The goal of business development is to bring value to advertisers by understanding their business, identifying opportunities and putting together local customized solutions that will produce greater sales results. That’s why TVB has made it a priority.
Business development isn’t for the faint of heart. It has long sales cycles, no guarantees of ROI, and high research and personnel costs. However, when it’s done right, the advertiser relationships can bloom into robust client pipelines. Business development groups can be the magic formula for growth within any media organization.
This is TVB President Steve Lanzano’s vision for TVB: to change from an internal focus — supplying research and intelligence to TVB members — to an external one, focused on advertisers and agencies. This new focus benefits our broadcast members on all sales fronts: national, regional and local. In a little over a year, our business development program has been met with tremendous success.
So how does it work? Business development is part science and part art. It starts with picking the right prospects (this is the science). Our strategy at TVB is to focus on the no-share and low-share accounts to local television. These are usually the tough categories and accounts that few have the time or patience to develop. In many cases, they are national cable and broadcast network advertisers; some of the biggest spenders in our business.
Other “scientific” approaches include:
- Media analytics that demystify antiquated beliefs that Network TV is more efficient than local.
- Presenting wide local audience delivery advantages versus other competitive media.
- Defining advertising effectiveness across all media and applying that knowledge to media plan.
So where is the art? The art is in analyzing an advertiser’s business to find areas of opportunity. This can be done in several ways:
- Identifying company and competitive strengths and weaknesses.
- Understanding category nuances and unique brand difference.
- Discovering where tomorrow’s new customers might come from.
In addition to influencing national ad dollars, TVB is developing local business using these same approaches. Our In-Market Roadshow initiative teams TVB with our member stations at market-level events. There, the value of stations’ on-air, online and on-the-go advertising opportunities are showcased to low-share and no-share local advertisers.
The message is: “All advertising media can work, but they work in different ways. The challenge is in demonstrating to advertisers how to allocate their advertising dollars effectively.” When compared with other local media, the power of broadcast TV to influence, persuade, excite and sell is indisputable … and the power of station sales executives, armed with that message, is undeniable.
Ultimately, the goal of business development is to bring value to advertisers by understanding their business, identifying opportunities and putting together local customized solutions that will produce greater sales results.
For the business development specialist, no job should be too big or too small. Opportunity will come in many sizes … and with the right combination of science and art, will come reward.
Scott Roskowski is SVP, business development and marketing for TVB. All about sales and advertising, Sales Office appears once a month in TVNewsCheck through the cooperation of the TVB, which solicits the columns from its staff and members. To see all the columns in the series, click here.