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Wayne Ens

Survival Of The Fittest


By Wayne Ens

Canada's equivalent to the RAB, the RMB (Radio Marketing Bureau) went the way of the Dodo Bird a couple of years ago, leaving Canadian radio broadcasters with no formal industry sales training program.

While developing an enhanced and "Canadianized" version of the RAB's sales courses for our Canadian friends, we made some interesting discoveries.

In the absence of an industry association promoting radio in Canada, our Integrated Media Specialist, Alysia Taylor, began the search for data to position radio as a strong competitor in the new media environment.

She quickly discovered that virtually every medium, from magazines to radio, from TV to newspapers, and from billboards to blogs and social media, is increasingly fragmented.

Interestingly, virtually every medium is on the defensive and spins a tale about why they won't become extinct even though the amount of time their audience spends with them is dwindling.

There are only 24 hours in a day, and every new media that hits the airwaves, Internet, or printing presses that takes five minutes of a consumer's time, will take that time from another media. There are no day or hour stretches available on the market yet.

So while many broadcasters anguish about their TSL (time spent listening) virtually every medium faces the same threat. But as most leaders and motivational speakers will tell you, "Every threat is merely an opportunity in disguise."

Amazingly, even though so much has changed, and continues to change, the media opportunities today are found in the old traditional four P's in the marketing mix.

1. The right Product. We're continually hearing the story "content is king" and yet many media are cutting expenses on the content/production side of their business in search of short-term profits.

Those media investing in content will triumph over those banging out low-cost, mediocre content.

2. The right Place. The media companies that do not pigeonhole themselves as "broadcasters" or "publishers" and who have their content available when and where their prospects want it, will continue to succeed.

Having your content available on multi-platforms and devices is an absolute must today.

3. The right Price. Radio's cost-per-thousand has always been more than competitive. The opportunity here is to educate advertisers on how to measure the ROI (return on investment) from their advertising. Clicks, viral buzz, and page views, are NOT an accurate measure of advertising results.

ENS Media Inc recently conducted a survey of small- and medium-sized businesses across North America  that revealed the single most common concern they had was "How do I measure the ROI on my advertising?"

We were shocked during that same survey to learn how many radio account executives could not answer that question and position radio's return effectively.

Brand preference, frequency, lifetime customer value, recency, and profitability, are just a few of the measures in our Radio ROI Sales Workshop that helps account executives position radio's competitive ROI. There is a huge opportunity for radio account executives who learn to articulate their ROI to confused advertisers.

4. The right Promotion. Sadly, many stations only promote themselves, and do not promote radio. Your website, your salespeople, and your own airwaves can promote radio much more effectively.

All too often we find ourselves fighting for a share of radio budget, rather than creating more radio budget from more advertisers.

It's been said that "Your only competitive advantage is to learn faster than the competition." With too many media, and too many new and traditional media sales people on the street, on the phones, and online today, other radio stations are NOT your competitor. Our Selling Radio in the Electronic Age radio sales workshop is helping radio account executives  learn how to strategically position radio as a key player in the new media mix.

As long as businesses need sales, there will always be a need for advertising.

But as media become increasingly fragmented, it will become a battle for the survival of the fittest. Are the four P's in your marketing mix aligned to position you as a fit contender?

For more articles from Wayne Ens go HERE
Wayne Ens is President of ENS Media Inc and can be reached via e-mail Wayne Ens

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