The jury is still out on whether this approach is right or wrong. Some will say the reason radio does not generate more revenue from digital is because it doesn't focus enough dedicated resources to it. Others will say there just isn't enough digital revenue in the marketplace to spend the money on those additional resources.
Radio Ink recently completed a detailed survey of managers that included owners, CEOs, corporate executives, market managers, general managers, sales managers, and program directors. Our goal was to take the pulse of the industry as we head into 2015 and find out where you believe radio sits in the digital marketplace. Our survey discovered that 86 percent of radio stations continue to sell digital products using their traditional sales force while only 14 percent have a dedicated digital sales staff. As a result, perhaps, 63 percent of our respondents report that digital revenue makes up less than 5 percent of their total sales. Another 21% say digital make up between 6 to 10 percent of sales.
Additional results from our survey show that radio managers report they are fairly confident (41%) or highly confident (35%) that they have a strong grasp of emerging digital opportunities and threats. When asked about the advertisers they call on, a majority (70%) say their advertisers are digitally savvy while half (50%) say their companies are digitally savvy.
(12/17/2014 2:01:08 PM)
Fifteen years ago our company Radio Profits Corporation presented at the Radio Ink Internet conference. At the time this same debate was going on whether digital needed a separate sales team. Probably the people who were debating it are no longer in the business.
This industry is sadly stuck.
Ed Ryan, You should go on the road and share your early experiences in selling digital dollars. If the industry wants its share of digital dollars they better train and hire people who specialize in digital.
(12/17/2014 11:20:18 AM)
When we started our digital marketing department four years ago, we had a separate sales staff to sell website development and other online marketing products. This fall we trained our radio sales reps to sell digital.
It has been a very difficult transition as many of the older salespeople have not been receptive to learning digital.
Integrating our clients' marketing is important, but it was much more effective when we had separate sales teams for each product.
(12/17/2014 10:57:17 AM)
Radio made an error giving digital to the regular sales staff. The salespeople were immediately sidetracked from their normal duties which hurt station billing, and poor initial digital pitches were made by inexperienced people causing few digital sales.
Newspapers always had separate sales people for their various products, (display, classified, inserts) But then, newspapers were always a real business.
(12/17/2014 9:43:30 AM)
Toy, how long did it take for FM to become profitable because AM stations gave away advertising to fill inventory on their FM sister stations? Giving something away demonstrates that it has no value.
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