Yes You Can Make REAL Money Selling Digital

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In our continuing series on how to make money selling digital, we head south to the sunshine state. Georgia Beasley was promoted to digital sales director for Beasley Media Group’s Southwest Florida market back in February. Her background and experience make her the perfect person to turn to on day three of our series. Beasley’s background includes sales, digital sales, NTR, sales management, and digital sales manager for the company’s seven-station Augusta, Georgia, cluster. If you want to make real digital revenue at your station, read on…

Radio Ink: What digital services are having the most success for radio stations/companies?
Georgia Beasley: I’ve worked in three markets and found that each market tended to lean towards certain products more than others. Coincidentally, I’ve found the same can be said for each company’s view of which digital products bring the most value. A benefit to having a variety is that we are able to offer digital solutions based on the client’s needs; however, it is important to keep focused on the products that best complement our current advertisers. This strategy will result in the largest revenue growth based on the volume of clients we already have relationships with. Additionally, this approach will only make radio’s position stronger because we’ll be able to present a trackable and measurable recap of the campaign as a whole, which will be more impressive than just a radio or just a digital recap. In the audio commercial family, streaming and broadcasting are first cousins. Many clients can enhance their on-air schedules by utilizing the stream, and if funds are limited they’re still able to create brand awareness, test creativity, and “advertise on radio” at a fraction of the cost. The most loyal listeners of a station make up the majority of our stream and enjoy the ability to access our dependable station brands and music selections 24/7. Additionally, with the advent of Nielsen Total Audience Report, the streaming platform will be more valuable than ever across our industry.

Radio Ink: What is the best way to train AEs and managers?
Georgia Beasley: The goal for any Digital Sales Training Program is to, of course, educate on our digital products. However, the focus needs to be on preparing and molding our entire sales staff to become true cross-platform sales leaders in the media industry. Our mission is to create a consummate media consultant, not just a radio seller. I focus on positioning our industry as the premiere outlet to provide complete solutions for advertisers and the importance of identifying opportunities through the right questions and an effective client needs analysis. As difficult as it may sound, that means beginning with the “why” instead of training to sell product one sheets. Apple doesn’t need to advertise their technology because they advertise what you can do with the iPhone, like travel the world taking pictures, FaceTime with happy babies, and dance around alone in a room. Those are all things I want to do so I need to buy the new iPhone package. Sell the vision through a cross-platform solution and the price as well as products included will be justified.

Radio Ink: Can the existing sales department be depended on to monetize this, or is yet another hire to sell only digital products needed?
Georgia Beasley: Absolutely they can, and more importantly, should be responsible for the success of the organization. Clients have a ton of options for marketing their business, so we need to step up our game to continue earning it. The one who tells the story best always wins. The best seller is a cross-platform seller that can discover a client’s need and address it with a complete solution. The definition of excellence from the top down needs to be based on a reinvented philosophy. My team uses a simple approach when developing complete, cross-platform solutions… REACH, TARGET, ENGAGE! Reach with Radio, Target with Digital, and Engage with an Idea/Event/Sponsorship. This formula has helped many to simplify what could have been an overwhelming and intimidating process to develop a “customized” client proposal.

Radio Ink: Are stations actually making profit on the services or is it more to keep the client in the tent?
Georgia Beasley: If they are doing it right, yes to both! Stations are absolutely making a profit and also keeping clients in the tent. What makes our industry unique, and what I wish we told the story of more, is the undeniable advantage we have. No other medium can deliver a customized solution to a client that includes mass reach, social media engagement, on-site event sponsorships, endorsements, online contesting, and measurable results like we can. The evolution of our industry is dependent upon evolving the singular mindset and traditional process of sales. We need to take an idea from “that’s cool but what if we…” to a meaningful multi-platform marketing strategy for our clients. Because we are experts at selling “air,” we can truly stand out as an industry and bring innovative solutions to clients that warrant bigger dollars and partnerships. It’s no longer enough to just push the limits when we have the unique ability to establish that there are no limits! I’m excited to be exploring the future of our industry and helping to mold what that will look like in the future.

Radio Ink: What is the best way to sell digital…on its own, or bundled with our traditional menu?
Georgia Beasley: My answer to this is always, without a doubt, “depends on what the client needs.” That being said, the power and effectiveness of integrated marketing solutions and cross-platform campaigns have been proven time and time again in marketing. If I want to lose weight, I could just stop eating and I’d probably see some immediate results, but would then gain it right back at Thanksgiving. If I want to achieve my dream body and show permanent results, I need to have a combination of exercise, change in diet, and eliminate drinking. There needs to be a strategy, not just an action. We need to sell digital the same, by including it into a complete solution and long-term partnership instead of a one-off digital product that most likely will not meet the expectations of AEs or clients.

Radio Ink: Am I just moving dollars around, or am I creating REAL digital revenue?
Georgia Beasley: I see way too many radio professionals using this as the argument or reason to not get better. Having these media channels is what actually makes radio unique and should be why we are able to generate more revenue, not the same. I believe that we bring more value to the table than any other industry because we are able to unite various platforms to create one branding voice and message across them all for a stronger return on the client’s investment. We should be excited about that. Can any other digital rep pitching email marketing also have a radio campaign attached? No. Can any other media rep pitch an integrated solution that includes a station sponsorship, mobile lead generation, on-site remote, host endorsement, video pre-roll, all with the same messaging and creative direction? No. But we can! We can truly present an integrated solution to our clients instead of convincing them that one product is their only solution. We should embrace this evolution and use it as motivation when we walk into every meeting because nobody else can offer what we offer to that client as a solution.

Congratulate Georgia on being a digital selling riockstar at georgia.beasley@bbgi.com

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