BRADENTON, Fla. — Did you ever try to wash a lion? Don’t. He does not like it. But trying to wash him makes for a great sales promotion if your advertisers are a local animal farm and a shopping center. Just don’t do it at the farm. Transport the beast to the mall (in a cage, of course!) Then be sure one of your program hosts is there with a mop, a brush and a bucket of water.
Creative sales promotions are tools that all sales persons should have in their arsenal. They can induce new ad schedules, lengthen regular ones and make for long-term, good customer relations. And they can aid in listener growth as well.
Of course the ticket giveaway to tonight’s game to the sixth caller or the broadcast remote from the dealer’s showroom floor are okay, but any station or show can do that. And the benefit to the sponsor is adequate at best. They are done all the time. Just the extra mentions and maybe an interview with the assistant used car manager will give the dealership a bit of additional visibility. They don’t do much for the station. It’s almost assured that the interview is an audience killer and the ticket winner is one of your regular listeners.
The key to a winning sales promotion is creativity that takes you outside into the wider world. If you can’t come up with one yourself, call a meeting to bat ideas around. In addition to members of the sales staff be sure to include program personnel as well.
The simplest but regularly effective sales promotion is the contest or giveaway that offers entry blanks in a display located at the check-out counters of multi-located advertisers.
A special source for sales promotions, however, can come from partnerships with charitable organizations which consistently are seeking ways to get financial contributions by sponsoring events such as foot races and bicycle races and swim meets. These groups always are in need of press and publicity and come steadily to you with their public service announcements. But wouldn’t it be better if a couple of hundred bikers were riding through town wearing t-shirts with the charity’s logo on the front and yours and the advertiser’s on the back? By their very nature events such as these even garner press, TV and online coverage that benefit the station, the charity and the advertiser.
Naturally, cost is a factor. Then it becomes a management decision as to printing entry blanks or ordering custom t-shirts. The question becomes, “Is it worth it?” In most cases the answer is a definite “Yes!” So, look around to see what’s going on in your market where you can tie in one or more of your advertisers.
As to the lion, the program host sprinkled a little water on him from outside the cage. The lion roared a lot. But the shopping center was jammed with people, local TV sent a crew, and there was a picture in the following morning’s newspaper. Oh, yes, we got the renewal.
Al Herskovitz is president of H&H Communications and a TALKERS marketing consultant. He can be emailed at: email@example.com.