Monthly Archives: February 2012

Your 24/7 Brand


Your 24/7 Brand
          In his book ‘Brand Like a Rock Star’, my friend Steve Jones writes about the marketing lessons he has learned observing successful rock stars.  Steve says lesson number one from Jimmy Buffet is, “Make sure everything you do reflects what your fans expect from you.  Everything Jimmy does is perfectly in tune with his laid back Key West beach bum image”.
          In Buffet’s song, Miss You So Badly from his Changes in Latitudes album Jimmy explained the 24/7 nature of a brand when he sang;
We’re stayin’ at a Holiday Inn full of surgeons,
I guess they meet there once a year.
They exchange physician’s stories,
And get drunk on Tuborg beer.
Then they’re off to see a stripper,
With their eyes glued to her ‘G’
But I don’t think that I would ever let them cut on me!”
          Jimmy’s point?  The Physicians’ after-hours persona tainted their brand and his confidence in them to perform surgery on him.
          Is your brand as a marketing professional consistent 24/7?
          If a prospect should happen to bump into you after hours, would your appearance and behaviour be consistent with someone they could trust with their marketing budget?
          Are the proposals you present customer-focused and up to the standards of a marketing professional ?  Or do you default to media kits, station ‘packages’ and generic templates like everyone else?
P.S. You can order Steve’s Brand Like a Rock Star book on Amazon.  You can also contact me,
[email protected]  if you or anyone you know is looking for a guest speaker.  I promise Steve’s Brand Like a Rock Star presentation will entertain and inform your audience.

Creating Low-Hanging Fruit


Creating Low-Hanging Fruit
          Our new VP of Marketing Communications, Craig Rosart, wisely points out how farmers created more ‘low hanging fruit’.
          Farmers have long known how cost-effective and efficient it is to pick the easy, low-hanging fruit. Broadcast account executives have also been very adept at harvesting the low hanging fruit; traditional retail advertising categories like car dealerships and furniture stores have been the mainstay of many senior account lists.
          But farmers also recognized that the hard-to-reach fruit at the top of their trees was often more bountiful and sweeter and going to waste.
          The farmer’s solution? Grow shorter ‘dwarf variety’ trees.
          The smartest radio and TV account executives have also recognized the value of hard-to-reach, non-traditional advertisers in the services and professionals categories. Some of the advantages of capturing these categories include;
1.)   They are accustomed to making annual advertising commitments in directories like yellow pages, and to making those commitments focused on results, not rates.
2.)   While traditional retail categories have come under extreme margin pressures from big-box stores, online shopping, and daily deal sites, non-traditional advertisers in the lucrative services and professionals sectors, still maintain enviable margins and have no big box or online competition.
3.)   Share of voice equals share of market.   When a new advertiser doesn’t have to out-shout any competitors on the air, their share of voice and their results, are amazing.
          Many of the previously hard-to-reach advertisers were content with their yellow directories advertising. But with the demise of Yellow Pages caused by online search engines and diminishing results, they are now low-hanging fruit; on shorter trees, easier to reach and willing to listen to new ways to increase sales.
          Although the old printed directories are going the way of the dinosaur, their sales people are desperately trying to ‘switch-pitch’ these former gold mines onto their online versions.  Like all harvesting, timing is critical to picking the ripest fruit. Radio and TV reps need to harvest these prospects now, before the online and digital directory folks put them in their baskets!  
          Click here for an online demo of how our Selling Against Printed and Online Directories system can help you intercept the migration to online directories and increase your sales.



Does ‘research’ really sell?
        I’ve seen the convincing research the print folks use that ‘proves’ reading an ad is much more powerful than hearing it. And I myself have used the ‘scientific’ research that unequivocally verifies that hearing is much more influential than reading.
        Then of course there is the research we use when representing our TV clients that proclaims the combined power of ‘sight, sound and motion’ is unbeatable.
        You’ve probably heard the program directors who blame a ‘bad book’ on the research sample size, but the sample size seems to be just fine when they have a good book.
        Here is the bottom line when it comes to presenting media research;
        1. Every media can demonstrate they are number one (even if it’s only with left-handed grandmothers at midnight).
        2. There are four basic buyer styles, and only one quarter, the analyticals, give a darn about research and statistics. The rest simply want to know “What are you going to do for me?”.
        3. Even those analyticals who seem to care about research will only believe the research which confirms their previously held beliefs. Often, when they ask for research, they do so in the hope that they can find an excuse to reject your proposal.
        4. Opinion surveys only reveal what respondents believe influences their purchase decision, from a conscious logical left brain perspective. Dreamy right brain motivation is seldom understood and almost never revealed in opinion surveys.
        In a rapidly changing media world, all surveys are a snapshot through the rear view mirror. A view through the windshield of what lies ahead is much more valuable to advertisers.
        So before you go counting on impressive pie charts, spreadsheets or reams of data to make the sale, maybe you should present the big idea to help your prospects achieve a higher return on their investment with you.
        Demonstrating what you are going to do for me is always more powerful than showing me research that is all about you.

Prospecting versus Stalking


Prospecting versus Stalking
            Thomas Szaky shocked his parents a few years ago when he decided to drop out of Princeton University to start a business marketing worm poop. To their dismay, he explained his organic plant food would be made from worm droppings and be packaged in recycled pop bottles as house plant fertilizer.
            But the 26-year-old Canadian had the last laugh when his fledgling company landed the Wal-Mart account. First-year sales from the Wal-Mart exposure and distribution exceeded $25 million!
            Each week, thousands of inventors, manufacturers’ agents and sales people try unsuccessfully to get their products stocked on Wal-Mart shelves. So how did a young Mr. Szaky nab the business at mighty Wal-Mart?
            “I don’t know” he says.  “I made sixty one phone calls and the last one finally worked. I guess it was just sheer persistence.”
            Selling is often defined as ‘a transference of confidence’. Your persistent pursuit of product knowledge in a changing media landscape coupled with a clear understanding of how your products can achieve your prospects’ goals will build the confidence that in turn creates persistence.
            But do you understand the difference between persistence and stalking?
Calling a prospect 61 times in pursuit of an order for your station can be stalking.
            How do you feel if every time you see a particular individual they are trying to sell you something?
            Preparing a series of valid business reasons for a prospect to meet with you separates stalking from persistence.
            A valid business reason for every customer contact means creating an agenda or having a mission which benefits the customer, whether they buy during that meeting or not. It may be a helpful tip to grow their business, you might give them a lead or some useful marketing statistics, or deliver news that affects their business.
            Consistently planning a valid business reason for every call demonstrates respect for your clients’ time and clearly positions your interest in growing their business.
            Click here to arrange a free online demo of how we can help you create more valid business reasons for prospects to meet with you, and to increase your sales.
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Secrets to Ads that Sell


The Secret to Ads That Sell
          In a recent survey we asked 540 locally owned and operated business “What is the number one reason you advertise?” The answer? 82% said they advertise to ‘increase sales”.
          Yet in audits of local media presentations in those markets, less than 10% addressed how the media proposal would ‘increase sales’. Most danced around the issue with benefits like ‘increased traffic’ or ‘increased awareness.’ Many presentations offered no client benefits at all and merely talked about how great their stations were.
          There are huge similarities between effective ad copy and sales presentations that work.
          One of Sears’ premiere copy writers, Shirley Shea, consistently wrote copy which out sold the ad copy written by her peers. In catalogues, print ads, and radio and TV scripts, her ads were able to produce results beyond any of Sears’ other writers’ ads.
          Her secret?
          Typically, Shirley would arrive at Sears’ ‘ivory tower’ for a meeting to discuss the launch of a new product. The engineers who designed the product, the manufacturer’s head of marketing, Sears’ marketing people and various other experts would explain all of the technical features of the new product.
          For the launch of a new washer and dryer, for example, Shirley would take notes while the experts talked about details like the BTU’s (British Thermal Units), the RPM’s(Revolutions Per Minute), the gauge of the metal and composition of the enamel finish.
          Upon leaving the meeting to head back to her office, Shirley would look around to make sure no one was watching while she threw her notes in the trash!
          So where did Shirley get the information to write such successful ad copy? She would go onto the sales floor and listen to the questions customers were asking about the washer and dryer.
          Customers weren’t asking about BTU’s, RPM’s or the other technical information the ‘experts’ thought was important. They wanted to know how much laundry the machine held, how fast it did the laundry, and how quiet the machines were.
          Is your sales presentation all about you, your audience and your features, or does it answer the questions your prospects are asking?
          This is a special ENS on Sales, because we want to know the questions you’re asking and the hurdles you’re facing so that we can write more helpful and useful ENS on Sales tips for you in 2012.
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