Allow -me to introduce myself. I’m ShareBuilders’ newest pricing consultant, but before that, I was a broadcast sales manager with over 30 years in the business. I’ve done almost everything you can do on the sales side, from research to local/national sales to local/national sales management. From broadcast to cable and back to broadcast. I used to think I was pretty good at what I did (and I think I was), but there were certain things that used to keep me up at night as a manager. Questions like: how can I create a well-thought-out budget and market for the following year? How do I know if our share is suffering or doing ok within the quarter? Is my forecast in the ballpark? Do we have enough inventory to get to goal, and what can I do to maximize share without sacrificing rate integrity so I can hit my budget and share?
I don’t intend on getting into all the juicy details of those questions. But if I am asked, what is the one feature that you got the most out of with ShareBuilders, what would that be?
The answer is this; digging into our forecast, inventory, and pacing on our weekly call with a consultant. What I loved about it was that it was a living, breathing, all-encompassing weekly interactive report with so much detail. Each week, I would leave the meeting with a clearer picture of where I stood with my billing, pace, forecast, inventory, and pricing strategy. I also got the opportunity to compare our stats versus the station group and the rest of the region and country. It kept me focused on my goals and each week was a reinforcement. It made me more confident in how I was attacking the quarter. Bottom line, it gave me all the ammo I needed to make intelligent decisions and took me away from relying on my “gut”.
If you’re a gambler, you know that relying on gut instinct doesn’t always pay off. The same goes for broadcast sales!
When you break it down, ShareBuilders is the ultimate yield management tool for our industry, and using it for accurate pricing takes out the guesswork from setting your own rates. As a station manager you must ask yourself, “is the revenue potential possible the way the rates/inventory are structured?” Well, that’s one less thing for you to analyze when using ShareBuilders. And once you know you’re structured properly and the ship is sailing in the right direction, it gives you the confidence to move forward and capture the shares you set as goals within the quarter. You can do so without hijacking your inventory, and without using rates that are going to take away your ability to reach budget.
Another advantage of partnering with ShareBuilders comes in political cycles. As you know, since donor contributions were eliminated several years ago, the money pouring into political windows grows just about every year. How can one control inventory, especially during a political window when candidates are entitled to LUR’s (lowest unit rates in a particular program)? ShareBuilders can help you in setting LUR’s, which eliminates the grind of combing through inventory and manually finding the LUR. Instead, all you need to do is ask traffic to preempt any spot under the ShareBuilder rate card, greatly saving your managers’ time
I am only scratching the surface on how ShareBuilders can be used to a station’s advantage, but I will spare giving you a long reading assignment today! Stay tuned for more confessions throughout the year.