Author:  Erik Hellum, Chief Operating Officer, Local Media, Townsquare Media

Data is everywhere. We are immersed in a society where everything is tracked – from steps taken and calories burned to social media post likes.  We’re becoming trained to always wonder – what are the stats behind this?  How do they stack up?  So why would our advertisers want anything different?

Data is becoming table stakes for how we do business at Townsquare Media and is evolving more every day. Threading data through our sales process has allowed us to be more prescriptive with our advertisers and our recommendations to them, drive results in ways we never have before, and prove to advertisers something we wholeheartedly believe – that radio works.

Our go-to-market approach is simple – data embedded in every part of the sales process. 

It starts before we even make initial contact with an advertiser. Our internal data-focused initiative, called Datasqrd, takes data from traditional media research sources along with first-party data from our websites, apps, CRM system, and ticket purchaser databases all merged together with third-party information to provide curated research that maps categories and brands to our audiences.   We know what our audiences look like, and what will resonate with them.  Also in the pre-sale stage is an evaluation of each potential customer’s digital presence – or lack thereof – by our Townsquare Interactive team (the client must have a fully optimized website and mobile site for the campaign to succeed). This allows us to prospect and pitch with conviction. More than ever before, advertisers know why they should spend their advertising dollars with Townsquare and how our suite of radio stations, digital products & services, and live event sponsorships will serve their needs.

Data then becomes part of the sale.  It helps us determine what broadcast and online radio stations the advertiser should buy, the digital properties and content they should be attached to, and the audiences we should serve their ads to.  Our Ignite product allows us to sell custom targeting and curated audiences and digitally serve ads to each advertiser’s ideal consumer.  We use precise metrics to ensure we’re optimizing all of our campaigns and effectively delivering what we promised.

Attribution data is also a key element of our sales process. We unleashed the power of Townsquare Analytics (powered by AnalyticOwl) and our sellers are now able to overcome the objection that has always plagued our industry – “We can't track radio, so we won't spend money on radio advertising.”  We use Townsquare Analytics attribution data to link the ad spots on air to web traffic and search data.  Using this information, we can prove the effectiveness of different creative types, spot lengths and radio as a medium.

We also provide extensive digital attribution for any ads running on our owned and operated websites, any extension campaigns we are facilitating, web metrics for any websites we create and design, and performance of social campaigns.  Full transparency is something we pride ourselves in.

Most importantly, we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The ways we are currently leveraging data to empower our sales team works.  It has allowed us to attract new customers, retain current customers and grow long-time customers.  But we are just getting started and need to stay ahead of what’s next in research, analytics and attribution as data becomes the currency for doing business in radio.