Page 10

the media radio annual digital

8 Radio Annual Battl e of the radio sales agencies Martin Slabbert-Capper finds out from some of the major players what challenges they face in a tough economy and their solutions for overcoming them. The year ahead for radio sales agencies seems, by all accounts, to be anything but boring. The challenges posed by the global economic downturn and a dire forecast for GDP growth brings with it exciting opportunities for agencies as they try to increase their share of the market and remain relevant in an ever changing industry. “One of the key challenges we face is that our clients are seeking better ROI due to weak economic conditions. They are looking for better results from tighter budgets,” says Cindy Diamond, Group Sales Director at Mediamark who represent the commercial stations East Coast Radio, Gagasi FM, Heart FM, Jacaranda FM, Kaya FM and Smile 90.4fm as well as various community stations. “Market share is the end-result of everything we do as we aggregate audience and provide platforms where our advertisers can drive customer engagement and sales,” adds Diamond. Considering the obstacles (and opportunities) that lie ahead, she believes her agency needs to reshape and improve their sales house strategies. “We need to be innovative, offer fresh thinking and exploit opportunities for collaboration as we propose solutions to clients. We need to access and absorb relevant data and fit for purpose technology to propose competitive solutions to clients. And, we need to have talented staff, and an aggressive remuneration structure.” A tough economy, Diamond explains, impacts advertising adversely, and the GDP growth forecasts indicate a tough two years ahead. At the same time, uncertainty unleashes opportunity and requires deeper improved collaboration between clients, agencies and media owners. “I will be keen to see how data and analytics are used by agencies to develop solutions, an increase in completion and greater collaboration between agencies, as well as transition toward digital across traditional and new media channels. The transition of advertising investment from bought media to a combination of bought-owned earned media has brought increased complexity to the advertising landscape,” says Diamond. With 25% of the national radio market share, community radio’s unique sense of the familiar and relevance puts it head and shoulders above the rest of the platforms in the areas where they operate. But, says The Media Connection’s Director Nkopane Maphiri, many advertising practitioners have limited or no reference points for a community station. “This trend is shifting though; we are seeing more practitioners Cindy Diamond take a keen interest in the medium, largely thanks to the work done by our agency over the past seventeen years to constantly educate and promote community radio in the agencies.” These efforts, he says, are yielding benefits. “Admittedly, a lot still needs to be done from our end to continue engagements with the industry to illuminate the value and the great impact the sector has in the market they serve,” he adds. In the year ahead, he believes an opportunity exists for the industry to have very frank discussions followed by concrete action to imagine and model an industry that will truly serve the interest of all players and “help to nudge us over the imaginary barriers we have created for ourselves”. See page 10 n


the media radio annual digital
To see the actual publication please follow the link above