Category Archives: Sales

Oxenford: Programmatic Advertising Buying and the FCC’s Political Broadcasting Rules

David Oxenford - ColorBy: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
www.broadcastlawblog.com

With the national presidential conventions complete, and most of the state primaries for Congressional, state and local offices either behind us or to occur in the next few weeks, the most concentrated period for the purchase of political advertising on broadcast stations is now upon us, to peak in the late October/early November frenzy. While most of the principles governing the FCC rules on political broadcasting are relatively established (and many are summarized in our Political Broadcasting Guide available here), there are always new advertising practices and opportunities that throw some new wrinkles into how those rules are applied. At a number of political advertising seminars that I have conducted this past year and in discussions with broadcasters, one of the new wrinkles this year that has not captured the attention that it deserves is the political broadcasting issues raised by programmatic buying of advertising time.

In the last year or two, programmatic buying has become the buzzword in broadcast advertising circles for both radio and TV. It is intended to make ad buying easier and more akin to the experience that ad buyers have when they place online advertising, where most of it can be done from a computer with a few clicks of a mouse, anywhere at anytime. While programmatic buying is becoming more and more common in broadcast circles, it is difficult to easily say exactly what it is, as what is called “programmatic buying” comes in so many different flavors. Not only does the concept mean different things in different systems, it is also being provided by all sorts of different companies, from rep firms, to broadcast technology companies, to companies that have specialized in specific types of advertising – like remnant ad sales (i.e. sales of unsold advertising inventory that broadcasters may have). And some station owners are signing up with multiple providers – sometimes at the same station.

The computerized sale of remnant advertising – where the providers of the programmatic buying give advertisers the opportunity to buy left-over advertising on multiple stations so as to reach a total audience in the market in which the stations operate – is akin to systems developed years ago, which the FCC had issues with in trying to decide how they affected lowest unit rates (see our article here).   These sales of remnant ads tend to raise one set of issues. This kind of advertising – sold in packages, where advertisers are offered delivery of a certain number of advertising impressions in a given market, where that delivery may well come from placement of ads on multiple stations – may be the least problematic for individual stations in terms of how it affects their political broadcasting compliance. Because the spots are usually packaged with multiple co-owned stations to give the advertiser the number of advertising impressions that they seek in a given market, these ads have no impact on the lowest unit rate on any one station (as ads that are sold in a package on multiple stations do not affect the lowest unit rates on the individual station, although such combination packages on multiple stations must be disclosed and made available to candidates by the company making such combination sales). Moreover, as remnant ads can usually run at almost any time in a broadcaster’s schedule (they are not run in fixed programs or at specific times) and are usually very preemptible, the ads are usually in advertising classes not very attractive to candidates, further minimizing their impact on most station’s political broadcasting sales. But sellers of these packages of remnant advertising may themselves be subject to political rules (as the Commission has traditionally applied such rules to “unwired networks”), so the sellers need to be cognizant of their own political broadcasting obligations.

But other forms of programmatic buying can be more significant for political advertising and need to be carefully tracked by broadcasters. Some of the programmatic systems that are available seemingly let advertisers use computerized systems to essentially buy any advertising time that is available in a station’s inventory. Advertisers can in effect have access to a station’s traffic system and schedule their own advertising schedules, and can pick and choose among the rates available to advertisers in a station’s traffic systems. It’s this ability to pick and choose what the advertiser wants that could raise political broadcasting issues – especially in the later weeks of the election season. If the programmatic deals allow discounts off of a station’s rates for specific classes of time, either simply because they are booked through the programmatic system or because of the volume bought by the advertiser, these discounts could affect the lowest unit rates of the spots that are included in the schedule that the advertisers buy. Alternatively, the ability of an advertiser to get access to the station’s ad schedule to schedule their own ads, toward the end of an election season, could affect a station’s ability to squeeze in political ads as necessary to meet reasonable access and equal opportunities rights. And, if political advertisers use the programmatic systems to themselves buy and schedule advertising, all sorts of issues could arise, especially to the extent that such ads are bought with higher protection levels where they preempt political ads, or simply because they have other impacts on political schedules that stations need to be tracking.

The contracts with providers of programmatic advertising systems need to be carefully reviewed to assess their ability to raise issues in a political broadcasting context. If the programmatic network is used by political and issue advertisers, stations need to be sure that they are getting timely notice of the ad buys and all the necessary paperwork, so that a station can meet its political file obligations. Generally, they should also be reviewed so that buys made through the system otherwise comply with all other station legal obligations that, once upon a time in the distant past when broadcasters used printed contracts, would have been expressed in the terms and conditions for sales, which were often printed on the back of the sales contracts (we have written about these issues before, here, in the context of the required FCC advertising non-discrimination certification, which also needs to be worked into the programmatic buying process). We’ve worked with some providers of programmatic systems to help design their systems so that stations that use them can assure that their inventory can be controlled during the election season and we have looked at agreements from providers for broadcast station clients. These are not simple deals that can be entered into without thought. Any broadcaster using any programmatic buying system needs to carefully review the system that they are using and determine if there are any potential political broadcasting issues – and to assure that the contracts with the providers give stations the rights that they need to assure compliance with political broadcasting rules (and other FCC obligations), especially during these last 92 days before the November election.

David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline.  Access information here. (Members only access).

There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your membership.

Taylor: Radio Creates Traffic

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

dicktaylorBy:  Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog
https://dicktaylorblog.com/

Radio is like the Rodney Dangerfield of media; it doesn’t get any respect. Ask any business owner what form of advertising is best and they will almost always respond “word of mouth.” Hard to argue that position. Well, radio is really word of mouth communication with a really big mouth.

Last week I wrote an article titled “Don’t Let Radio End Up Like Yahoo!” The whole point of the story was that radio has the power to make things happen; to create traffic, be it in-store or online.

Google Analytics & The Great Oz

TechCrunch published a great article on “How Google Analytics Ruined Marketing” that a good friend of mine sent to me. It’s a long, but excellent read. It left me thinking how Google is like the Wizard of Oz. The Great Oz wasn’t as great as the people in the Emerald City made him out to be. But the wizard was very good at distraction. While everyone was staring at the huge face and the smoke and flames that billowed from below it, Oz took everyone’s eye off of reality.

Google Analytics is like that. It created a whole new bunch of buckets to measure people’s online marketing effectiveness. Except it really doesn’t tell you what you really need to know and that is WHY things happened. If people began searching for your business or product on Google or clicked on your ad on Facebook, you haven’t a clue as to what caused them to do that.

Marketing Channels vs. Marketing Strategies

Radio is a marketing channel. TV is a marketing channel. Newspaper is a marketing channel. But in the digital world, those channels are called social media marketing and search marketing; only they really are not. Facebook, Google and all the rest are just another marketing channel. You need to develop a marketing strategy first and then deploy it on marketing channels.

What Google Analytics Misses

Google Analytics traps business owners and advertising agencies into thinking that it measures everything in their marketing strategy. It doesn’t. It only measures online activity. It completely misses how radio, TV or any of the mass media are having an impact.

It’s All About the Message

I’m a disciple of The Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams, who has long preached there really are no bad marketing channels, only bad messages. Roy prefers the power of radio and its ability to deliver word of mouth advertising with the longer lasting results of echoic retention. Roy uses the example of eye witnesses vs. ear witnesses. Police often find that everyone saw something different when they go around interviewing witnesses, but when it comes to what they heard, they all pretty much agree on that.

Consumer Behavior

Back when gas prices were high and the great recession was beginning, a story in New Times Magazine told of how America’s love affair with the automobile was over. Car sales were in the tank and the United States had to bailout General Motors.

If you were an auto dealer advertising on the radio, you probably were telling your account executive how their radio station wasn’t working.

Fast-forward to 2015 and auto/truck sales just recorded their best year ever in a single year.  Oh and it just so happens that gas prices plummeted and the great recession was mostly over.

If you were an auto dealer advertising on the radio, you probably were telling your account executive their rates were too high and you didn’t need to advertise as cars were flying off the lot.

We Buy With Our Emotions

People buy on emotion and then justify their purchase with logic. That’s never going to change. People buy stuff to make themselves feel good.

Google Analytics measures the activity in the action channel of marketing. It doesn’t measure what got people all emotionally fired up in the first place.

Google’s Getting Your Credit

When I started selling radio advertising, it was long before the internet and Google. Back then when we advertised something for a retailer on the radio, people would come in and say they read about the item in the newspaper.

History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes and so today the newspaper has been replaced by Google search. Now with the free Google Analytics tool, retailers and ad agencies can measure the power of their “digital marketing” and show you how their SEO worked magic. Except the reason anyone did the search in the first place was because they heard about it on the radio.

Radio & Rodney

Which brings me back to where I started, Radio & Rodney “don’t get no respect.”

The Question You Should Be Asking

Samuel Scott says in his TechCrunch article that the question you should be asking is this:

“How would you market yourself if the Internet didn’t exist?

Answer that, and it’ll help your online marketing too.”

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequenty at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Sales Sessions Preview – GLBC

GLBC Tuesday Sessions can help you generate $$$!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
10:00 – 11:00am

Back to the Basics: Part 1
Presented by Speed Marriott, P1 Learning

Speed Marriott
Speed Marriott

We have become practitioners of the apologetic approach to selling.  For example:

  • I’m sorry that…
  • I didn’t meet your C.P.P. Goals…
  • I didn’t fulfill your value-added request…
  • That my ratings are down…
  • That my rates are up…
  • I am sorry?

Often times we are forced to resort to this remorseful attitude because we are going into the sales process unarmed. This is not a session designed to break new ground. This program is dedicated to giving you the tools necessary to be brilliant at the basics.

In this session we will take on the monumental task of rediscovering the sales cycle:

    • Prospecting
    • Setting The Appointment
    • Writing & Conducting The Needs Analysis
    • Identifying The Assignment
    • Crafting & Delivering The Presentation/Ask For The Order/Answering Objections
    • Implementation/Service & Renewal

The sales cycle is a recipe with six (6) ingredients, and you will love the results! This session is designed for sellers and managers of all experience levels.

11:30am – 12:30pm
Back to the Basics: Part 2
Presented by Speed Marriott, P1 Learning

Register on-site for GLBC if you haven’t registered in advance!

2:30 – 3:30pm
2020 Vision: Part 1
Presented by Speed Marriott, P1 Learning

“We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it.” – Anonymous

We’re going to do a little time travel. We’re going to fast forward to the year 2020. Sounds like a long way away, but let’s face it, it’s only four years from today. We will challenge your sales team to think about the future needs of their customer and your management team to think about the future of the sales team that they will be managing.

We will begin our journey to the future with a brief trip to the past. The year is 2012, and our world is changing. We’ll use this trip to our recent past as a baseline for what to expect as we travel to the future.

Now that we’ve examined the past, it’s time to head into the future. Our destination is to fast-forward to the year 2020. Home of a U.S. Presidential election year and the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Four years from today.

As an industry we devote a substantial amount of time and effort attempting to project future sales, but little time thinking about the factors that impact that future. In 2020 Vision we invite you to take a forward look at the broadcast industry…

  • Our Markets
  • Our Customers
  • Our Products
  • Our Teams
  • Our Leaders

In addition, we will take an in-depth look at the various dynamics that will affect that future. Including:

  • Our Competitive Environment
  • Our Customer Evolution
  • Our Changing Workforce. Baby Boomers, Gen X, The Millennial, Gen Z & Introducing Generation Alpha
  • Our Great Unknown

It’s time to fire up the flux capacitor and get on the road for 2020 Vision. Remember, objects in the mirror are much closer then they may seem.

4:00 – 5:00pm
2020 Vision: Part 2
Presented by Speed Marriott, P1 Learning

Register on-site for GLBC if you haven’t registered in advance!