Radio Group Upsells 41% of Advertisers with Digital

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As a small business owner, how surprised would you be to have a radio company approach you with a well rounded multimedia advertising package? That’s exactly what customers of NextMedia, a US radio group, have been seeing more and more of over the last four years.

LocalMediaInsider has released a case study titled: “NextMedia Group’s digital services division upsells 41% of radio advertisers”. The division in question, NextMedia 360, was formed with a specific purpose: to help NextMedia remain relevant as an advertiser in an increasingly digital world.

NextMedia’s Digital Strategy

In order to stay relevant, NextMedia formed five key goals.

1. Create exclusive digital revenue
2. Increase share of buy per customer
3. Reduce on-air clutter
4. Reduce advertiser churn
5. Develop deeper relationships with listeners

The first two years, the Group’s plan was focused on creating engaging radio station websites where businesses could advertise via banner ads. But over time, their customers made it clear that they weren’t interested in banner advertising for the simple reason that the ads pointed back to the small businesses’ own web sites. Turns out the businesses hated their sites.

So NextMedia 360 changed up their game and began offering a host of other digital services, including: website building, Facebook and Twitter posting, Reputation Management, SEO services, and more. The case study delves deeper into the year-by-year details, but [caution: spoiler alert!] by the end, you’re left with the impression that radio can pull off digital quite successfully.

The Results

NextMedia 360’s digital packages are doing well, with their top line revenue growing in the high teens year after year. Brain Foster (VP of 360), says: “When we start to manage (advertisers’) online content, our relationship deepens and the overall perceived value … goes through the roof.”

Take-aways

A couple lessons can be learned from NextMedia’s foray into digital, both for radio folk and other advertisers in general.

1. It almost goes without saying, but the upsell opportunity for digital services (read: sites, Reputation Management, social marketing, etc.) is huge for traditional advertisers. 41% is a big chunk of change, and if one radio company can achieve those sorts of numbers, then others can too.

2. Foster says: “One of our initial beliefs in working with reps – these street warriors – was that they would be motivated [to embrace 360’s digital services] by the hope of gain, to make more commissions.  But we had it exactly backwards. Fear of loss was a much larger motivator.” In other words, know what drives your sales force and make sure they have the right tools and training to succeed with digital.

3. Foster believes they could have started selling NextMedia 360 digital services earlier, in 2008 instead of 2010. He says: “We would have been further ahead and more established.” And he’s right — don’t sit around waiting for lightning to strike when you can be complementing your traditional ad dollars with digital today.

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 LocalMediaInsider.com is a peer-sharing site for media executives building new business models. To find the full case study on NextMedia Group, click here.