(By Charlie Sislen) I can hear you yelling at your screen, “WHAT?! YOU ARE TELLING ME NOT TO BE A DIGITAL EXPERT? MY MANAGEMENT WANTS ME TO FOCUS ON DIGITAL SALES!”
Okay, let me explain and help you understand how you can profit by not promoting yourself as a digital expert.
I hope you already consider yourself a “radio expert.” Now, are you working to be a “digital expert”? To quote the old phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.”
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t learn as much about digital advertising as possible and be proficient in using it. What concerns me is the positioning phrase “expert.” There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in your market touting that they are digital experts. Do you want to be one expert in a field of thousands? What differentiates you from the others?
Instead, I suggest you strive to be a marketing expert. Ask the following questions about each potential advertiser:
- What are their advertising objectives?
- How do they stack up to the competition?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What makes them unique?
While these questions may only be fully answered by a quality CNA, marketing experts excel by helping the advertiser to better understand who to reach and how.
A great resource is local market qualitative data, like Scarborough and The Media Audit. Also, if you are an RAB subscriber, reach out to them for access to MRI-Simmons national-based data. Any of these sources will help you tell the advertiser:
- Who their customers are
- Who their potential customers are
- Who their competitors’ potential customers are
- What advertising outlets are best to reach these groups
- How to best use the various advertising outlets
You are now focusing on the advertiser and acting as a marketing expert instead of as a radio expert or even a digital expert.
This strategy can work well with both the direct advertiser and the overworked agency planner and buyer. With the direct advertiser, inform them about the customers they should be targeting and help them determine the right advertising mix. With the agency, provide insights by doing the legwork that a busy planner or buyer might not have the time to do.
Either way, you can transform yourself from a sales rep to a marketing partner, which is a clear winning strategy.
Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at [email protected]. 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.