By this point, you’ve likely read enough about COVID-19. With the pandemic continuing to impact all facets of daily life for close to two years now, it’s not a novel insight to suggest this has all been and continues to be “unprecedented.” That said, in our industry, it’s important to look at COVID-19 through the lens of future preparedness.
For television and radio stations, the process of pricing available ad inventory was thrown into complete disarray almost overnight. We all remember that first day of work when everything shut down. Between shutdowns and now long-lasting supply chain disruptions, sales leadership is unable to fully rely on historical data, market trends, or other tried-and-true metrics that help them price inventory optimally. Gone are the days when we could look at prior like-years and reasonably expect a similar outcome. From budgeting, to pricing, to inventory management, leadership teams are facing more uncertainty on a day-to-day basis. When that uncertainty first hit, stations who were partnered with ShareBuilders were better equipped to react, adjust, and maximize their inventory under the conditions.
Nationwide Industry Insights and Feedback
ShareBuilders clients don’t just have a software advantage, , they also have access to industry experts who can consult with them about their specific needs and challenges. The ShareBuilders team has clients all across the United States and brings that insight into every conversation. This not only gives ShareBuilders clients a level of intuition they would not otherwise have, but access to the most accurate and diverse dataset available. Instead of doing research on your own or keeping tabs on industry publications the best that you can, partner with ShareBuilders and gain access instantly to a full picture of pricing and performance across stations, markets, and states through weekly conversations with your personal consultant.
“Until someone perfects crystal ball technology, none of us can tell the future. We can throw as much data and trends and analytics at it as possible – and believe me, we do! -- but no one could have predicted what happened in March of 2020 and continues to affect us today. What we did with our customers when everything shut down in March is exactly what we do every day: commit to a regular cadence of checking in on the latest data, make changes in response to that information, and then do it all over again a week later. We stay nimble and respond quickly to whatever the world throws at us. Those regular touchpoints gave our customers confidence, a feeling that they had some control during an uncontrollable time.”
-Erin Koller, ShareBuilders Co-CEO
Confident Decision-Making Driven By Data
When COVID-19 hit, ShareBuilders clients were able to respond to the crisis with confidence. Instead of losing out on available dollars, ShareBuilders clients were able to make decisions and stand behind them, knowing that the data backed them up. When you can speak analytics, you’re better able to plot your next pricing move. You know when to make changes. You know when to stand pat. Markets in the Northeast were hit particularly hard and early by COVID-19. Here is what a DOS from one of our Northeastern stations had to say about being a ShareBuilders client during the pandemic:
“ShareBuilders has been my weekly Tuesday morning meeting for the last 11 years here. The ShareBuilders team has consistently helped my management team ensure we are optimizing our inventory and pricing in order to achieve our revenue goals. Our ShareBuilders Consultant kept us on track weekly during the initial 2020 pandemic year. We worked to address pricing fluctuations based on demand, rate card adjustments to keep our team pushing to increase revenues, projections for the months ahead, consistent trends, and maximizing up and coming opportunities. We knew weekly where we stood side by side within our company, the entire northeast region, and our affiliates across the country. The weekly check ins increased our confidence that we were on the right track and helped us adapt to adjustments quickly if we needed to make a change.”
Quicker Decisions, Quicker Corrective Action
Richer, more robust analytics allowed ShareBuilders clients to move more quickly in response to a change in conditions. That’s a distinct competitive advantage, in moments where the entire market is scrambling to adjust. With better metrics, you can feel confident in making decisions to adjust pricing sooner. That time saved could be the difference between maximizing the dollars your inventory will allow versus leaving money on the table.
BIA Advisory Services estimates that TV core revenue was down 23.1% in 2020 vs 2019. ShareBuilders’ analysis shows that all ShareBuilder stations were down 18.6%. This data suggests that the average ShareBuilder station faired better versus all stations on average by 4.5% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No one could have predicted the full scope of impact that COVID-19 would have on business when it first emerged in the United States. However, the lessons learned from responding to the pandemic can be applied to future unknown events. ShareBuilders helps stations maximize their inventory and price to reflect market conditions and take in as much revenue as possible, no matter the conditions. We never know what will happen next, but ShareBuilders can help you prepare.