It is all over my media sources today about TV and radio stations cutting back and laying employees off. All of this is a direct result of advertisers slashing media budgets for 2009. Local TV station ad revenues are down 7% for 2008. What do you think the 2009 number will look like?
Last week I wrote on this (Let’s Get Our Media Deals Back 12/8/08). Traditional media is going to feel the advertising pinch more then any other advertising tool. They are big, heavy media conglomerates with lots of overhead and high priced talent.
As I mentioned last week, you need to be in these stations right now and cutting your deals. If you already have a deal, you need to adjust it. This is an opportunity that has not been available to us event marketers in years. Think of it as “one person’s pain is another person’s pleasure”. Everyone at these stations is going to be hungry. They are all scared of losing their jobs. The sales reps are going to try and get every buy they can find. Remember they are on commission. Their managers need to make quotas and make sure inventory is filled. Promotion managers need to justify their positions. General Manager’s need to show revenue growth to corporate. This makes for a perfect event marketers storm. You should be able to “own” the station. If you don’t come out of your meeting with a good promotion, trade, and great cash buy you might need to look at a different career.
Traditional Social Advertising?
There was an article in last weeks New York Times saying that banner ads on social networks don’t work. Duh! As we have discussed a few times, the key to social marketing is not placing an ad banner but getting personal with the members. These social networks have the technology tools to have a marketer speak directly to a member who interested. The best social marketing is the ones where the brand gets a member to join something. Once they join something they get something. The article implies that the only reason someone would join the “brand group” was to get something. So, what’s the problem with that? This is what promotions are for. Why do people think that just running a boring “flat” ad is going to make someone buy or even think about the product?
Cutting Delivery Is In The Details
Monday, I helped break the story that the Detroit News / Free Press are cutting their home delivery to three days a week. Today, it all over the newspapers about the details of this. Home delivery is being cut to Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. These are traditionally the three biggest advertising days for newspapers. If I am an advertiser, I would not want to run an ad on the other days. The newspapers are telling me that no one reads it on the other days. One Associated Press article I read quoted a media expert that said “the biggest risk is it breaks the daily newspaper habit for readers and marketers”. Again, another duh. Do you think? How do you become a “media expert”? This is not a “risk”, it is going to happen! As I discussed the other day, they are closing the door on their best customers. How many businesses do you know do this? He went on to say “Newspapers are accelerating their own print demise”. Really???