AKRON-MTV, ESPN, CNBC, TNT, USA, BET. It's the alphabet soup millions of viewers have come to know as ``cable.'' And some of those letters might spell ``success'' for your dealership, according to a cable company representative who addressed dealers during the September meeting of the Northeast Ohio Regional Tire Dealers Association.
Cable advertising packages are an inexpensive method of reaching demographically and geographically targeted audiences, according to Robin Kent, an account executive with the Akron area's Warner Cable.
``Market statistics show 70 percent of tire buyers come from households that have cable television,'' she said.
And people who pay for their television programing also tend to buy more high ticket items. Owners of cable systems generally have a higher household income than those with only broadcast channels-cable households are 21 percent more likely to have an income of $75,000 or more.
In fact, their income levels closely follow those of people who read the newspaper, which has long been the advertising medium of choice for independent tire dealers.
Cable advertising packages allow dealers to place commercials in specific geographic areas on channels whose viewers fit a certain demographic profile, Ms. Kent said.
For instance, people who watch the Arts & Entertainment channel are 27 percent more likely to buy Michelins than the general public; Black Entertainment Television viewers are 13 percent more likely to buy Firestones than the general public; and viewers of MTV and ESPN are 11 percent more likely to buy Generals than the general public.
The reason is those channels attract viewers who have the same demographics as buyers of the particular brands, Ms. Kent said.
In a more general sense, viewers of The Nashville Network, ESPN and CNBC were more than 10 percent more likely to buy tires last year than the general public.
Ms. Kent suggested dealers look into their respective manufacturers' cooperative advertising programs for the possibility of using co-op funds for cable television advertisements.
The TIRE BUSINESS listing of Tire Makers' Co-op Plans shows nearly all manufacturers allow anywhere from 50 to 100 percent of co-op funds to go toward television advertising. (See page 26 of the April 3 issue for a more complete co-op listing.)