The Value of Being The Information Resource

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(By Charlie Sislen) My previous essay talked about the importance of building and living a sales brand. Having your sales organization known for something specific is important in building an identity. We outlined a few of the many possible brands that a sales organization could build.

One important brand we left off was The Information Resource. We did this intentionally because it requires a deeper dive and, humbly, it is something Research Director, Inc. excels at.

So why is having the brand image as The Information Resource so valuable?

More than in any other time in marketing history, data is king. Companies like Google and Facebook have built their fortunes on information. They can tell potential advertisers more about who their message is reaching and how to tailor that message to a particular consumer group.

It would be nice to have the data resources that the tech giants possess, but we can still effectively compete in our markets using readily available tools. The key here is that we do not need to be better or more info-savvy than Google. We need to be the leading voice in the radio field. It just takes a little effort.

The regular Nielsen Audio report has a vast amount of information. This is often enough to satisfy the needs of most clients. You can detail:

  • How many listeners you have
  • Where they live
  • How old they are
  • What gender they are
  • What ethnicity they are
  • When they listen
  • How they listen

Having a well laid-out current audience profile is extremely valuable.   However, having similar data on other stations is the first step towards becoming The Information Resource.

You can take this data dive deeper by utilizing the various qualitative resources at your disposal.   Scarborough, The Media Audit, MRI-Simmons, etc. can give clients a sharper image of the local radio universe.   While each report delivers different types of data, they all offer unique insight into listeners’ habits.   Some of those “slices of life” include:

  • Lifestyle
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Hobbies and passions
  • Media preferences
  • Internet preferences
  • Consumer habits

Imagine going to a potential advertiser and, without ever talking about your stations, painting a clear picture of who their target consumers are. If done right, you and your team are no longer simply sales reps.   You have become resources for information.

All this even before you start to use Google Analytics and other digital resources.

The final step is not having the data, but communicating it in an effective fashion. This includes using the data that matters at that moment.   Do not overwhelm the client with tons of numbers. Just give them the data that pertains to their situation.

Be sure to compile this data in an effective, digestible form. New graphic design templates can give complicated data a professional currency and easy-to-read feel.

Finally, know what you are talking about. Your credibility will be lost if you can’t explain the data or don’t tell the advertiser why it is important to them.

Data is only as good as its source. Presenting data is only as good as the one who presents it.

Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at csislen@ResearchDirectorInc.com. This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

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