Marketing to Consumer Products Companies
A Special Article By BREAKTHROUGH marketing

About the Author:
Julie Lomax Brauff is President and CEO of BREAKTHROUGH marketing, the most results-oriented NTR consulting firm. If you would like more information about the 2000 NTR Conference or other products and services her company provides, please call 425-747-0647, or visit

Although many think packaged goods and grocery items are synonymous, they are not. A plethora of other products consumers use every day make up the bulk of available consumer product dollars. How can Radio market to consumer product manufacturers, and why should your station?

Reason #1 - There is an unlimited supply of prospects. Each year consumer product companies create line extensions and introduce new products. These products must be promoted to succeed. One thing Radio does best is to lend creativity to a numbers-oriented business.

Reason # 2 - There is an unlimited supply of funding available from consumer product companies for stations that know how to correctly ask for them. Today, account-specific campaigns, co-marketing programs, and integrated media are some of the creative components that tap these funds.

Who Should You be Calling?
Most direct consumer marketing and sales forces include the following:

  • Brand Manager
  • Divisional or Regional Manager
  • Regional Marketing Manager
  • Account or Key Account Manager
  • Sales Rep. or Territory Manager

Who Should You Target Within The Marketing and Sales Organization?

  • Highest local position available: The Regional or District Sales Manager.
  • The Brand Manager for national objectives and promotions.
  • Target the individual Account or Key Account Managers for specific retail and wholesale accounts.
  • The division’s local Marketing Manager may become the point person for you to work with on a local level.

Putting Together a Successful Marketing Campaign
There are four elements to consider when putting together a local marketing program and/or promotion for a consumer products company: The product or brand, the account(s), the consumer, and the sales force. If you fail to incorporate all four of these elements into your local program, the campaign may fail to meet the client’s needs and goals.

The Product/Brand
The main objective for the sales force is to increase and build sales of their product line. The use of local Radio programs is part of the headquarters’ brand-marketing objectives, not the sales force’s. The campaign must be able to convince the consumer to act or entice them to purchase the product.

Because the market is so cluttered, the offer must be strong enough and be heard with enough frequency to allow it to rise above all the other commotion so the consumer will act upon it. Incorporating the Internet is a key selling point.

The commercial should focus on the targeted products’ core attributes and point out the differences from the competition. It should be the focus of the spot and not be overshadowed by the promotion or creative offer. You may be able to receive 30-second national spots which can then be piggybacked with the local campaign or offered to the local accounts for compliance with the program.

The Account
The money that pays for a local program is often coming from an account-specific fund. This is a dilemma: Should the Account Manager book an ad with the account or use that money to support local marketing which could be used to leverage the ad plus a display?

The program needs to be tailored to fit the goals of the account(s) and drive consumers into their stores.

It also needs to be strong enough to generate incremental merchandising support which will help drive additional product purchases.

The Consumer
The promotion has to contain elements that will convince consumers to act. A sweepstakes is a good lure, but may not be enough to sell products; another hook is needed.

A redemption offer such as a free one-month pass to a fitness facility, cellular air time, software, Internet access, or something "free" that does have value in the minds of the consumer can be the key to getting the consumer to act.

The Sales Force
The program needs to be easy to sell to the trade and to store managers. It should be strong enough to drive incremental merchandising at the store level and at headquarters.

The sales representative has to be able to convince the store managers that they should set up a display in their store, because consumers will be coming in to purchase the particular product as a result of the local campaign.

Evaluating The Success of The Program
The success of the local Radio marketing campaign will be determined by the following:

  • Retail Sales
  • Incremental Merchandising
  • Consumer Redemption
  • Account Feedback
  • Sales Representatives Feedback

Stations that currently are not tapping into this existing revenue stream by marketing to consumer product companies are missing a HUGE sales opportunity. There are several other revenue opportunities in new business development such as interactive marketing, VSPs, event marketing, recruitment, etc., but comsumer product marketing is one platform that is often overlooked and one of the easiest to pursue.