About 25 advertisers across 10 markets in the Dakotas jumped on a Midcontinent Communications “Limited Time Offer” frequency package. The multiple system cable operator generated about $65,000 in revenue during the two-week promotion.
“The largest volume of sales originated out of Sioux Falls [S.D.]” said Josh Houk, director of advertising services for Midcontinent, a partnership of Midcontinent Media and Comcast Corp. that serves more than 200 communities in North and South Dakota, Northern Nebraska and Minnesota. “Approximately 30 percent were first-time advertisers, [including] an insurance company and an investment firm.”
The promotion cam about after clients requested low-cost spots with high frequency. So Midcontinent let advertisers choose on which networks they’d like to advertise, as long as they purchased a minimum of $1,000. The spots aired twice a month during July and August-the “soft season” for the MSO. ESPN, Discovery, Fox News, USA and all the Turner networks received the most buys.
“Low cost is important, but we don’t buy just because it’s cheap. It also has to fit the client’s target audience,” said Sharon Knoll, director of media services for MediaOne Advertising in Sioux Falls, whose client the South Dakota Lottery bought a sports package. With the deal came inventory from football, basketball and NASCAR.
Some 25 sales reps had 15 days to present the “not to be repeated in 2003” promotion to their targeted customers. The salespeople received higher commissions for clients that were brand-new business or new to the system, Mr. Houk said.
Building from this promotion, Midcontinent will unveil an “Annual Partnership Package” in November that will debut in February, with an annual commitment price range from $6,000 to $36,000.
Midcontinent is at about 80 percent market penetration for the Dakotas.