Our affinity with public media began personally as viewers, listeners and donors to our hometown stations. For over 18 years we’ve increased our contributions, building the largest team in the country that specializes in corporate sponsorship sales. The passion is still personal, and carried by more than 130 people ingrained in each of the communities where we live and work.
Attract the best people who together create the standard of excellence for corporate support in public media
Link public media clients and corporate supporters in a mutually beneficial partnership that enables each to fulfill its mission
- A passion for public media
- Protecting the noncommercial nature of public media
- Commitment to the success of all stakeholders
- Building a dynamic team environment
- Open and candid communication
- Uncompromising honesty and integrity
- Mutual trust, dignity and respect
- Professional development encouraging curiosity, innovation, and creativity
- A healthy work-life balance
- A positive “fish flingin’ fun” attitude
We understand that public media’s noncommercial nature intertwines in its unique value to audiences as well as sponsors. As the media landscape evolves, the spirit of the public mission steers our approach, as it has and always will.
Insight from PRI’s Public Radio Underwriting Partnership (PRUP) founds our philosophy and led to the formation of Market Enginuity.
Backed by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 1997, the PRUP acted to discover best practices of commercial broadcasters that could apply to public radio corporate support, without compromising the noncommercial environment.
Jim Taszarek, Sr., a veteran commercial broadcaster, spearheaded the project. From 1997 to ’99 ‘Taz’ met with scores of personnel at 10 selected stations. After intense study, he shared recommendations projected to increase local corporate contributions. The results were so successful that a CPB official noted it was “some of the best money CPB ever spent.”
In 1999, KJZZ/K-BACH General Manager Carl Matthusen sought corporate underwriting increases and hired Jim Taszarek, Jr. to provide corporate sponsorship representation in the local marketplace. The relationship and results inspired other public radio stations to follow suit. Partnering with Kirk Nelson, a successful commercial radio sales manager, Market Enginuity formed. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, the company remains privately owned, and now represents local and national sponsorship for a mix of public media stations and podcast producers across the United States.
“Throughout our nine-year relationship, we’ve been impressed with Market Enginuity’s ability to attain higher revenue targets, benchmark their performance over a wide variety of indices, attract and retain high-performing sales people, and anticipate challenges and opportunities. Market Enginuity is a fantastic partner that shares our mission to respect and to serve our audiences.”
Along with Market Enginuity sales professionals, our team of industry-leading management, marketing, talent development, systems and digital strategy specialists define and institute a standard of excellence in corporate support. We facilitate and extend key learning across sales teams at our public media clients countrywide.
Partner, Executive Vice President
Chief People Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director, Creative Services
Director of Digital Sales and Strategy
People Operations Manager
Talent Acquisition Manager
Financial Systems Specialist
Payroll and HRIS Specialist
CRM and Media Traffic Systems Specialist
Creative Services Coordinator
“Market Enginuity upped our game with corporate sponsors. Revenue is up dramatically through extensive training and an understanding of the market. Our team continually performs at a high level and demonstrates a deep awareness of public media values. Not a day has gone by when I have regretted our relationship with Market Enginuity. I only wish we had signed on earlier.”
Performance Management System
Generating corporate sponsorship revenue can’t happen effectively without skilled corporate support representatives or a command of the media inventory. The “engine” in “Enginuity” nods to the systematic way we capitalize on these levers. Applying our Performance Management System, we connect reports and information in unique ways, assembling a holistic approach to maximize revenue potential.
“Our Market Enginuity staff is well-trained, highly motivated and results-oriented.
On top of that, they are great, fun people!”
Accountability defines how we work. So, we publish our performance here every quarter.
TOTAL NET REVENUE
In the January through March quarter, average station revenue was flat compared to prior year with the highest performing station achieving 15% growth. This slowdown in growth was driven by a particularly challenging January. Performance in the April through June quarter looks stronger with growth returning in April and good pacing for May and June.
These performance benchmarks only include stations that we have represented for more than one year so that the numbers aren’t artificially high because of strong growth in markets that we just began representing. We also take out any station that has added a new signal or sold a signal that had a significant impact on revenue.
Overcoming Obstacles to Growth
Market Enginuity began representing KCRW in January 2011 and implemented changes that led to 7.8% growth in the first 12 months: hiring a new manager, recruiting three corporate sponsorship representatives, and enacting our Performance Management System. Corporate sponsorship revenue has grown each subsequent year in spite of market broadcast revenue declines, significant competition from another NPR station, and sharp declines in national revenue. Calendar 2015 annual revenue was $3.0 million above when we began representation.
Fundamental Focus Steers Growth
Market Enginuity began representing WUWM in Milwaukee in July 2013. Needing to rebuild the corporate sponsorship department, we focused on recruitment, sales operations and strong strategies to take to market. Recruiting was a challenge, and it took us until January 2014 to get the right team in place with hires of a manager and three corporate sponsorship representatives. While recruiting, we implemented our Performance Management System, upgraded the station’s traffic system, restructured sales operations, crafted sales initiatives, and created new marketing materials. The corporate sponsorship team hit the ground running, with category, major account and proposal initiatives resulting in 6% growth in Q3 and 54% growth in Q4. Directing consistent focus on impactful sales initiatives, including a rollout of digital products, achieved 36% growth over a two-year period from initial representation.
Longstanding Track Record of Revenue Growth
When their sole representative left in the fall of 2002, KUT selected Market Enginuity to represent local sponsorship sales. Revenue was $900,000 in 2002, and grew 5.6% in FY 2003 while we hired two new corporate sponsorship representatives and a manager, installed needed systems and processes, and provided key training. FY 2004 saw 47% growth, followed by over 50% increase in FY 2005. Steady growth continued over the years. In FY 2013, KUT split its dual format into two stations: KUT, dedicated to news and information, and KUTX, devoted to AAA music. Leveraging the established KUT music brand, we more than doubled our first-year KUTX target budget of $216,000, finishing over $500,000. In FY 2015, KUT and KUTX achieved $4.7 million in total corporate sponsorship revenue. KUT continues to be one of the highest performing public radio corporate sponsorship departments in the country, with conversion ratios in the 90th percentile.