Adopting an aggressive growth stance, Red FM as started beefing up its sales team to focus on important sectors. The FM player has divided its sales team into 3-4 verticals, which will focus on core categories such as telecom and FMCG. These teams will report to 2-3 heads, who will in turn report to B Surender, National Sales Head, Red FM.
Surender explained, “The idea is to tap into these categories and to service it better and to push national network of sales further. The idea is to put oneself in the shoes of the brand manager of the company and focus on the objectives and find out how to provide solutions.”
He noted that on radio, FMCG companies spent less than 5 per cent of what they spent on TV. According to him, “This is because the general perception is that television has a mass reach, but even radio is a reach medium, especially in the morning 8 am to 1 pm slot.” Talking about the category, he said that the FMCG sector requirement was very clear and they required innovative ideas – both in the on-ground and on-air spaces and that companies would surely spend more money on radio if they were given innovative ideas.
Talking about the dip in radio spends over the past year, Surender maintained, “Last year is not an indicator of spending trends. Now, the requirement is to understand a company’s business model better. This year, there is a definite change in the sentiments as compared to last year as last year was a recession background.”
Keeping this trend in mind, Red FM also plans to increase its ad rates. Surender explained, “We had rationalised our ad rates during the recession and now, we are just correcting it. The ad rates will see an approximate increase of 12-15 per cent.”
This apart, Red FM is also focussing on encouraging its clients to engage in activation. Although the station had been doing activities around it earlier, it is now professionalising this with a newly set up team as well. “We saw growth last year as there was growth in smaller and medium cities, and hence, the focus on these cities is increasing. We are much more optimistic about this year and we expect at least 10 per cent growth increase than the 25-30 per cent growth we had last year,” Surender affirmed.
Highlighting his priorities for 2010, Surender said that the main priority was to improve the quantity and quality of idea-based selling which radio needs to acquire a bigger share of the ad-pie. He added, “These ideas can be on air or on ground. Regular vanilla campaigns are required, but idea-based selling is required as well. The challenge for us is to tap categories that don’t advertise on radio.”