In last week’s BIA Kelsey Local Media Watch blog, they suggested, “It’s good to think of small markets as unique, rather than as reflections of the national advertising market.”
The article drew the conclusion that different media combinations work differently in every market. And while that may be true, I believe it missed one important variable when trying to rationalize the differences in advertisers’ media use from one market to another.
I suspect the difference has as much to do with the effectiveness of media sales forces in each market, as it does with the effectiveness of the various media in those markets.
The article failed to recognize the role of sales forces in telling their media’s story and capturing market share.
Here is a sample of the local market ad revenue differences they discussed:
Media Market A Share Market B Share Share Difference
Online 12.76% 19.60% 6.84%
Radio 11.43% 7.50% 3.93%
Print 9.96% 12.46% 2.44%
Direct Mail 0.47% 7.10% 6.63%
You can see that Radio captured 52.4% more share of ad dollars in Market A versus Market B, that’s huge! You’ll also note that the more successful radio market appears to do so at the expense of Online, Print and Direct mail in that market.
I haven’t named the markets, but I’m somewhat familiar with both and I suspect the radio sales forces in Market A are much more effective at selling radio’s strategic role in the new media landscape versus Market B. Radio sales execs in Market B obviously fight for station share of tight radio budgets thinking the other radio stations are their competitors rather than understanding how to sell a more dominant role for radio in a media mix.