Corporate Support Strategy in the Coming Year: Sponsorship Pricing and Packaging

pricing, Corporate Support

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After a recent lively one-on-one conversation with Greater Public CEO Joyce MacDonald, Vice President and General Manager of Jacobs Media, Paul Jacobs, answered some additional questions from station colleagues across the system about corporate support efforts in the wake of challenges from the past year.

Q: Should I be selling digital packages via SOV (Share of Voice) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand) models? 

Jacobs: In my experience, I always prefer SOV. (Do you see a pattern of my desire to stay away from ratings pricing?) Unless a digital package has a hefty number of impressions, it’s hard to generate a good rate and make it worthwhile. I prefer multi-channel digital packages that are long on concept and heft, and short on delivery pricing, whenever possible. Now, with agencies, that can be a challenge. CPMs work best for display ads, and less so for higher concept packages.

So to me, the best digital packages are those that are based on a concept that’s perceived as valuable by the client, not because of the numbers it delivers primarily, but the concept is in alignment with the brand’s values. And then the concept is supported with multi-pronged support, like email, website, push messaging, social media, etc., that features the sponsor. It’s the combination of the heft of support and the value of the concept that drives value.

In other words, I like fewer, bigger SOV-type packages than trying to sell a bunch of smaller ones based on CPM.

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How to Use a Rate Card to Show Your Value to Sponsors

pricing, Corporate Support

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We get a lot of questions here at Greater Public about rate cards. Seems like lots of sales managers aren’t too happy with what they offer, and many reps don’t really know how to use them. Rates are subject to change at any moment, so is it even worth it to have them?

Most stations consider a rate card to be an internal document, but it has important external uses as well. The rate card provides documented valuation of your inventory. Because of the supply-and-demand nature of what we sell in radio, rates are going to change. You can discount off of the rates on your card, or you can raise rates for certain periods of time during high demand. In times of normal demand, when a new client calls in, your sales reps should know what a spot in Morning Drive is worth. That is when the rate card hanging over their desk is useful.

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How Managing Your Inventory Can Increase Revenue and Boost Customer Satisfaction

pricing, sales strategy, Corporate Support

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How should I manage my avails and related pricing so inventory doesn't go unsold or doesn't always sell out?

“What do you mean we don’t have any avails left in drive time?"

Have you ever heard that from your salespeople? Did they know of your avails situation in advance? Did you?

Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture. Managing your avails begins with knowing the value of your inventory across all dayparts and days of the week. That number will let you know the potential revenue on a monthly and yearly basis, which is important when projecting your annual revenue for your goals and budget.

When you know the total value – and every daypart has a value – your next step is to sell the value of all of your dayparts to every prospect and client.

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A Start-to-Finish Guide to Securing Corporate Sponsorship for Your Station Event

event sponsorship, pricing, halo effect, Corporate Support, digital revenue, marketing

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What’s involved in selling event sponsorships? These 10 steps will help you determine the value of a sponsorship, find prospects, write a proposal, sell the sponsorship, and fulfill the agreement after the sponsorship is sold.

1. When planning your station event, keep sponsors in mind.

When you're planning your station event, keep in mind that corporate sponsorship is a form of brand advertising. The underlying intention of sponsorship is to create positive associations between the corporate brand and your station in the mind of the consumer. That’s the “Halo Effect.” You can do this, as you may have done in the past, by selling naming rights to the event or displaying sponsors’ corporate logos at your events and in your media when you promote the event.

2. Identify your assets.

What are the assets that can bring value to your sponsors? If the event is at your station or another venue, take a walk through the venue and make a list of the potential places where you can have a sponsor’s company name, logo or a presence at the event. Typical places for promotion include hanging banners over entrances, sponsors’ booths or tables at the event, sponsors’ logos, listings or advertisements in programs that are used by participants. The potential for where you can put a sponsor’s name or logo placement can be just about anything.

Of course you have media and other assets where you can put sponsors’ names or logos which are of value to sponsors:

  • Your radio/TV promos for the event
  • Logo / name on VIP passes
  • Signage at the entrance to the parking lot
  • Admission tickets or invitation
  • Booth, table or display area
  • Logo / name on T-shirts, posters or other keepsakes
  • Sampling opportunity
  • Mailing list
  • PA announcements
  • PBS Kids programs characters appearances
  • Website
  • E-newsletter
  • Mobile apps
  • Print or online magazine / logo recognition
  • Broadcast radio / TV underwriting schedule

In addition to the use of media and logo placement, identify other opportunities, such as meeting and having photos taken with guest celebrities, or access to exclusive areas like backstage passes.

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The Right Words When Rates Go Up

pricing, sales strategy, Corporate Support

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Underwriting rate increases often coincide with the change in fiscal year, but sometimes stations decide to raise rates due to budget reasons, inflation, increased program costs, or a high percentage of inventory sell-out. Whatever the cause, a mid-year rate increase could be an unpleasant surprise for your underwriters. Clients aren’t often moved by excuses or economic and industrial data. But you can keep them on your side with a good explanation.

As the song goes, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Here are four rules of thumb for communicating a rate increase.

1. Tell the underwriters what they stand to gain. Explain the benefits of the rate increase: a sustained growth in the number of listeners, or increased Time Spent Listening is a big plus; maybe it’s additional service or support; or it could be something new or something you haven’t told your underwriters you do for them. (Do they know you list them on your station website with a link to their company’s website?) Underwriters are less likely to complain when they’re getting additional value.

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Corporate Support Budgeting Guide 2015

pricing, Corporate Support, budgeting

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by Anna McDonald and Marlene Schneider, Greater Public corporate support coordinators

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