Archive for the ‘Category Specific Tips’ Category

Banking on New Revenue in Financial Services for 2011

Friday, January 14th, 2011

by Amber Brown

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. – Bob Hope

This quote seems to sum up the last couple of years in the banking and financial services business.   Since the financial meltdown of 2008, financial institutions have been struggling to find the right post-crisis recover strategy in light of new government regulations.  The last couple of years have not seen big financial advertising, but remember financial institutions are not only in the business of keeping your money…but MAKING MONEY.  As consumers become more comfortable with the economy, financial institutions are looking to boost revenues.  This could be a good year for business development with financial institutions so keep your eyes on these trends in your market:

  • Say Goodbye to Free Checking – Most larger banks began making broad changes to fees in 2010. The struggle for most banks will be to get this right, while not upsetting consumers.  Many consumers may shop other types of financial institutions.  Credit Unions, Insurance Companies and traditional investment firms may prove to be new options for “over-fee’d” consumers.
  • Look for new product offerings - The last financial meltdown of the 80′s produced a dramatic overhaul in the mortgage business with a resulting new portfolio of mortgage product offerings.  Ironically, many of these products produced the last crisis.  Regardless, from adversity comes opportunity.  Look for a new wave of product offerings to capture consumer dollars.
  • Acquire right customers - Now more then ever, financial institutions are focused on finding those customers with which they can build a long term relationship.   For example, it does no good to acquire a customer with a $100 savings account loaded with a lucrative incentive if the consumer takes the incentive and never makes another deposit.  Many banks are using technology to evaluate product offerings to help grow business with existing customers that offer potential for opening the right types of accounts.  How can you help introduce your customers, listeners, viewers, readers, etc.?
  • Focus on customer experience - Many financial institutions have spent heavily on improving the consumer interaction with the bank as a retention tool.  This includes employing staff at the branch level that can sell a wide range of products and services, which are recommended during routine banking transactions.    Many financial institutions are investing in becoming the Financial Educator to consumers.
  • Focus on local appeal - Some of the biggest winners over the last couple of years have been smaller regional banks and credit unions.   This is an area where we’ve seen continued spending…even in the down economy.  Smaller players can focus on the specific dynamics of their market.  They often tend to be more visible at the grassroots level making them great partners with media.

Take the time to find the regional decision-makers for your market.  Common titles include Regional Vice President, State President, Consumer/Retail Banking VP.  Don’t overlook those decision-makers that focus on Small Businesses.

So while money may have been scarce the last few years, 2011 may be the year to invest your time in finding your share!

The Health Care Industry Needs You

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The Health Care Industry Needs You!

by Sue Novicki

Looking towards the New Year always makes me think about what I have accomplished and what I want to get done moving forward. I do this personally as well as professionally. For all of us moving into 2011, we look at what we want to accomplish and how we have set ourselves up to succeed.

Of course, our first quarter number should be in place at this point, whether in actual billing or in solid pitched business that reflects our closing ratios. For many of us, however, this is not the case.

So now is the time to get productive and make new calls!

While, personally, I think about better nutrition and fitness moving past the holidays, this is also a lead for business development. One category that can’t be overlooked is health care. I am sure you all realize that traditional open enrollment for a health care provider occurs in the latter part of the first quarter.  With this, there are two common threads with every health care provider that I have had needs analysis meetings with over the past year.

The first is retaining current customers or members and then gaining new members, in that order, and the second is educating their members to make sure that they are treating early warning signs of issues that, if left untreated, could become extremely costly for the provider.

We, as salespeople, have consistently been able to create successful programs and help our clients meet those needs. If you have not had conversations and pitched this type of program, now is the crucial time to get on the phone and understand what the decision-makers are trying to accomplish moving into open enrollment for 2011.

There are a lot of changes with health care since the national health care law was passed and this will continue as the law is refined and re-worked at both the federal and state levels.

With the new law, and the inevitable changes to it, will come additional products that the health care providers have available to sell. All of this will give you more reasons to talk to the marketing and even sales side of regional offices to help them create a message and the right mix of information to reach the consumer and current or potential new customers.

Get aggressive in making the calls – whatever category you are focusing on or have an interest in and have fun doing it. Get your first quarter numbers in and start of the year heading in the right direction.

The Automotive Category – There IS Developmental Money Out There!

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

by Julie Caldwell

I consider myself somewhat of an automotive evangelist!  I love the auto category because it thrills me to train our clients on how to uncover regional contacts and dollars that exist in this category.

As media salespeople, most of us have done business with car dealers at some point in our career.  We think we know everyone who matters when it comes to these coveted accounts, yet when I go into stations and ask “Who do we know at the manufacturer (OEM) level?”, I am always astounded that the answer is sometimes, “uhh, no one.”  Many of us have been managing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of automotive business and the only people we know are at the buyer or head-of-the-dealer-group level.

I’m here to shout, “There are Regional and District Sales and Marketing Managers in every market that oversee and call on your dealer for every brand!”  These contacts also interact with the dealer groups every month and help them plan how they (and the agency) are going to spend the group dollars.  My experience is that they find it refreshing to have conversations about how you can help them move cars in their region.

So what’s the best way to find these contacts and how do you start the conversations?

Use the Morrison and Abraham profiles – You will find Regional Sales and Marketing contacts as well as a list of key contacts for the media buying and creative agencies.  You will also find tons of relevant information on the product pipeline, what marketing they are currently involved in for most brands, the types of events they are sponsoring, etc.  Make sure you do your homework and KNOW the models that are getting released in 2011 and when!

DON’T be intimidated by the agency – The best way to start a conversation with a Regional contact is by acknowledging that you already do “traditional spot” business with them through their agency and you work closely with “Sally Doe” buyer.  And always keep the Regional contact in the loop of communication.

DO NOT call these guys about advertising – We don’t make these calls to see if we can “affect” a share that we just got killed on or to see if we can get them to change a buy in our favor.  Initially, you need to tell them the reason you are calling is to see if there are any “opportunistic” or “local activation” dollars they have for certain new models in your region where they are looking  for “on-premise” or “experiential” (their language) events to get their cars in front of people.  Manufacturers are hungry to sponsor events that make sense for certain brands where they can get people to look, touch, and sit in their cars.   And social media opportunities are becoming more intriguing to these brands.

Involve your upper management in these calls

Often times there is hesitancy to rock the boat with an NSM or an agency contact.  If your station takes certain auto business nationally, then talk to your GSM about allowing “event” or “local-activation” money to come to you locally.  An NSM can get involved and should know these contacts as well in case there is ever a way to “affect” share by these relationships.

Just this year we have had markets that closed business with Subaru, Ford, GM, and Volvo at a regional level.  So PLEASE hear me on this…there IS automotive money beyond traditional dealer-group dollars!  Make it your mission to find some in 2011!

Feed Your 2011 Business Development with a Menu of CPG Revenue!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

by Amber Brown

Twenty years ago, when I first started in media sales, I was fortunate enough to work with a woman who was often referred to as the “Vendor Guru”. What that meant was she generated lots of revenue direct with Consumer Packaged Goods companies that had reps in our area (in Oklahoma no less). I would listen and marvel as she seemed to speak a foreign language involving case sales, end caps, TRP’s….huh? (more…)

What are the Top Five Categories to Pursue in 2011?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
by Sue Novicki

Clients are always asking “What’s hot right now?” By the nature of business development, it’s not always what’s hot right now that will be the opportunity category for next year.  If only there was a big flashing sign that says, “Hey, this category is it for 2011, call now.” The recession has made previously lucrative categories almost disappear.   And while they may come back, economic signs point that it  may be awhile, if they ever return to previous levels.  Consumers are still cautious about their spending and categories are competing against each other for limited share of your wallet.  So, let’s take a look at where you should focus in 2011. (more…)