Although Absolute Radio is a national station, it has a mere 3.3 per cent share of the commercial radio market, and is still a relatively new brand to some advertisers. The sales team has therefore set itself the goal of differentiating itself by coming up with tailored, creative ideas that meet client briefs, and delivering exceptional service.
To ensure it keeps clients happy, it even conducts its own Advertiser Happiness Survey - in which 86 per cent of customers said the service they'd received was either "very good" or "best in the business".
In a market where non-spot advertising normally represents around 20 per cent of revenues, almost 45 per cent of Absolute's revenue now comes from branded content and digital innovation.
A prime example of this was in the station's deal with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, in which it got the team to reunite for the World Cup and create a series of podcasts, sponsored by Sony Ericsson. The podcast was downloaded more than three million times and the news that Baddiel and Skinner had reunited won much coverage in the industry and consumer press.
Another example of innovation came in Absolute's campaign for Wadworth Breweries. The sales team persuaded the brand owner to invest its entire media budget in Absolute's inaugural Pub Quiz World Championships.
Over a period of seven weeks, Absolute hosted a pub quiz and invited pub teams from across the UK to compete live on-air. Wadworth sales increased 12 per cent as a result.
20th Century Fox also turned to Absolute for help in promoting the DVD launch of its hit film Avatar.
Inspired by the film's premise of characters inhabiting other creatures' bodies, Absolute's editorial teams were harnessed for the campaign, which saw producers swap shows and control other DJs across the Breakfast and Hometime shows.
No wonder 20th Century Fox declared that Absolute had taken it "further than anything it'd done on radio".
Thanks to innovative campaigns, sponsorship revenues at Absolute were already ahead of 2009's in only the fourth month of this year.
Contributing to Absolute's submission, Stuart Sullivan-Martin, the chief strategy officer at MEC, said of the team: "They're dynamic and genuine collaborators. They contribute great ideas, are open to finding new ways to tackle old problems and, on a day-to-day level, nothing's too much trouble."