Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Morning Meeting for September 30, 2009: How to sell a higher CPP to agencies Bobby Knight

The coffee’s fresh, the donuts are warm, and your BlackBerry still has a full charge. Looks like the perfect time to join the conversation in today’s Wednesday Morning Meeting. I pitched the idea of writing this weekly column for FTC upon the recent realization that many radio sales/NTR departments are having some difficulty adapting to the ever-changing needs of clients and their agencies; hopefully this weekly column can provide some clarity and even help spark an idea or two. So let’s dive in:

It’s no secret that agencies are all about delivering the most efficient buy to their clients. Most media buyers will spend hours, days, or weeks negotiating cost-per-point goals with ad reps; many sales managers gripe about it. So, why not change the conversation?

Making the case

As a media buyer, I’d much prefer to buy at a reasonably higher CPP if I know that my client’s spots will reach the listener. If you are selling stopsets that contain upwards of seven or eight units (almost ten minutes without content), a lower CPP carries far less weight when your spot is number seven in the queue—with fewer ears to hear them. When reviewing buys, I’ll typically pay a premium to have our clients’ spots air first or second, and a premium to stations that air less clutter—less start and stop and more content. Is it the most efficient way to go? It depends. Short term, no; long term, it’s a small investment that typically yields a stronger ROI for the client (and more business for the station).

You may have noticed that many media buyers tend to be young professionals or recent college grads. They’ve been schooled in the science of Arbitron, know the difference between a CPP, GRP, and R&F. What they lack is an understanding of the art of common sense; that comes with experience and proper mentoring. Your sellers should be making the case (read: schooling the buyer) that paying a small premium for less clutter will yield stronger results. At the end of the day, when a client can attribute a surge in business to a successful campaign and media buy, there is always less focus on CPP.

Remember, radio is the in-car media. That means button pushing must be an assumed risk when any stopset begins. That’s why seasoned media buyers will look to include your station on a buy if you offer shorter stopsets, or programming that is listener-focused and not dominated by excessive sponsorships and NTR promotions (with a list of five sponsors being read too quickly) lumped in at breaks. But don’t just take my word for it: take a quick peak at PPM data from any market that you’d like; it doesn’t take much for a listener to sample your competitor.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Please e-mail your thoughts and questions to me:

Next week: What the industry can learn from Twitter: The dawn of the microscript ad.

Bob Knight is Vice President, Advertising and Digital Media with Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing in New York and oversees the company’s advertising and HEdigital divisions, which include podcasting, webcasting, blogging; and print, electronic, and broadcast advertising and media buying. Prior to joining Harrison Edwards in 2005, Bob worked for some of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, successfully developing programming in some of the most competitive markets including Chicago and San Francisco; his stations and shows were consistently top-rated. In addition to Bob’s work as program director and on-air personality at AMFM, Inc., Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting, Entercom, and NextMedia Group, he served as a consultant to Internet radio stations during the dot com boom. Bob’s national and regional radio commercials have won a Gold Clarion Award (AWC) and Gold “Big W” Awards (Ad Club) for commercials he produced. In 2008, Bob was named a “Rising Star Forty Under Forty” by the Business Council of Westchester and is a graduate of Leadership Westchester (Class of 2009).

1 comment:

  1. Great information! I also Media Buyers had horns and a tail :)
    You look pretty normal to me. Welcome to the Full Throttle Country Familia!! If I can be of assistance Tweet, Facebook or comment me ;)