Shopping for new clients in Michigan

Jun 10, 2002  •  Post A Comment

LIN-owned NBC affiliate WOOD-TV has made its mark in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich., market by coming up with an entire ad campaign for a local supermarket that brought more than $1 million to television in the market.
The station used research to show the longer D&W Grocery stayed away from TV, the more market share it lost. The campaign also helped about 100 of the store’s vendors because they were part of commercials the station produced for the grocery store. The spots featured the vendors’ items on sale, and the grocery store would buy extra cases of goods from vendors to handle the increase in foot traffic.
“It’s been a very busy year,” said WOOD General Manager Diane Kniowski. “First quarter was not, but second quarter has really picked up, and we’re pacing way ahead for third.”
The market is pacing ahead in double digits, and it will get busier as the governor’s race heats up. Ms. Kniowski said hard goods retail is up. More people are buying big-ticket items such as cars, dishwashers and trips.
Paul Miles, owner of Paul Miles Advertising, works with stations to buy spot “ad blitzes” for his clients. For example, one client puts on large consumer expos such as boat and home shows. The client will buy a large TV schedule on a station and in exchange get added value with promotional spots. The station also gets listed as a sponsor of the expo.
In March, Freedom Communications-owned CBS affiliate WWMT-TV organized a weekend retail marketing sales seminar in Toronto for its local businesses. “So much of our business is transactional,” said Jim Wagner, WWMT general sales manager. “What we need to do is forge local-direct client relationships-people who own and operate their businesses right in our marketplace. We’re looking to forge long-term relationships.”
According to BIA Financial Network, TV revenues for Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek were about $90.6 million in 2001 and are expected to be about $95.1 million in 2002. Top ad categories are auto, financial, entertainment and telecommunications.