Is the Web like…Radio?

I have never sold Radio airtime in my Media career, strictly Print followed by Digital/Interactive. But having known enough people that HAVE sold radio, I am recalling recently many of their stories about what they did, how they packaged deals & programs, etc., and I coming to the conclusion that, YES, this question may be true in this Sales context.

Let me explain.

Radio is mainly a Frequency medium as I view it, with a targeted Reach. So with seemingly limitless “airtime” to fill [outside of ‘The Drive’], Radio reps are often required to devise very ingenious ‘Value-add’ packages that in many ways have nothing to do with Broadcast itself. On-site DJ’s at events, free stickers, contests at Car dealerships, “remote’s” and many others. Since it is pretty hard to tie any one Spot to an actual customer sale, this is one way to justify.

For those on the Sell side, does it seem like this is happening on the Web? I’d say so, or at least it is getting closer every day.

Here are the parallels I see:
1> Seemingly limitless “pageviews” to fill. Radio has airtime [see above], we on the web have PV’s.
2> Outside of E-commerce and/or Affiliate programs, as with radio it is very difficult to tie any one Click/View/Install, to an actual customer sale. [With the Web, this is even more complicated, if you’ve read some of the great Agency research done on the ‘value of the last click’, and what level of importance to place on it.]
3> Also like with Radio, many websites have prime inventory similar to Drivetime, followed by much-less travelled areas [which often sells for reduced rates on Ad Networks, btw.]
4> With so much Web inventory leading to plunging CPMs in many cases, we are starting to see many of the same types of Offline “promos” from the Web world, as outlined above for Radio. Examples: Concert series tie-ins to the Music sites/portals, supporting the client’s brand in your site’s TV commercials, etc.

None of this is necessarily bad, or a detriment, but let’s realistically take a look, and call it out for what it is.

And granted, this kind of analysis could also be applied to Cable, and others. But Radio was the vehicle that came to mind first here. And as a starting point, recognizing this as a factor in your Sales process, allows you to decide whether you will ‘get creative’ on the promo side, or justify your Media for what its value really is.

Good Luck & Good Selling!

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~ by MindOnMediaSales on July 10, 2009.

2 Responses to “Is the Web like…Radio?”

  1. radio is very much like web when it comes to frequency. just like radio frequency, you need to see a banner X amount of times before taking action.

    • Thanks, Tony. Having sold many, many “impressions” on the Web [which may be along the lines of the many, many radio “spots” you have sold?], I very much agree with you, and hope my post is clear on that.

      My main question is: Does the Web now, like radio, have to sell more “non-endemic” product, to get its main product [impressions for the web, spots for radio], sold?
      I say yes, and that will likely grow.

      Thanks again.

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