The pandemic created challenges for every industry. As a broadcast salesperson, you likely have lots of questions about proceeding during this time. To help guide you, we put together this COVID-19 FAQ guide.
Which industries should I be targeting?
Now that we’ve been in this for a while, the industries to target are changing. There are many industries still spending money during the pandemic. Many businesses have pivoted and shifted their business models to continue to serve their customers.
Additionally, reopenings are happening throughout the country. Another thing to keep in mind is that consumers are feeling more optimistic with vaccine rollouts, and there is pent-up demand for many goods and services.
Some industries to target and reconnect with include:
- Construction/home improvement: All that time at home has people wanting to upgrade and renovate.
- Healthcare services: People need information about vaccines, and pharmacies and healthcare organizations want to keep citizens informed.
- Education: Parents are looking for virtual learning support and alternatives.
- Financial services: Consumers are changing the way they bank and are also looking for investment guidance.
- Automotive: Car dealerships are still selling, and they also want to promote their service specials.
- Real estate: Many metro areas still have very hot markets, so real estate agents and mortgage brokers will be competing for these buyers.
- Retailers: Many retailers never closed. They also added curbside and delivery services, so they’ll want to keep communicating to customers about these conveniences.
- Restaurants: Diners are ready to go back to the table. Restaurants will be eager to welcome them in with promotions and specials.
Which advertising products should I be selling right now?
Display, video, over-the-top (OTT), search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing, mobile messaging/SMS and geofencing are all ad types that can benefit advertisers. They can work in tandem with broadcast spots. If a business can deliver products and services to consumers, they’ll want to let potential customers know about it.
An uptick in online media consumption offers opportunities. Some ideas include video ads displaying when people stream news reports or OTT ads that appear when they watch TV online. Those ads can grab their attention since they’re a captive audience.
Don’t forget about location-based advertising tactics like geofencing. Now, more than ever, advertisers know where people are spending most of their time. Regardless of lifestyle, many customers are in their homes. Local advertisers can target people strategically.
What kind of strategy should I be suggesting to clients?
Advertisers should choose one of two paths right now, based on how their business is operating. If they are fully operational, conversion-based campaigns make sense. If they are still on pause in some areas, brand awareness approaches are better.
Work with advertisers that can make sales right now to reach consumers in need of goods and services with digital and radio campaigns. Show consumers that the advertiser adapted to the current climate and can deliver products in new ways during this time of need.
Here are some suggestions:
- Display: Reach an audience with banner ads that relay the advertiser’s message to serve their current needs.
- Video: Show people with visual advertising that a business can deliver products today when people need them.
- Geofencing with past locations (also known as geocookie): Target neighborhoods where people live with location-based ads, reminding them that their favorite restaurant is available for dine-in, delivery or pickup.
- SEM: Use paid search to ensure the visibility of the advertiser to those searching for their products or services.
Use digital and broadcast advertising to build brand awareness campaigns. These ads will keep their brand top-of-mind to consumers.
Here are some suggestions:
- Display: Target an audience with banner ads that reinforce the advertiser’s brand, so those goods or services stick in consumers’ minds.
- Video: Captivate people by creating an immediate visual connection.
- OTT: Solidify the brand with commercials as subscriptions increase and people install more internet-connected devices.
- Geofencing with past locations (also known as geocookie): Reach people at home while reminding them of local businesses they frequented.
As a sales professional, should I be offering advertisers reduced rates?
Consider offering reduced rates when possible without impacting your margins. If you do this, consider asking for something in return.
For example, you could provide a discount in exchange for a long-term commitment to a campaign. There could also be opportunities to win new business. An example approach would be to say, “Right now, I can offer your usual advertising product, plus the opportunity to try an ad product you’ve never purchased before, bundled together at a reduced price.”
What is a good way to maintain contact with my clients during this time?
Ideally, you’ve been staying in touch with clients during the pandemic. Keep doing this, and don’t make it all about business. Be kind and thoughtful. Send them a coffee shop gift card with a friendly note. When you learn new things about ad metrics and interesting data, let them know, so they’ll feel optimistic.
What kind of messaging should be part of a campaign’s creative?
That depends on the type of campaign. For conversion-focused, it should be about the promotion or critical information like store hours, shopping options and steps the company is taking to be safe.
Use a tone in both broadcast and digital campaigns that reflect empathy and understanding while ensuring the ad contains a clear takeaway for consumers. That’s a good best practice, no matter the environment. Creating emotional connections is always good for companies and customers.
How are sales teams prospecting for new business?
The fundamentals of prospecting haven’t changed, but the approaches have changed somewhat. It’s a good idea to have regular meetings about prospecting with lessons learned.
Consider going after new clients in industries that are seeing a jump in consumer demand during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, finance, education, government services and consumer-packaged goods are at the top of the list in industries submitting advertising orders. Reach out to businesses in these industries, and explain how you can connect them with people actively searching for their in-demand products and services.
How should we handle sales objections during COVID-19?
Advise companies to take advantage of the number of people watching and listening to media, per the data points above. The digital ad tactics listed above in the suggestions for brand awareness and conversion-based campaigns apply here.
Don’t forget to pair these with broadcast advertising, reinforcing the advertiser’s message. Remember that just because people are not commuting to work doesn’t mean they aren’t listening to the radio. The data shows otherwise. Additionally, those listening at home may be more tuned in than when they’re driving.
You can also point out that consumers are more optimistic with employment rebounding and more venues reopening. People want to get back in the world, and they’re waiting to hear from your advertisers.
How do I discourage auto dealerships from canceling ad campaigns?
Car dealerships are seeing some healthier numbers in 2021. They also are still running their service centers, which is a good moneymaker for them. Talk to them about campaigns to emphasize service or new tires. They may also want to promote sales events that are part of their typical calendar (i.e., Memorial Day, July 4th, etc.).
Is it a good idea to shift geofences?
Many people are at home, and the public places where they spend time may also be different. In some cases, advertisers across many industries shifted their geofencing campaigns to target grocery and liquor stores. Also, outdoor areas are popular because they’re less of a risk and make social distancing easier.
Law offices, real estate agents, tax services and mental health clinics are a few examples of advertisers seeing deliverable impressions and click-through rates (CTRs) rise after tweaking campaigns to target grocery and liquor stores as foot traffic remains consistent in those areas.
Have More COVID-19 Questions?
We’re here to help. If you have additional questions for this COVID-19 FAQ guide, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.