Our friends in digital media have been much more effective at harnessing the power of words than we have.
While we had ‘ratings’, they introduced ‘big data’ making our mere ratings seem pitifully small.
While we merely ‘reach’ people, our digital friends claimed to ‘engage’ them. Can you see the difference? I learned very early in my career that simply ‘reaching’ an audience did not necessarily mean you influenced that audience. ‘Engaging’ people just seems like such an endearing term compared to merely reaching them.
While we only had audiences, which the dictionary defines as spectators, listeners or viewers, they claimed to have ‘followers.’ The dictionary defines followers as ‘devotees or admirers of another person or a group.’
You have a myriad of sales tools available at your fingertips today, but in the end, all of those tools resort to the use of words; from PowerPoint to ratings, and from prospecting to presenting, it’s the effective and sometimes subtle use of words that ultimately make the sale.
Yet those of us in traditional communications are surprisingly ineffective at using the most relevant words when attempting to persuade, convince or sell.
At ENS Media, we critique hundreds of sales presentations every month to help our clients create more effective presentations, and we still see the careless or lazy use of words in most of those presentations.
For example, many presentations refer to ‘costs’ or paying a ‘price.’ The best presentations position your rates as “an investment” not a cost. Most entrepreneurs like to invest, while most are trying to reduce costs.
We still see presentations trying to sell ‘spots.’ Spots are something that have no perceived value, and in fact, we send our clothes to the cleaners to remove spots. There is much more perceived value in selling messages, commercials or announcements, than in spots.
And we still see way too much use of “we or I,” in presentations versus “you or your”. It’s much more effective to say “Your campaign will reach 100,000 of your prospects” than to say “we reach 100,000 listeners.”
Click here to inquire how we can help your sales people craft presentations that sell.
There is an old story about the Jaguar salesperson who lost a sale to rocker ‘Rompin Ronnie Hawkins’ because he pre-qualified him.
The successful rockabilly singer did not want for cash, but didn’t look like a typical Jaguar customer when he entered the Toronto dealership with his long hair, a beard, and tattered jeans.
The legend goes that when Ronnie seated himself in a Jaguar on the showroom floor, a jaded salesperson asked him to leave.
Ronnie did leave, only to return with a shopping bag full of cash. He promptly marched into the sales manager’s office, dumped the cash on his desk, and said, “I’m buying that Jaguar on one condition….that salesperson gets no commission!”
Every seasoned salesperson knows the pain of losing a sale in their rookie days because they disqualified or pre-unqualified a prospect who later bought from a competitor. Advertisers who restrict their reach to pre-qualified targets are also missing sales.
New technologies and alleged ‘big data’ have made reaching the masses via broadcasting or other mass media, dirty words in some circles. Advertisers are being lured by the ability to narrowcast and to finely target their marketing.
The ability to ‘target’ more finely beyond the masses is appealing, particularly to those who cringe at the old Wannamaker quote, “I know half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
But fine tuning your targeting by geography, demographics, or psychographics, or any other pre-conceived qualifiers, ignores a few realities;
1.) The market is not narrowly defined by geography, especially for big-ticket purchases. RV dealers know that customers will drive hundreds of miles to capture the motorhome they want. And a consumer who lives on one side of a market often works and shops on the other side of the market.
2.) ‘Targeting’ end-users, buyers or decision-makers, ignores the role key influencers play in buying decisions. Millennials often ask the advice of their more experienced parents, and car dealers will tell you that husbands might sign the check, but they won’t do so without consulting their wives.
3.) The market, and people, changes rapidly. New jobs, increases or decreases in incomes, changes in marital situations and many other factors can turn an unqualified prospect into a qualified prospect overnight. In fact, the average market population with deaths, divorces, career moves, marriages and births, turns over at the rate of 20% per annum.
4.) Preaching to the converted will help advertisers maintain their customer base and today’s sales, but there will always be a certain amount of attrition that must be replaced. Reaching beyond their current ‘target’ is where their longer term growth will come from.
In my own marketing, I publish a free weekly Ens on Sales tip targeted at broadcast sales managers, but I welcome broadcast account executives as well, because many of them who subscribed several years ago are now sales managers.
Roy Williams says the over-confidence in qualitative targeting is one of the causes of advertising failure. Roy says “It’s amazing how many people become the right people when you are saying the right thing.”
Let’s not let advertisers be blinded by the light of shiny new things, and sell them on the merits of reaching beyond those who are allegedly unqualified today, to reaching everyone who might be qualified tomorrow.
Nowhere is the expression, “the early bird gets the worm” more relevant than in advertising sales.
There is a reason why seasonal markets, like snowmobiling, motorcycling or boating, have their big marketing events and consumer shows long before the season begins.
Skiers buy their ski wear pre-season to be ready to hit the slopes with the first snow fall and sporting goods store owners are placing their orders for goods, and for advertising, far in advance of that.
Every rookie salesperson has experienced calling on a landscaper or a boat dealer just as their season is about to begin, only to hear “My budget is already spent.”
The best media sales managers are planning their Christmas sales meetings now in order to have their teams hitting the streets with their Christmas presentations in late August or early September.
Click here to receive our free tips on planning for a successful 2016 Christmas and January 2017.
There is no doubt about the explosive growth of digital. But it still has a long way to go to catch up to radio.
We often hear about fragmentation in radio audiences, with some advertisers complaining about there being too many stations in a market. By the way, these same advertisers would be absolutely delighted if a small fraction of the smallest radio audience in town bought from them tomorrow.
Yet I don’t hear the fragmentation complaint in their lust for all things digital.
According to Pew Research, only 65% of adults use social media networks as opposed to the 90% reached by radio each week. And that 65% is spread over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and hundreds of other social media platforms.
According to Statista, the statistics portal that compiles data from more than 18,000 sources, radio has a daily reach of 59% compared to the internet reaching 49% of adults daily via smartphones, mobile devices, and computers.
Print lags far behind at 13% daily reach; yet, some advertisers are still attracted to this outdated and costly form of advertising.
And talk about fragmentation…at the time of writing, the internet audience was divided among nearly 1 billion websites (985,440,812 to be exact at time of writing). You can see a live running total of the number of active websites at http://www.internetlivestats.com/watch/websites
The dramatic growth of digital is amazing, especially when reported in percentages, because it wasn’t that long ago when the internet was ‘new media’ starting from zero.
But you need to help your prospects and clients understand the undeniable stability of radio’s reach in an increasingly fragmented media world.
It is conceivable that at some point in the future, digital’s reach could equal radio’s, however many platforms that reach might be spread over. But your advertisers need results from their investments NOW and need to invest directly proportionate to current media reach.
P.S. Click here to inquire how our local TOMA surveys consistently prove the results radio produces for local advertisers.