Want to solve with a Marketing Math problem?

by MarieJane 14 replies
Hi,

I've just taken on my very first web2.0 consulting job, and the woman I'm working with has asked me to review an advertising offer she got from a local radio station.

The offer is they will run an on air contest to sell her concert tickets (its a music festival thing in NM), and put her links/ads on their website to hers.

They want to charge $1000 flat fee.

Her tickets sell for $35 each.

So, my questions are:

How well (or rather, poorly) do you think concert tickets will convert from a mostly untargeted source like that?

and

Given the probable crappy conversions, How much traffic/many listeners would the station need have to make thier offer worthwhile?

I'd love to hear a couple opinions/reasons - (so I sound smart )

Thanks so much!
Marie
#main internet marketing discussion forum #marketing #math #problem #solve
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      On the face of it that sounds like a poor deal. Offer to pay them a set amount per ticket sold - if they really believe in their numbers they could end up with a lot more than the $1000, but at least your friend will be protected.

      Although I have to admit that very few media owners are geared up to think about the cost to the advertiser in the way that we do.

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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Hi Marie

      To give a proper answer, we'd need more info. For instance:

      What is the capacity of the venue?

      What percentage of the ticket price is going to your client?

      What is the listenership and demographic of the radio station?

      How long is the campaign going to be on air?

      How many spots per day? And in which programs?

      Will it be endorsed by the presenters or the station itself?

      What was the response rate(s) to any similar campaigns undertaken by the station?

      Your client will have an idea of how many tickets she'd need to sell to justify the cost. She must make sure there's a mechanism in place to identify what sales are coming as a direct result of the campaign - perhaps a discount code or similar system.

      If your client is a regular concert promoter, it might be worth her negotiating with the station to give them a percentage of ticket sales instead of their flat fee; especially if there was the chance of ongoing business. Airtime costings tend to be quite flexible.

      Good luck.



      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Hi Marie,

    I have to go with Frank on this one. Advertising on air can be good, if:

    1. They are working in the same market.

    2. They have a track record of success with this type of promotion.

    3. They are airing the promo in the right time slot.

    It's a given that people will 'hear' something related to what they are listening to and follow up, but you have to know the market and success of the station to make an informed decision.

    Working like a JV, if possible, would be the way to go. Doesn't hurt to ask.

    Thanks,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    I'd like to know what you told this client in order to let her think that you were qualified to answer this question when you so obviously are not.

    If you can't produce a reasonable answer to such a relatively simple question, maybe you should re-think the services that you are offering.

    If you are going to be asking advice from other people, maybe you should consider learning how to provide enough information for some general advice to be given.

    Frank has already raised some points but it would also help to know the type of concert, the number of performances and the time period, the quality of the performers, the type of location (a concert hall might get better results than an open field for some concerts while the opposite is true of others).

    It might also be useful to know what your client usually does to successfully promote a concert and why she is considering the radio option now. (Could this, for example, be the first concert she has ever promoted?)

    Final point to mention is that if your client gets $5 for every ticket she sells, the radio promotion has to produce 200 additional ticket sales just to pay for itself. As Frank said, to confirm that the sales are additional there will have to be some way to track them - if that way costs money (a discount) then the number of additional sales needs to be recalculated.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

        or even that she implied she might know anything about this?! :confused:
        She's trying to answer the question for her client, and wants good answers so she can "sound smart".

        That implies she wants to represent herself as being able to answer the question - which she can't.

        I don't have a problem with things like this, myself, but it does reside in a grey area. Consultants are supposed to be experts in their fields, but they are not supposed to be experts in every related field - and where they are not experts, they should say "I'm sorry, that's not my area" or something similar. (The hard one is saying "I'm sorry, that's a different service I offer at a higher rate" - clients have a hard time understanding that one.)

        If she can't answer the question, she should say she can't answer the question. If it's not in her field, that's to be expected; if it is, perhaps it shouldn't be. I know it's hard to resist the urge to please the customer, though, so I don't consider it any sort of moral or ethical problem if she tries to answer it however she can.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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          • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

            I'd like to know what you told this client in order to let her think that you were qualified to answer this question when you so obviously are not.

            If you can't produce a reasonable answer to such a relatively simple question, maybe you should re-think the services that you are offering.

            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            She's trying to answer the question for her client, and wants good answers so she can "sound smart".

            That implies she wants to represent herself as being able to answer the question - which she can't.
            Oh sigh. And sheesh!

            You don't have enough information to make those accusations.

            I have worked as a consultant on and off for over 15 years (Chemical Engineer - y'know, a consultant with insurance who has to follow legislated principles for practice). When a good client (good client = client who pays) asks a question outside my expertise, the correct answer is nearly ALWAYS "I don't know, but I will look into that for you."

            How do you know this isn't what happened in this case? How do you assume she is trying to "look smart"??

            When a client asks me "what kind of base is needed for this pump?" that is a Civil engineering question (not Chemical - I spec'd the pump), but I give them a rough idea of what to expect and then point out that it will have to be designed by a Civil engineer, which they always accept. There is nothing underhanded in that practice - it is how consulting is DONE. Happy client, engineers all working within their expertise, billable hours charged.

            By the way, regardless of expertise, no expert just "fell from heaven" - they all had to learn. And they all have to keep learning.

            Anyway - to the original poster - you don't provide enough information to answer the question (see above posts). Also, some radio stations, particularly in smaller markets, will do "per sale" deals, rather than set rates. There are directories available listing thousands of radio stations that do "per sale" deals, but in this case the easiest approach is just to ask the radio station.

            Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    I've just taken on my very first web2.0 consulting job, and the woman I'm working with has asked me to review an advertising offer she got from a local radio station.

    This is not 'my client asked my opinion' - this tells me that the client considers that this person is competent to 'review' somebody else's business proposition. This also tells me that the client has been given the impression that this person is qualified to carry out such a review.

    I don't think I was harsh but then, I live in the real world where real people make real decisions and represent themselves correctly.

    If the terminology used by the OP has caused me to form a wrong impression of what she is saying then that just underlines my comment.
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    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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    • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      I've just taken on my very first web2.0 consulting job, and the woman I'm working with has asked me to review an advertising offer she got from a local radio station.

      This is not 'my client asked my opinion' - this tells me that the client considers that this person is competent to 'review' somebody else's business proposition. This also tells me that the client has been given the impression that this person is qualified to carry out such a review.

      I don't think I was harsh but then, I live in the real world where real people make real decisions and represent themselves correctly.

      If the terminology used by the OP has caused me to form a wrong impression of what she is saying then that just underlines my comment.
      le sigh. Or is it la sigh?

      Perhaps I am too quick to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I have been in similar situations about a million times now. Consider the conversation:

      MarieJane: Hi! I'm your Web2.0 consultant! I will create a promotional campaign using Squidoo and Hubpages and Twitter and Youtube and...and Blogowogo and Wetpaint and...[20 minutes of "New Internet" talk ensues] to promote your concert!

      Client: Cool! I want my concert to be a success, and I look forward to using the magics of the interwebs to drive millions of people to show up in a field in New Mexico...by the way, I just got this quote from a Radio Station - should we do this too? After all, you know all about promotions and stuff, right?

      MarieJane: Uhhh...
      ====

      Now, considering that MJ ran to a forum to ask questions, I doubt that she responded with anything concrete or "expert-like." If she was a polished consultant/superstar/tragic math geek like me, she would have learned the magic phrase I suggested earlier - "I don't know but I will look into it for you."

      That is all her post communicated to me. Client asked for a review of something related to promotion. Consultant is scrambling for resources.

      The REAL lesson here should be to consultants - spend a little time every day building up a set of resource people in related specialties that you can go to when this comes up (and it ALWAYS comes up eventually). I have a killer rolodex and database of related information for petrochemical and metallurgical design, maintenance and operation, so I have people, articles, books etc. to consult when my clients inevitably ask the questions outside my expertise. Then I can advise them on directions to take, who else to hire, what else to consider etc.

      In a big universe, nearly everything is outside of our expertise (no matter how much expertise we might possess). And people ALWAYS want to know other stuff, and generally don't understand the boundaries of expertise. Again - people ask me non-Chemical Engineering questions constantly. Even other Chemical Engineers!

      Just my perspective.

      Regards, Georgetta
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Smith
    Ok, in my opinion, here's what you do.

    Assuming it's a concert with some real pull, and a demographic match (eg. what the radio usually listen to) you might be able to work some PR into this equation. Does the radio station do live music? Could you get the band (or some bands if its a multi card) to come in? The band will probably agree, and the radio just might.


    If not, make sure that the radio station does a build up to when the tickets are released and when they will also go on sale, telling people a web address they need to go to to enter. The terms of the competition are as follows: you get one entry for every web 2.0 friend you tell, using the high end tell-a-friend scripts that log into Facebook etc. for you. So if you tell 100 friends, that's 100 chances to win.

    Those 100 friends are all taken to a page where they can buy tickets, or enter *themselves* by doing viral spreading.

    Plus you follow up with autoresponders on every entry (not viral action, just the emails you collect).



    Then you go back to your client, and you say "ok... I've found a way to make this offer twenty times as appealing. We don't usually do old media, so how effective the radio is, I can't honestly tell you: I *can* honestly tell you I've got a plan to MULTIPLY that impact..."

    Success or neigh, the client loves you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Originally Posted by MarieJane View Post

    The offer is they will run an on air contest to sell her concert tickets (its a music festival thing in NM), and put her links/ads on their website to hers.
    I've worked in radio for over 20 years, part of that time in sales management, I can tell you this is not a good offer from the station; its the old school method of pulling cash from dreamers.

    If the station thought it would be a winner, they would by offer a sponsorship for a percentage of sales.

    The station knows that the $1000 is more valuable to them, than doing a standard sponsorship.

    Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    le sigh. Or is it la sigh?

    Perhaps I am too quick to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I have been in similar situations about a million times now. Consider the conversation:

    MarieJane: Hi! I'm your Web2.0 consultant! I will create a promotional campaign using Squidoo and Hubpages and Twitter and Youtube and...and Blogowogo and Wetpaint and...[20 minutes of "New Internet" talk ensues] to promote your concert!

    Client: Cool! I want my concert to be a success, and I look forward to using the magics of the interwebs to drive millions of people to show up in a field in New Mexico...by the way, I just got this quote from a Radio Station - should we do this too? After all, you know all about promotions and stuff, right?

    MarieJane: Uhhh...
    ====

    Now, considering that MJ ran to a forum to ask questions, I doubt that she responded with anything concrete or "expert-like." If she was a polished consultant/superstar/tragic math geek like me, she would have learned the magic phrase I suggested earlier - "I don't know but I will look into it for you."

    That is all her post communicated to me. Client asked for a review of something related to promotion. Consultant is scrambling for resources.

    The REAL lesson here should be to consultants - spend a little time every day building up a set of resource people in related specialties that you can go to when this comes up (and it ALWAYS comes up eventually). I have a killer rolodex and database of related information for petrochemical and metallurgical design, maintenance and operation, so I have people, articles, books etc. to consult when my clients inevitably ask the questions outside my expertise. Then I can advise them on directions to take, who else to hire, what else to consider etc.

    In a big universe, nearly everything is outside of our expertise (no matter how much expertise we might possess). And people ALWAYS want to know other stuff, and generally don't understand the boundaries of expertise. Again - people ask me non-Chemical Engineering questions constantly. Even other Chemical Engineers!

    Just my perspective.

    Regards, Georgetta


    Thanks Georgetta,

    You have just brought into very clear focus one of the mistakes I am making here in the WF.

    You see, I actually believe that people write what they mean to say. It never occured to me that I should introduce a doubt in order to be able to give benefit for it.

    Faced with a very simple composition written in basic English I tend to use my own basic English skills to interpret the Composition.

    But that is all wrong, isn't it? I should really contact you first to ensure that there aren't some factors that can be extrapolated from what is not said in order to confuse and obfuscate was was said. Stupid of me not to realise that.
    Signature

    You might not like what I say - but I believe it.
    Build it, make money, then build some more
    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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