Digital ad sales are now a critical part of radio revenue. As we learned in the most recent benchmarking survey from the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau), the segment could reach $2 billion for the broadcasting world. On this episode of Beyond Impressions, Marketron senior vice president of sales Todd Kalman spoke with industry expert Taja Graham about growing revenue and engagement with digital. Graham is the market president for Indiana at Emmis Communications.

Graham acknowledged that linear growth opportunities are stalling. “The traditional side of radio is in decline. To increase it, we don’t want to add inventory, so the only way to grow it is by increasing the rate. That doesn’t always pan out due to market demand.”

The answer to keeping ad sales in the black is digital. Graham said, “Digital is the way to growth.” She also noted that it’s more than just revenue boosts. Digital improves engagement as well by targeting audiences and creating more “stickiness” and relevance for advertisers.

Graham shared that attrition is common, but when customers buy linear and digital, they stay. “When you can upsell with multiple platforms and consistent messaging, advertisers get better results.”

So, who should be selling digital in the radio ad ecosystem? Should all salespeople be involved? Do you need specialists? Graham explained that they do have in-house specialists and a digital sales manager. She recommends this, if possible, so you have people focused on the digital commitment.

It can be a challenge to find digital acumen in the industry, so Graham recommended expanding horizons. “Look outside and beyond traditional means of looking for salespeople.”

In closing, Graham and Kalman discussed how powerful linear and digital are together. Her team has had success with integrated campaigns. Hear more from Graham on growing revenue and engagement in digital by watching the episode.


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