It wasn’t that long ago that small and even medium-sized businesses hated advertising on the radio. Fundamentally, that hatred grew out of soaring prices and being bumped by the station’s larger clients. What chance does Sally’s Grand Open Ad have against Ford Motors’ new car ad?
Luckily, everything’s negotiable. There are a few services out there that have actually automated the media buy negotiating process. Let’s focus on two of them.
Google Audio Ads
The mighty Google has thrown their hat (and their reputation) into the ring. Google Audio ads focus on a Pay-Per-Click approach to media buys. Advertisers login to a dashboard just as they do their Google Adwords account. They are then presented with the opportunity to bid on remnant media buys with participating terrestrial stations through Google’s interface. With no minimum bids, advertisers can get an absolute a steal.
As Google Audio ads are still very beta, there exists a narrow opportunity to bid against no one. However, that opportunity window will quickly narrow as the bid prices approach an instantaneous market value and then we’re back to square one.
Learn more about Google Audio ads on their website at: http://www.Google.com/AudioAds
Remember Lending Tree, “When banks compete, you win.”? They based their lending business model on a ‘reverse auction.’ Rather than a single seller setting a minimum bid and many buyers vying for a purchase, Bid4Spots allows the media buyers (that’s us) to set a maximum bid and allow stations to bid ever-lower media prices. After all, the stations are selling next week’s leftover airtime.
The real power of Bid4Spots is the steadily lessening of price rather than the gradual increase. In a Bear economy, when most businesses are cutting their media spend, there exists a real opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to get a lot of airtime for their money.
More information and a video demo are available on Bid4Spots’ website at: http://www.bid4spots.com/AD_Pros_main.aspx
What’s great about both these solutions is their simplicity. You don’t have to be a Media Buyer or have a station manager owe you money to negotiate and buy offline media like a pro.
Just remember, when everyone’s complaining about the economy, it’s those who stand up and speak when everyone else is hiding in their storm shelters that get heard.
Learn more about radio marketing on JDM’s new website and about investing in marketing in a down economy on our post: “Under Dog Marketing in a Down Economy”.
There has been a fragile truce between sales and marketing ever since the two crossed paths. It’s easy for sales to blame marketing for not passing off leads qualified enough for them to be closed and equally easy for marketing to blame sales for not closing (or even using) the leads they passed along.
Enter sales force automation. Sales force automation, or SFA, refers to technology which can coalesce marketing’s and sales’ database into a single, trackable, accountable, and structured source.
There are droves of SFA tools on the market and any number of classes, but JDM recommends Salesforce.com for most of our clients. SFA tools like Salesforce.com are powerful technologies, if they are implemented carefully and utilized efficiently.
For more information on Sales Force Automation, see JDM’s marketing services page. But before you can champion an innovative technology initiative like this, we invite you to review “The Top 10 things you must know about sales people.” edited from Robert Moreau’s B2B Marketing Best Practices Blog.
THE TOP 10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT SALES PEOPLE
1. ALWAYS keep in mind that sales is about closing deals, not about getting leads! If leads turn into sales you win with sales. But they don't get paid for working early pipeline leads, only for closing deals!
2. Sales will ALWAYS focus on the latter stages of the sales pipeline. If you want to get sales support, make sure you clearly state how you will help them build their EARLY pipeline so they can FOCUS on the latter stages of the pipeline.
3. You only get one bite at the apple! This is absolutely true in larger sales organizations. If you roll something out to the sales team and a couple of the top performers don't like it, it has bugs, or it is not supporting by the VP, you risk losing traction on the whole initiative before it even starts.
4. Sales people like spiffs! Just like gifts at Christmas time, sales people like to be given things. Just look at the rewards structure set up in most sales organizations. Don't expect a sales force to just jump on board unless there is something in it for them INDIVIDUALLY!
5. Sales people live on individual accountability! Even the most senior sales executives will tell you that if a sales person is making their number, chances are they are happy with them. Sales people are skeptical of things "the company" is doing to help them, so be clear, concise and keep what motivates sales people at the top of your mind.
6. They "believe" the best leads come from their contact/customer install base! Even if you believe this not to be the case, don't even try making that argument with your sales team. Sales people pride themselves on their ability to develop and sustain relationships. In their mind, they don't need help! No matter how creative, personalized or unique you think your marketing teams communications are, to a sales person it is probably just "noise".
7. Involve sales early in the process. We don't mean in the technology selection process, but in developing your business requirements for the technology. If they feel a part of this, you stand a much higher probability of multi-department adoption of any initiative.
8. Be prepared for initial pushback! Know going in that the initial reaction from sales will probably be "marketing wants another $100K to launch an initiative that will not help us, but drive more awareness, increase our admin time, etc". In the sales world, there is a saying that the sales process doesn't really start until you hear the first "no". Don’t think it will be any different for you.
9. Commit to the end result and remind, remind, remind. Sales people have a very short attention span. If your initiative is going to take more than a quarter (and it will) be sure you ask to have some time each quarter to provide a status report.
10. Be patient! Be targeted with your communications, add it to the corporate intranet, and remind them that it is there and why they should take the time to read it. You will not get overnight support, but by getting a few sales people to see the value, and further more to realize the value first hand, eventually, they will follow if it makes sense.
Learn more about integration, SFAs, and evolved marketing on our website: http://www.marketinghasevolved.com/.