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The Radio ‘Crises’

by Wayne ENS

The word ‘crises’ in Chinese, is made up of two symbols;

 

 

The symbol on the left stands for ‘danger’ while the symbol on the right stands for ‘opportunity’. It’s true that with every crises there is both danger AND opportunity. But many broadcasters see a rapidly changing media landscape as a crises that only presents danger and not opportunity….or worse yet, they don’t see the biggest opportunity glaring them in the face! I recently conducted a radio workshop where

I asked the broadcasters in attendance to identify the danger and the opportunity in the following graph;

 
Virtually every attendee saw danger in the shrinking red line with opportunity in the growing black line….they all felt traditional media was at risk and that we had to pursue the growing online ad revenue segment if we were to succeed. Yes there is opportunity in the growing online ad spending. But there is an even bigger opportunity in the traditional media share. You see, broadcasters are making the assumption that we have to be a part of that shrinking traditional media share. But that’s just not so!

Print, brochures, catalogues, newspaper, yellow pages, coupon envelops and more should be the sole ad spending victims of new media. For some sick and twisted reason, radio has always delighted in fighting for the smallest share of the local ad spending pie. Pre new media we fought each other for an insignificant portion of the overall advertising pie. According to the research reported in this graph, by 2015, traditional media will capture more than three-quarters of local ad spending!

My last article talked about the important role of selling as teaching in a confusing and rapidly changing media environment. We need to teach our advertisers why radio deserves the dominant share of that 75% ‘traditional’ ad spend and we need to accelerate print’s decline.

I believe we are at an important tipping point in the pending ‘crises’. We must teach our clients and prospects that the high cost of printed media for production (lumberjacks, paper mills, printing presses) and distribution (postal workers, truck drivers, carriers) are no longer necessary in the electronic age. In this new electronic age, broadcast and online are the only media local advertisers need.

Imagine the avails problem we would have if the bulk of the red line in that graph went to us!  If we don’t teach our clients where we fit in the new media landscape as they consider cutting their print, or us, in favor of online, we’ll be left fighting for crumbs again. While print is on the retreat, and while clients are considering what changes they need to make in the new media landscape, we need to educate them about the still-prominent role of radio in consumers’ daily lives!

The math is simple and we have a huge opportunity. Capturing 50% of the traditional media ad spend will be much greater than capturing 50% of the online spend. Of course, we can capture both. But much of that online spend won’t be with media companies at all. It will be spent with advertisers’ internal efforts; e-marketing campaigns, proprietary websites, social media and the next new digital thing that comes along.

Anyone can start an online media company today for less than $2,000; that’s $75 for a URL and $1,800 for web design. It’s not that easy or inexpensive to start and operate a broadcasting company. We have a unique core product worth selling! We have a huge opportunity to give our core product, and our only unique competitive advantage in the new media world, a huge boost if we train our sales people to teach our clients about the new media mix of broadcast and online.
   
Wayne Ens is President of ENS Media Inc and can be reached via e-mail Wayne Ens wayne@wensmedia.com




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