Selling the sizzle. Part 3 of The Edge
“Obviously we want to try and get across the fact that we are a fairly trendy station, a fairly cool station,” says General Sales Manager for The Edge, Will McMichael. “We basically try and sell it as a brand that our clients need to be associated with.”
And there’s plenty who want to be associated with it, despite the fact that there are no numbers that say where The Edge stands in relation to its main competitors, Nova 969 and 2Day-FM.
Any business who’s looking to reach an 18 – 34 tech savvy female skew listener is a prime target for Will. For example, online fashion retailer The Iconic sees The Edge as a perfect fit.
And it’s not just businesses in Sydney’s western suburbs (Nielsen region 4 & 5) which is the only part of Sydney that The Edge is licensed to serve. Since this audience is mobile and looking for a good time, there are plenty of destination venues in the CBD, like clubs, that advertise on The Edge as well.
So far I’ve asked the Program Director, Charlie Fox and the breakfast team Mike E and Emma whether they would prefer if the station were able to participate in the Sydney survey. Till now, result has been a draw. With Emma for it, Mike E against it and Charlie undecided. It’s up to Sales to break the deadlock.
Will says, “It would be very advantageous.”
His boss, Brian Blacklock, who has wandered into the room says, “The Edge is the elephant in the room. Everybody knows it’s there, but nobody wants to acknowledge it. It would make a lot more sense (to be surveyed).
“Every time “Other FM” comes out (in the survey), it’s a massive number. I think it was like number three or four FM last time, so let’s acknowledge which part’s us and let 2NBS and all the other guys know where they stand as well. You may as well. Of course they’re not subscribers, I understand that, but what’s the point in only measuring 90% of the available audience?” says Mr Blacklock.
Although both men agree that, “It would be fantastic to have survey results,” they are resigned to the fact, “We don’t have them and not likely to have them in the future.”
However, it is not as if Will has no evidence of success to sell. “Our website traffic is the strongest in ARN. And the facebook traffic, the facebook likes that we had up until about 6 months ago, was stronger than a lot of the other stations in Sydney.
In fact The Edge led in facebook likes until recently.
Will’s strategy then is to choose his targets carefully as those who already have some connection to the station and are aware of it’s influence, “Generally speaking if they haven’t heard of our station, it’s someone outside of our core demographic, and 95% their staff have heard of our station, they know what we stand for and that’s generally why they’ve called us to come and speak to them.”
That said, the strongest argument that Will has in retaining business is results. According to Will, some of the results that clients get from advertising on The Edge are “outstanding.”
Before taking on the job at The Edge, Will (left) was one of the sales managers at 104.7 FM in Canberra, a joint venture station with ARN and SCA. But in an earlier life, for a time, Will was a professional baseball player. “I played overseas with the minor leagues in Atlanta. I made shadow squad for the Olympics but unfortunately they chose experience over youth.”
In comparing his experience in Canberra, Will says, “The cume in Canberra, I think the highest we ever had was about 130,000.”
The Edge is estimated to cume around 250,000, just in the Western Suburbs of Sydney.
“But the rates in Canberra for an average BMAD commercial would be double the cost in Canberra as to what they are on The Edge. So it’s a lot more expensive in Canberra as opposed to here where you’re going to be attracting probably double the audience,” says Will.
Mr Blacklock chimes in, “That’s the thing, it’s incredible value for money but in this market place at the moment everybody’s discounted. And that’s the hard thing, everyone’s bringing their rates right down.”