PRE-CALL RESEARCH Doing Your Homework PRE-CALL RESEARCH PRECALL RESEARCH IS THE BASIS FOR YOUR SALES APPROACH: – It provides the facts that make you better informed of the market from the advertiser’s point of view. – It enables you to share significant facts and trends with customers and prospects, and in turn gathering meaningful information to help your sales efforts. PRE-CALL RESEARCH WHY RESEARCH? – The specific objective of pre-call research is to position yourself as a valuable and reliable source of information — someone your advertisers can turn to when they need marketing and advertising facts and information. – For local merchants, this research must be translated into retail-oriented benefits that relate to problem- solving and profit-improvement strategies. PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – First, define the market. – Your market should be subdivided into two or more of the following market definitions: • Total survey area (TSA) • Area of dominant influence (ADI) • Designated market area (DMA) • Metropolitan statistical area • Metropolitan survey area • Retail trading area • City trading zone PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – Second, gather the information. – Sources: • State, county and local chambers of commerce • Banks and savings and loans • Newspapers; public/business libraries • Merchant associations • Business/trade organizations • The Internet • Publications from the Census Bureau and U.S. Commerce Dept. • Advertising, marketing and media research organizations PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – Third, develop a list of points that would be of interest to the retailer. – Trends and comparisons in the following: • Population • Households • Consumer spendable income • Total retail sales • Retail sales per household • Annual sales by major store types • Passenger car registrations • Farm data (where applicable) PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – Your area’s economic base – past, present and projected future: • Employment (major employers) • Employment trends • Median work-force age • Military personnel in the area • Working hours and shift changes for major companies • Payroll days • New industry • Zoning changes and investment in rundown areas • Pending new construction that will enhance the area PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – Area analysis: • Major shopping areas; • Transportation • Days and hours of week when traffic is heaviest • General/night-time store hours • National/local holidays • Local sports franchises and other activities PRE-CALL RESEARCH STEPS TO RESEARCHING AND PROFILING YOUR MARKET – Fourth, put it all together: • Develop a format for the research so that it serves as a crucial part of your presentation. • Consider a publishable format. Don’t underestimate the value of publishing a market profile done exclusively by your station. PRE-CALL RESEARCH RESEARCHING COMPETITIVE MEDIA – A study of competitive media and how consumers use them should be an integral part of your research package. PRE-CALL RESEARCH RESEARCHING COMPETITIVE MEDIA – Many retailers are confused when it comes to choosing the best medium or mix of media. Your research should make this choice easier for them. – Competitive media research must be cloaked under the general retailer question, “What’s in this for me and how does it apply to my business?” PRE-CALL RESEARCH RESEARCHING COMPETITIVE MEDIA – Studies exist proving that each medium is better for reaching certain groups. – You must understand the strengths and weaknesses of all media, including TV, and realize how they interact with each other in a mixed media campaign. PRE-CALL RESEARCH RESEARCHING COMPETITIVE MEDIA – Each station should prepare a competitive media analysis at least once a year, including newspaper, radio, TV, cable TV, outdoor and any applicable magazines. – This analysis should include audience, demographics, advertising rates and the benefits each medium delivers. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: NEWSPAPERS – Circulation, not readership, is the basis for newspapers’ advertising pitch. – Newspaper readership is consistent throughout the year. Circulation even during the holidays is about the same as in any other month. – Newspaper reading tends to be a ritual that takes place the same time each day in the same manner -- e.g., skipping about the paper reading favorite sections and/or features. – Newspaper advertising functions like a product catalogue, informing people about price, availability and specifications. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: NEWSPAPERS – Not everyone who gets the newspaper reads it, or reads it all the way through. A large percentage of newspaper readers completely miss even the largest ads. Circulation figures don’t tell the retailer the number of people who read or even just note the ad. – When people read a paper, they choose what to note, read and remember, and what to ignore. Newspaper ads aren’t intrusive — that is, they don’t demand the attention of the audience, as broadcast commercials do. – Newspapers do an excellent job of reaching established customers, but a retailer’s mission is the reach new customers. Newspapers lack the intrusiveness needed to reach these otherwise disinterested consumers. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: NEWSPAPERS – Broadcast now surpasses newspapers in keeping a good part of a market’s populace informed on a daily basis, including the basic function of disseminating the news. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: MAGAZINES – As competitors, magazines are not much of a factor except with independent stores and large chains with more than $5 million in sales. Magazine distribution tends to be too wide for stores with only a few outlets. – Usually, the magazines that do compete with electronic media are targeted at local audiences — e.g., city magazines in metropolitan areas, tourist and theater magazines, college and high school publications, magazines for members of local organizations or church groups. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: MAGAZINES – Magazines are continually emerging to serve special audiences. New ones appear whenever a new fad or hobby takes hold. – Magazine reading is of a casual nature and occurs at no set time. People browse and look at whatever catches their interest. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: RADIO – Radio listening often accompanies other activities in both work and leisure. – Advertising on radio can easily involve people and can be ―visual‖ in stirring the imagination. – Price and location for purchases are important points of information. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: DIRECT ADVERTISING – Direct advertising and broadcasting can be a very effective mix for retailers. A broadcast schedule can call attention to important tie-in mailings (―Watch for the circular coming to you by mail‖). – The continual rise in postal rates can turn retailers’ attention to increasing their electronic media budget. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPETITIVE MEDIA: OUTDOOR ADVERTISING – Outdoor advertising is a unique form of direct advertising, in that the audience is actually delivered to it, rather than the other way around. – It’s most often used by local and national advertisers to reinforce other media messages. – Transit advertising is one form of outdoor advertising. It’s placed on the inside and outside of almost every type of public transportation, and in stations. PRE-CALL RESEARCH COMPARING COMPETITIVE MEDIA WITH TELEVISION – TV viewing takes place by individual choice based on what the person has decided to watch. The viewer anticipates being absorbed or is viewing to relax, and is in a highly receptive mood. – People feel they can get everything they need from TV in terms of what they want in media. – TV advertising arouses interest in the product and informs by demonstrating not only the product’s specific values but also the effect the use will have on the user in terms of pleasure or satisfaction. People relate strongly to the person delivering the commercial. PRE-CALL RESEARCH SUMMING IT UP – Pre-call research is the foundation of all good sales presentations. – Include all of the information about your local area — economic, demographic and industry. – Conduct a competitive media analysis of your area as well, including the advantages and disadvantages of all of the local media.