Do your sales reps really know your competition? Do your sales reps know their own product? My everyday
experience in the field tells me that media account executives hardly know their own medium, let alone the media we consider our competition. In fact, it's distressing that there's still more media-bashing going on than there is selling against newspaper, television, outdoor, cable, and other media.
Here's what I call "Media Test 101," a quiz designed to test the SQ (sales quotient) of your account reps:
THE AVERAGE AGE OF A NEWSPAPER READER IS:
d. In a nursing home
The correct answer is 55. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Newspaper readership is down. Fewer young people are picking them up, and the average age of a newspaper reader is 55." If your advertiser is planning to use newspaper, make sure the ad is targeted correctly to the 44- plus demo. If the ad is targeting a first-time buyer for an automobile, it's in the wrong place.
THERE ARE MORE THAN ________________ MAGAZINE TITLES IN PRINT TODAY.
The figure is close to 7,100 magazines, give or take a thousand. A typical magazine contains more than 50 percent advertising. Just look at a local magazine in your market and count the ads and size compared to editorial content. Magazines have certain strengths, including targetability and strong visuals that can be aesthetically appealing. Shelf-life is much longer than newspapers. Wal- Mart is now advertising in Vogue to appeal to a higher income target customer (no pun intended) who will think it's cool to shop at Wal-Mart.
THE NUMBER ONE STRENGTH OF OUTDOOR BILLBOARDS IS:
c. New-product introduction
d. Length of time one spends with a billboard
McDonald's does it best: It gives directions to the Golden Arches.The average time spent with a billboard is 3.9 seconds, except on the 405 freeway in LA.Yes, it's good for a new-product introduction - if you can dominate major traffic zones, such as KB Home in the Riverside-San Bernardino market, where the company has a billboard on every major highway.
YELLOW PAGES ARE MOSTLY USED BY CONSUMERS FOR:
a. Top-of-mind awareness
b. Reference for phone numbers
c. Challenge to see who's ad is bigger
d. Reason to seek a psychologist
It's a reference tool. Seventy-seven percent of all people use it monthly. It doesn't build top-of-mind awareness, and business ads are cluttered in with all their competition in the same category - where they invite comparison based on ad size. McDonald's has seen this research, which leads one to ask, "Where is their full-page ad?"
During a recent seminar in Southern California, I used these examples to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of all media. How did radio's strength figure in? With radio, an advertiser can build frequency and target demographically. Radio's biggest weakness? It's not sold correctly; more specifically, advertisers don't run enough frequency to accomplish their goals in using radio effectively.
Recently in Canada, one of our properties utilized radio, Internet, and point-of-purchase (POP) correctly in a car promotion. Radio was used to drive listeners to the 10 sponsors, where they could pick up a miniature business card-size license plate with a lifelike license number on it, then go to their Internet site to play a daily trivia game to rack up kilometers. POP was used by each sponsor, as well as on-air promos. At the end of the promotion, the advertiser - a car dealership - gave away a new Honda. Everybody won, including the sponsors, who paid the freight (aka $$$) and often don't see the traffic to justify their investment. The dealership also developed an e-mail database after the promotion for sales lead follow-ups.
The message here: Don't cut your own throat. Position other media along with radio and you'll find that radio works exceptionally well in tandem with virtually all of them. It's the ultimate "air force" weapon (right behind U.S. Stealth Fighter warplanes, of course). In both cases, you know they're up there, but can't see them and barely can get a read on them from the ground. Still, the Stealth leads the air force in laser-guided warfare, and radio delivers highly targeted marketing that can achieve maximum results.