19 with Daniel Anstandig, Anstandig, our CEO, and Futuri SVP Tracy Gilliam discuss predictions and expectations they’re seeing emerge in broadcast sales. They make recommendations to help you successfully capitalize on each trend in 2021. Read the high-level takeaways below, listen to the full (but short!) 19-minute episode to dig deeper, and consider how you can make the right changes to achieve revenue success in 2021 and beyond.
1. Advertisers are focusing on targeting, audience engagement, efficiency, and accountability for performance.
Relying solely on impressions to deliver a campaign doesn’t cut it anymore. Radio and TV are best-in-class mass-reach mediums. Still, with so many ways to reach a targeted audience, broadcasters must articulate the ways you can reach an audience that’s well-matched to a brand’s goals. That storytelling is vital for securing new revenue.
2. Agencies have to justify their ad purchases with results.
Increasingly, agencies are dealing with pressure to show justification for their media buying decisions. As the world gets more technical and analytical, buyers want to see how efficient broadcast advertising is in driving awareness or lead generation. Quickly delivering campaign summaries that show precisely how you produced results is crucial.
3. It’s harder than ever to get a prospective ad buyer’s attention.
This has been a challenge since way before people started working remotely, which certainly hasn’t helped. And today, especially with agencies getting more and more protective with their clients, they don’t want media reps in their space. Arming your sellers with real insights into the buyer to cut through the massive clutter they’re hit with is how to move the mark. Simply pinging a buyer constantly without insights is a one-way ticket to the junk folder.
4. The pandemic is shifting and accelerating trends, and new trends mean new opportunities.
Shifts in the way we live and work are growing categories like home delivery services, bulk shopping, and financial services, and businesses that might not have traditionally bought media, like child care or senior services, need to get their message across to a growing audience. Staying educated about these shifts and getting out of your category comfort zone is imperative to growing your revenue.
5. Multi-platform influencer campaigns with consistent messaging are essential.
Going back to the fact that gross impressions are no longer enough, endorsement campaigns need to go through every single channel advertisers are using — social, podcasts, video, you name it. Giving sellers the tools to tell the story of all your platforms and how they deliver value will get attention — and secure revenue.
6. Media brands are expecting more from their reps — and there are fewer reps.
It’s still true that good, resilient sales talent will stand the test of difficult economic times. That said, think of the changes in the ways consumers interact with advertisers, advertisers make purchase decisions, and broadcast brands sell to those advertisers. Standing out requires being a true partner to your clients who’s there to help them navigate change. Simply presenting yourself as a subject matter expert on their industry and providing them valuable information when you may not be pitching them means they’ll think of you first when they are spending.
7. Local is still a huge advantage, as long as your message is tailored to meet that community’s needs.
Local buys are still where it’s at in terms of percentage of revenue for most media companies. Obviously, there’s more and more focus on national and regional opportunities these days. Still, local communities and networks are a colossal differentiation opportunity when it comes to targeting and understanding the unique local audience. Making sure you’re helping advertisers adapt their messaging and approach to meet consumers’ needs in your specific community is a significant advantage.
For more insights into 2021 trends and predictions for broadcast sales, listen to episode 6 of Innovation19 on your favorite podcast platform. And to learn about how TopLine can help you stay ahead of these trends and grow your revenue, reach out to us today.