Program Director: The double agent (Sales and Programming)
There are an awful lot of programmers not working close enough with the sales department and expressing too many concerns about sales and sales promotions on their prospective station. I never said no, I always found a way to put a creative spin on it. At KHGE a local 2nd level casino needed a gimme feature. I wrote a feature called DOUBLE DOWN AT 5. Two songs from CMR's biggest stars and we double down, roll the dice, pull the handle. If you get upset, say no and pound sand, nothing gets accomplished but the evil wall between programming and sales. If you back it up with creativity, the client gets a sound promotion and the listeners get a fun way to win and creative ways to expand listener ship past 7 power songs every 2:30. Now I'm not saying every sales promotion that is brought your way is going to work. That's what takes creativity to turn into a part of the radio station's accepted sonic sound style.
You need to attend all important sales meeting and keep track of what's going on in the sales department. If you are only in this for the music and programming, you need to re examine what's important. Music is not important but, helping the radio station make it's weekly and monthly sales numbers are. When you are in this meeting and the promotions meeting with the sales manager, you will have less of a tendency to over react to proposed elements that you don't know about. Secret: Most of the these promotions they discuss never come to fruition. Go to a sales meeting and see how many times a certain promotion for a client is discussed and after several weeks, it goes into the sales promotion black hole. If you were to forget about this client and promotion and it was brought up and handed off to you for liners, promos and bears oh my, you would be grilled to why you forgot about it or didn't make it happen.
Stay in step with the sales department. Come up with creative and sonic sound attributes to offer to the sales department. Features work great. STRAIT AT 8, MORNING SALUTE TO THE TROOPS, FIVE O'CLOCK FUNNY, MY TUNES AT NOON, COUNTRY BEAN POD ON SHUFFLE. If you let the sales department design the sales promotions or sponsored features, you are asking for trouble. You'll get a car dealer with the sales manager on the air with you at 5p on The Free Ride. Wondering, why is this on the air. You have to ties the boat to the dock, or it will float away.
EXAMPLES OF SALES PROMOTIONS:
Often they are original and creative, and hence a comprehensive list of all available techniques is virtually impossible (since original sales promotions are launched daily!). Here are some examples of popular sales promotions activities:
(a) Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF) - which is an example of a self-liquidating promotion. For example if a loaf of bread is priced at $1, and cost 10 cents to manufacture, if you sell two for $1, you are still in profit - especially if there is a corresponding increase in sales. This is known as a PREMIUM sales promotion tactic.
(b) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) incentives such as bonus points or money off coupons. There are many examples of CRM, from banks to supermarkets.
(c) New media - Websites and mobile phones that support a sales promotion. For example, in the United Kingdom, Nestle printed individual codes on KIT-KAT packaging, whereby a consumer would enter the code into a dynamic website to see if they had won a prize. Consumers could also text codes via their mobile phones to the same effect.
(d) Merchandising additions such as dump bins, point-of-sale materials and product demonstrations.
(e) Free gifts e.g. Subway gave away a card with six spaces for stickers with each sandwich purchase. Once the card was full the consumer was given a free sandwich.
(f) Discounted prices e.g. Budget airline such as EasyJet and Ryanair, e-mail their customers with the latest low-price deals once new flights are released, or additional destinations are announced.
(g) Joint promotions between brands owned by a company, or with another company's brands. For example fast food restaurants often run sales promotions where toys, relating to a specific movie release, are given away with promoted meals.
(h) Free samples (aka. sampling) e.g. tasting of food and drink at sampling points in supermarkets. For example Red Bull (a caffeinated fizzy drink) was given away to potential consumers at supermarkets, in high streets and at petrol stations (by a promotions team).
(i) Vouchers and coupons, often seen in newspapers and magazines, on packs.
(j) Competitions and prize draws, in newspapers, magazines, on the TV and radio, on The Internet, and on packs.
(k) Cause-related and fair-trade products that raise money for charities, and the less well off farmers and producers, are becoming more popular.
(l) Finance deals - for example, 0% finance over 3 years on selected vehicles.
Many of the examples above are focused upon consumers. Don't forget that promotions can be aimed at wholesales and distributors as well. These are known as Trade Sales Promotions. Examples here might include joint promotions between a manufacturer and a distributor, sales promotion leaflets and other materials (such as T-shirts), and incentives for distributor sales people and their retail clients.