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Friday Poll: What Competitor Is Costing You the Most Sales?

    • 1098 posts
    August 1, 2019 11:19 PM PDT

    I was originally going to ask, Who's your most effective competitor?  (A few decades ago, the newspaper was the king of local, direct advertising media, followed by TV, then radio in many markets. Today, many identify digital advertising as our number one competitor, whether that means boosted social media posts, You Tube preroll videos, SEO services, or something else.)

    But then I ran across an excellent post by Phil Bernstein about what to do when you've lost a sale to a competitor. We hate when that happens, of course, even though it's almost guaranteed to happen at some point to every advertising salesperson. 

    So, thinking about today's competition for local advertising dollars, which one has had the greatest negative effect on your own sales? Other radio stations? Other mass media? Online/digital competitors? 

    Please share your experience in the reply section below. Thank you!


    This post was edited by Rod Schwartz at August 2, 2019 1:08 AM PDT
    • 96 posts
    August 2, 2019 7:55 AM PDT

    I am likely one of the few that says billboards and direct mail are costing the most sales. Other stations: none. Newspapers: not much.

    With a freeway going through town and a location quite close to a big tourist destination, a few clients can't slap down $2,000 a month fast enough to be seen by freeway traffic. Others pay a good $500 to be on electronic signs along the same stretch of road.

    Direct Mail is alive and well. We're not talking a flyer but costly pieces. These are beautiful and classy. A dentist with a nice 'credit card' plastic mail piece. We're talking a purely plastic, multi-color foldout piece that includes about 4 pull apart credit card size plastic discount cards (that expire in 60 days). I'd expect to see such mail pieces in a major city for a big dental group but not a small town 1 dentist office.

    My mission is to educate. There hasn't been much of this in my small market. Nobody talks how radio works, the cost involved and the targeting of the customer and all those assorted details. I always approach this gingerly. I don't want my potential client to hear from me that they made an unwise decision but rather give them enough knowledge to figure it out themselves.

    My station has never had to work that hard for the dollars. The station is universally known, loved and simply has a huge reach in the county.  In fact, there's enough out there for all to exist but I want a nice slice of the pie. 

    I've converted one client so far (3 months in) with several to go.

    As a side note, I hit those clients that do the billboards and direct mail with the idea of radio supporting the billboard or direct mail. It seems the 'take no prisoners' attack of these direct mail and billboard reps have taken the whole pie.