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Pending Business: Demand vs Frequency

| June 14, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The old saying on Madison Avenue was, “If you can’t sell it, sing it!”

Think about all those jingles you can sing from memory. How many really have a lyric line about a value component for a product or service? Truth is those wonderful jingle composers and singers really do have impact. Part of the secret sauce is repetition and no medium is better at repetition than radio. So why do today’s sellers fall short when it comes to pitching one of radio’s fundamental strengths? It’s Covid’s fault!

My most recent radio project showed 2020 double-digit sales declines at most stations. Current sales momentum should show a solid uptrend compared to last year at this time.

As you engage advertisers during this sales tailwind, what happens when rates and rotations are not even close to 2020 or Q1 of 2021? Does the sales banter go straight to demand? It happened to me. Your internal high five is your advertiser flashing red light for high rates! Oops, you moved right to the easy part — demand is up so rates are up.

Your advertiser should be compassionate, understanding that you made it through to the other side of the pandemic. Are your advertisers really saluting your demand curve? No.

Your local advertisers are facing a slower recovery, as former employees may not be returning.

Demand is often discussed in your meetings, and there’s nothing wrong with a little internal enthusiasm as you see more advertisers on boarding. But demand is never a stand-alone advertiser benefit. Why turn your success into a local advertiser’s price hurdle as you do your verbal end zone dance?

Simple tips from recent real world experience:

  1. Success attracts success – Share the confidence of other local advertisers as they return to your stations and develop campaigns using radio’s strengths. If your local advertiser has special, timely messaging, use one of radio’s STRENGTHS- frequency to get the story in front of your audience.
  2. Keep the value high profile – Always integrate a basic value proposition. Demand is not a value proposition.
  3. Create a positive dialogue – The temptation to lead with demand is always easier. Focus on the positive impact in your community of business coming back.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy.  Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

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Category: Sales