Monthly Archives: February 2010

Back to Basics Marketing

Back to Basics Marketing


          I just read a 242 page report entitled, The State of Social Media Marketing, compiled from surveying 5,140 marketing professionals. The survey was conducted to determine how these experts were using social media to launch campaigns and promotions, measure return on investment, and engage audiences.   

          The publisher promoting the report highlighted these three findings;         1.) Social media strategy is far more important than hurriedly    enacting a bunch of social media tactics.

          2.) There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all in social media tactics.

          3.) It is critical to map social media plans to a strategy that is          customized to your company and customers.


          What’s so darn different?! Marketing communications basics are obviously the same from media to media;

1.) Your strategy and message are key to your success.

2.) There is no message where ‘one-size-fits-all’.

3.) Your message has to be ‘customized’ to fit your customers and your company.

          With all of the jargon and hype around new media, it’s pretty easy for you, and even easier for your clients, to become intimidated and feel overwhelmed.


          Those of us who have honed and sold our skills as marketing communication experts rather than commoditizing spots as our ‘inventory’, have skills even more valuable to advertisers today than when there were fewer media and messages to deal with.   

          Your prospects can buy spots and space from more media choices now than ever before. The media sales people who will earn advertiser dollars in 2010 and beyond are those media sales people who have always understood the basic ‘findings’ of that 242 page report. The strategy and message must fit the customer and the company.

          P.S. A pet peeve of mine is media people who sell spots, thinking they can run the same ‘one-size-fits-all’ message in every format. If you are selling a cluster with dramatically different target audiences, is it realistic to run the same message on every station? Shouldn’t your car dealer promote a different car to your golden oldies audience than she promotes to your hip hop audience?

Commodity Trap

The Commodity Trap

                In his book, Beating the Commodity Trap, Tuck professor Richard A. D’Aveni warns that commoditization has never posed a greater threat to business than it does today.
            While many companies claim they are customer focused, they consistently fall victim to competitive pressures and buying tactics rather than deliver solutions to their customersproblems.
            A new rep at a station we work with recently showed us a competitor’s discount package and insisted he needed a similar package to sell.
            The station he had just joined has experienced a dramatic turn-around in sales recently by utilizing our customer centric approach to selling. But the new kid had not yet drank our Kool-aid.
            The successful reps at that station have learned what it means to be truly customer centric. Instead of asking, “How can I compete with our competitor’s packages?”, they ask questions like;

  • “What is it my customer really wants?” 

Hint: it’s not spots and rates.

  • “What solutions can I deliver to solve their most pressing problem?”
  • “What’s my ‘big customer focused idea?”

            There are many media reps that were sucked into the trap of thinking advertisers only cared about prices and commodities when the selling got tough.
            But now, more than ever, your clients need solutions to their problems and a reasonable return on their investment. There are many media and non-media vendors who are winning bigger orders today by helping their clients achieve their goals and solve their problems.
            Are you a solutions seller or a commodities broker? Commodities brokers seldom build lasting customer relationships because there is always a broker who will sell for less.
            The sad part is, advertisers who jump from broker to broker never achieve the consistency and strategy necessary to get a return on their investment. Many who bought that way when times got tough, have learned the hard way that a return on investment is much more important than the cheapest commodity. 
            If you tried the commodity broker route in reaction to your competitors, I have to play Dr. Phil and ask, “How’s that working for you?”
            Maybe it’s time to sharpen your skills as a customer focused marketing expert and break away from that downward spiral in 2010.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence


          A great deal has been written lately about the role of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) versus the traditional Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in effective leadership.

          The evidence strongly indicates that superior leaders share a common set of EQ characteristics, chief among them being high self-awareness and an exceptional ability to empathize.

          Long before I read the research on the role of Emotional Intelligence in effective leadership, I recognized the most successful leaders I work with embody those two characteristics.

          Managers who do not possess high self-awareness or the ability to empathize with their internal customers (staff) and external customers (advertisers) often reject the tools we offer for self-improvement.

          I think Bill Gates put it best when he said, “Welcome your unhappy customers. They can be your greatest source of learning.” 

          Self-aware, confident managers recognize there is always room to improve, and are confident enough to install mechanisms and processes to invite constructive criticism from their staff and clients.

          Empathy is defined as, ‘the capacity to participate in another’s feelings or thoughts’. Do you conduct surveys or post-campaign analysis to find out how to improve your performance from a customer’s point of view?

        Are your performance reviews and one-on-ones a one way street, identifying how your people can improve?  Or are you confident enough to engage a 360 degree process that unveils how YOU can do a better job as well?

          Do you invite your sales people to fill out a ‘Meeting Evaluation’ after every sales meeting to make your meetings more productive?

NOTE: you can download a copy of our 10-second meeting evaluation form from our website; and click on ‘for media’, then ‘free stuff’. 


P.S. It’s been said that, “A smart man makes a mistake and learns from it, but a wise man hires a smart man and avoids that mistake altogether.” (I’ve made lots of mistakes I can help you avoid J).

          Top performers from Wayne Gretsky to Bill Gates have worked with mentors, and coaches, to improve their performance.

          Click here if you’d like to discuss how ENS Media Inc. can improve your performance in 2010 and beyond. 

National Agencies

What’s So Different About
National Agencies?

           Why is it that we think customer-focused selling is only for our local accounts? Agencies care more about their customers than they do your station!
          After a while, all station rankers, ratings, market statistics and other data begins to look the same to overworked and weary agency buyers.
          Why not take information to agencies about their customers. Take photos of remotes you did for a charitable fundraiser in front of the agency’s client’s business, or photos of the local store manager with your morning man to demonstrate that you have a relationship with their client that they won’t want to jeopardize.
          Calling on an agency for government spending? Why not take a testimonial letter from the local politician outlining what you’ve done for them or the community?
          Testimonial letters from the agency’s client’s local manager or a brief competitive analysis showing how many competitors the client has in your market tell the agency that you recognize it’s all about them, not you!
          If you’ve done a local promotion for the agency’s client, ALWAYS deliver a full, written wrap-up report with photos demonstrating the promotion’s success.
          For the most part, a good agency buyer already knows about your ratings and data. Take them relevant information about your station or the local economy that they may not have seen, or information that makes them feel further informed about what their client is doing or should be doing in your market. 
          And like local customer-focused selling, ask more questions. Your call on a national agency should be more about them and their needs than it is about you and your rankers. 

P.S. Don’t forget to research or ask what other accounts the agency has that could be doing business with you.

Your Best Investment

Your Best Investment in 2010

          An investment in yourself, your tools and your career makes huge sense in the new economy. Why?

  • An investment in yourself stays with you forever, long after you have left your current position.

  • An investment in yourself gives you a competitive edge over your external and internal competitors.

  • You control the return on an investment in yourself.

Here is my top ten list of investments you can make in yourself to succeed in any economy.

1.) Training – The media world is changing, and like the old cliché says, “Whatever got you where you are today won’t be enough to get you where you want to be tomorrow.”
2) Finances – It is hard to think when your knees are knocking. Get your financial house in order no matter how much effort or sacrifice you have to make.
3.) Breath Mints – You are a brand and the way you package and present yourself is part of that brand. An investment in good grooming and apparel creates a powerful first impression for your personal brand.
4.) Thirty Dollar Consultants. Make a point of reading at least one business book a month to keep your industry knowledge ahead of the curve.
5.) Accoutrements – Everything you carry or use, from your pen to your car, speaks volumes about the way you feel about yourself and your career.
6.) Networking – Membership in strategically selected clubs, like Chamber of Commerce or Ad and Sales Club can be fun, educational, provide great contacts, and enhance your social life too.
7.) Health – Joining a fitness club or investing time in a daily workout will improve your physical and mental capacity.
8.) Spirituality – Whether you get your satisfaction from  family time, religion, charitable work,  or any other aspect of your life that makes you a contributing member of society, you need to invest in a balanced life to have a successful career.
9.) Online  Consider developing your own website, blog or newsletter to become known for what you know, or subscribe to services like our SoundADvice to do it for you.
10.) Vacations A vacation is an investment in your health and your career. You’ll come back refreshed, re-charged and with some brand new ‘out of the box thinking’ that will dramatically enhance your productivity.

          You are the biggest benefactor from an investment in you. Regardless where the economy goes, you will never regret investing in yourself.