This time a year there is a frenzy of activity with sales reps from every station trying to sell their one day sale packages. At first glance they always seem like a cheaper way to buy radio on your favorite stations, but I have concerns about too many of them.
Yes the rates seem cheaper, but beware. There are problems that will make these great deals not so great in the long run.
These packages are designed to sell a lot of inventory, much of it not so desireable in the first quarter when rates are cheaper and inventory is plentiful. Many escalate as they get closer to March when advertising activity increases.
Most advertisers want to run in the prime dayparts when people are in their cars. Morning and afternoon drive have always been the most effective, though not always the most efficient.
The one day sale packages force advertisers to buy equal rotations from 6am to 12 midnight over a seven day period. Few advertisers profit from airing spots in the 8 pm to 12 midnight daypart. Weekends work for some but not everyone. Averaging the cost of all the dayparts may look like a deal, but you are still paying for dayparts that you don't need.
Radio is a frequency medium. These packages usually air over a seven day period and offer very little frequency. One spot in morning drive for five days won't impact your audience, especially if a few of them air after 9 am when most people are already at the office or at 3 pm when they are still there.
Before you buy, think about your strategy. Be sure you are buying weeks that are effective for you and coinside with your media plan. Are these weeks you would plan to advertise anyway?
Make sure you have an effective reach and frequency. You may be much better negotiating a good rate for the prime dayparts over a few days, rather than over seven.
Radio can be a valuable tool in your marketing plan, but don't get swept up in the hype. Be sure you are buying a radio schedule that works for you.