What Is Your Sales Brand?


(By Marc Greenspan) Successful radio stations have done a tremendous job of building unique brands in their market. Whether it is “more music,” “great giveaways,” or the “news source,” these brands let listeners know what to expect. Delivering on this expectation is another issue.

While building and maintaining this brand to the listener is extremely important, it is equally essential that a radio station build a “SALES BRAND.” In other words, what does the advertiser expect from the radio station’s sales team? A brand helps them understand how you do business and what differentiates you from other advertising sales operations.

What is your sales brand? While the options are nearly endless, it is important that your entire sales team believes in the brand. It is critical that you live up to the brand you choose. Here are a few examples:

We Do It Right: This means that you run a professional operation and spots are run properly. Some believe that this includes a refusal to bump low-cost spots for higher price orders that come in later. This sense of professionalism also means you show up on time, prepared, and do great follow-up. You want the advertiser to say, “They are great business partners.” You will have to decide if it is worth the premium you may demand.

Results Radio: This brand declares, “Your investment in our radio station will deliver what you are looking for.” Whether it is more foot traffic or web hits, you will help the advertiser meet their goals. Be aware that this can often set high expectations. Be prepared to back up what you promise.

The Added Value Choice: If you have lots of extra tools in your arsenal, being able to offer them to advertisers is a real plus. You are stating to the advertiser, “Buy this schedule and we can include…” Yes, there are costs involved, but you will be known for your added value.

Full Marketing Resource: Does your station have digital experts? Does your team know how their cluster fits with other radio stations and other traditional mediums? Are you willing to suggest a full media mix, which may not include your station? If so, this is a great brand. You are no longer a radio station salesperson…you are a full marketing solution provider.

Deliver Results Efficiently: We all know the word efficient often means low cost (not necessarily cheap). While not a great long-term strategy for our industry, there is nothing wrong with offering a low-cost alternative. This is how many great brands were built. GEICO got started with “15 minutes can save you 15% or more.” Price is always an issue. However, if you make that your brand, it will always be hard to push rate.

It is important to recognize that the entire team needs to build and maintain the agreed upon brand. Promote your sales brand and make sure that when a potential advertiser thinks of you, they think of your brand.

This column is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

Marc Greenspan is the CEO and founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or by email at [email protected]. Research Director, Inc. offers consulting services to media companies to help them grow their audience, ratings, and revenue. Read Marc’s Radio Ink archives here.


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