If you do ad buying for radio and TV, you know it’s a buyer’s market.
You know the first quarter is the slowest one for broadcast media. This year it’s even slower. The auto industry, which media counts on, has tanked. Other major retailers are struggling.
Advertising has been reduced to a weak crawl and the broadcast is hurting almost as badly as print.
This means two things:
1. If you have the money, now’s the time to advertise.
2. Don’t pay standard rates.
I usually get some very good deals in the first quarter — like 50% off, two ads for one, etc.
This week a radio station came out with a deal: buy $500 worth of ads and get an extra $750 in free spots.
Another sales rep who I’ve been dealing with for years was pushing a new, great bargain. I held off. Before we were finished, the bargain $1500 deal dropped to $1,000 with a lot of free bonus spots thrown in.
He admitted that this quarter was especially “challenging” with the drop in auto ads and some other businesses who were not advertising.
“We have a lot of inventory,” he said. “We can be very flexible and it’s a great time to take advantage.” Broadcast media need to fill airtime. It’s how they exist. Dead air is just not allowed.
If all this sounds cold, sorry, it’s business. Supply and demand. I’ve paid top dollar when their inventory was nearly full (Christmas, political campaigns). Now it’s reversed, and you, the buyer have a lot of leverage.
Sales reps put on good faces, as they should. But while all of them tell me their respective stations are doing well, their statements were belied by Clear Channel’s recent announcement of more than 1,800 layoffs — sales reps, general managers, programmers and personalities.
It looks like this trend will continue into the second and maybe even the third quarters.
Do your university a favor and don’t accept any deal at face value. Work a little bit and get a better deal. Sales reps are under the gun to sell and management is getting very creative.
My ad budget was reduced this year, as yours probably was. But with the advantage you have, you can get some great buys and keep your institution ahead of the competition.
I have a couple deal-maker arguments I’ve developed. If you want more info, let me know and I’ll do a more detailed post.