Starting Over

Do you remember how you felt when you scored your first radio job? Your friends couldn’t believe you were in “show biz”. You were in the mass communications business, working with well-known personalities, getting back stage passes, creating ideas for clients, and learning something new every day. It was FUN and you got paid for it!
And what about the first broadcast order you filled out? Was it more exciting than the daily grind today?
I happened to be at a client’s station the other day when a listener came in to pick up a prize they had won. One of the station’s staff asked if the winner wanted a tour of the station.
I couldn’t believe the response. You would think they were just offered an all-expense paid tour of Europe! “Really?!” she said excitedly, “I’ve never been in a radio station before!”
At that moment I quietly admitted to myself that I had become so close to the forest that I wasn’t in awe of the trees anymore.
Maybe it’s time for all of us to revisit our careers with the same enthusiasm that I witnessed in that radio listener.
Sure you’ve got budget pressures (you used to call them “challenges”) and your clients are cutting back or demanding competitive proposals and rates. But there’s a lot of sizzle to selling radio that many of us have forgotten.
Are you using the emotional power of music or the compelling sound of the human voice in spec spots to put the excitement and sizzle into your presentations?
Have you offered the services of your personalities to M.C. events at your client’s club? Is your station aloof or do you offer your audience station tours like the station I was at?
Do you offer your clients opportunities to sponsor exciting on-air contests?
While you might think all of the buzz today is around new media, there’s a lot to be said for local people being able to call their favorite station and talk to a real live person.
Your music inspires them and your information, contests and humour still evoke conversations around the water cooler. Radio advertising is just as effective today as the day you started in the biz. For you to be as effective as the media you represent, you may have to mentally fire yourself, and start over with a whole new attitude. Enthusiasm is contagious, and adding new-found sizzle to the steak you sell can make you the winner in an over-crowded new media landscape.
P.S. While you’re having fun again, I’m betting you’ll also make more calls and more sales.

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Thanks to You

Many of the biggest business success stories have sprung from models more focused on adding value to peoples’ lives than on the dogged pursuit of profits.
Henry Ford’s mission, for example, was to create a car the masses could afford. Google’s mission was to make information universally accessible and useful, and of course the profits followed.
While profits are a great gauge of the value delivered by a company, I submit that the heart and soul and attitudes within any business must spring from a greater purpose than the almighty dollar.
This particular ENS on Sales blog was sparked by the co-incidental number of heart-felt thank you calls I’ve received recently.
One person who I hadn’t been in touch with for years called me out of the blue last week. He had simply called to thank me. He said that even though he’s not in our industry any longer, he is a leader in the food service industry; his success in that industry stems from what he learned from me in radio sales years ago.
Shortly after that call, I was gratified to hear a regional radio and TV manager tell me “you were the one who taught me to sell 52-week campaigns, a skill which still serves my company well today.”
After several of these calls back to back, I thought about the indebtedness I have to these successful sellers.
I estimate that only 20% of sales people really aspire to our message and principles. But, it is that 20% that is responsible for 80% of the success at their respective companies, and it is that 20% that makes what we do at ENS Media so rewarding.
So thanks for the memories and thanks to that 20% for “getting it.” Seeing you succeed makes everything we do worthwhile!

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How to be King

You’ve often heard people like me, or the Wizard of Ads Roy Williams, and even some of the Internet gurus say “copy is king” or “content is king”.
 But copy can’t be king without royal input! I’ve often counselled advertisers that “There is no such thing as a media which does not work; there are only messages which do not work.”
Working with creative and production people is much like working with a computer…..garbage in = garbage out.
If most radio account executives would devote a fraction of the time they spend in pursuit of an order to completing a proper Creative Brief, your team would be happier, your clients would get better results, and your attrition rate would drop dramatically.
Alternately, I’ve seen where alleged copy information is scribbled on the back of a napkin, or the only information provided is a clipping of a newspaper ad; or ‘see client’s website’.  In case you haven’t heard, in the media mix, radio and TV perform totally different, yet compatible roles, from that of websites. Broadcast should inspire, while Internet informs.
So here is your Creative Brief challenge. Pick a number of previously-completed Creative Briefs or copy information sheets your team has given to your writers in the past. Pick one per account executive.
Then pass them around in a sales meeting so that each account executive has a Creative Brief from one of the other account executives.
Now ask each of them to write an award-winning sales-producing spot from the information they have.
Be prepared for them to look like a deer caught in the headlights!
Content can be king only with royal input.
P.S. You are welcome to use the Creative Brief on our website at http://www.wensmedia.com/files/6313/6995/0229/Creative_Brief.pdf

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Go Native on Radio

“Native advertising”, advertising that doesn’t look like advertising, is all the rage with the online folks in their attempt to capture the attention of consumers in an increasingly fragmented and cluttered world.
Native advertising is the integration of marketing content in any media in such a way that it is not distinctly different from the rest of the media’s content in terms of format, style or placement.
Native advertising is not new and was proven to be effective long before the arrival of the internet. Newspapers and magazines, for example, called it “advertorials”, and attempted to make the format, feel, design and content of a paid ad fit the editorial style and content of the publication.
Radio has a long list of under-utilized native marketing opportunities, and it’s time we stood up and told the world so….and charged for it accordingly.
When a marketer samples her product or service via giveaways in radio contests, for example, that’s native advertising. The announcer generally elaborates on the merits of the product being given away on-air as part of the station’s content or format.
In many instances the product is included in numerous station promos and live on-air contests that dovetail naturally with what the station’s audience tuned in for – fun, contests and entertainment – rather than interrupting the station’s programming.
When a station is giving away Coke instead of Pepsi for example, the listener’s perception is that Coke is the preferred beverage of their favorite station. That’s the equivalent to a “like” in the online world.
Even simple on-air sponsorships, where the advertiser takes credit for presenting valued station content like weather or traffic, is native advertising. It does not interrupt the content; the advertiser presents the content seamlessly as a service to the audience.
When an announcer ad-libs or in some cases delivers a clever live read, that too can be native content in the minds of radio listeners.
Of course, when we air slick produced spots, with music that does not fit our format, that’s NOT native advertising.
It’s time for radio to show advertisers how to go native on radio, and charge a premium for it because it does fit the format and the listener experience.
So come on guys and gals, let’s jump on the native advertising band wagon and show our clients the value of going native on radio!

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Radio ROI: Don’t wait until it’s too late!

 We seem to be asked more and more about radio’s ROI (Return on Investment) these days. By the time an advertiser conducts a “survey” to determine if customers were motivated by radio, they are already beginning to question our results and turning that doubt into confidence is no easy task.
Very often that doubt is ignited by online analytics where advertisers can see in color how many clicks, opens, likes and followers they have generated. When they measure clicks and likes instead of sales and profits, they’ve begun the slippery slope towards trying to validate harder to measure media like radio.
Our Radio R.O.I. workshop arms radio sales people with several proven tools to answer the “how do I measure my results?” question. It’s effective, generates sales, and reduces attrition rates.
But just as important as learning how to answer the ROI question is preventing the ROI question.
You’ve heard that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” but what are you doing to build confidence in radio advertising and to prevent doubt from creeping in?
Here are a few ounces of prevention you can initiate:

  • Be aggressive in your pursuit of local testimonials; written, audio recording, and videos.
  • Use testimonials in blogs, on air, in presentations, on your website and emails.
  • Get agreement up front on how you will be measured, and make sure that measure is realistic.
  • If they’re measuring sales, make sure their staff knows about the campaign and is on board to sell to the target audience.
  • If they’re measuring web views, make sure your creative drives people to their website.
  • Conduct regular post campaign analysis with your client to monitor what’s working and what’s not and how they feel about the campaign? Then make your adjustments accordingly.
  • Email regular educational blogs like our SoundADvice to reinforce radio’s strategic role in their marketing success.
  • Make certain the schedule has the reach and frequency necessary to achieve the client’s goals.
  • Notify your friends, family and peers about the campaign and if they shop at that business, encourage them to mention they heard about it on the radio.
  • Take credit for all you do, documenting the work you’ve done from the creative brief to the schedule, and anything else that you do for the client.
  • When you have a valid business reason, be front and center, face to face with the client as often as is humanly possible.
  • Don’t think of an order as closing the sale, think of it as beginning to work your butt off for the client.
  • Most importantly, copy is king. There is no such thing as a media that does not work; there are only messages that don’t work.

Although an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, there will be instances where a cure is required for clients who question radio’s results. Click here to learn more about facilitating our Radio ROI Workshop in your market or at your annual conference to train your account executives how to cure the most difficult ROI problems.

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