(VIDEO) Harsh Words From a Former Automotive Radio Advertiser
Barry Merrill (pictured, center, at the DASH conference) is the President and General Manager of Grand Ledge Ford Lincoln in Grand Ledge, MI. Unfortunately he is a lost radio advertiser and he blames the radio industry for his decision to turn all of his dollars over to TV. Merrill said there was too much turnover in sales reps, and they were just trying to hit their budgets -- there was no relationship-building. He went from spending all of his advertising dollars on radio to spending nothing. We asked Merrill to give the industry some advice on how to improve.
"When you call on us, use an all-around approach," he said. "Focus on new cars, used cars, promote our website and our Facebook page. Talk about what you can do to promote the dealership as a whole." Merrill says Ford is moving a lot of advertising to digital, including Pandora, and he says it's working."I like to advertise directly," he said. "I get more feedback."
Ford is now at 60% to 70% digital, up from 20T-30%. Merrill also asks, as radio sees technology evolving so fast, how radio is going to be engaged in that: "If it's a regular antenna connecting to the car and everyone else is digital, you are going to be left out of the game."
Here is our extended video interview from DASH with Barry Merrill.
(MANAGER'S PERSPECTIVE) While this may be true, there are always two sides to a story. It's doubtful that all the Detroit radio groups simply dropped the ball forcing this guy to abandon radio. There are too many good radio groups in that market. Would have loved to hear what they had to say about it.
.... Major Market General Manager
What's your perspective? Leave your comments below.
(10/28/2013 9:30:32 AM) |
The dealer was on the forum to give his candid opinion on why he went to TV with his money. Shooting the messenger is a pretty poor strategy for anyone in Radio. Local TV is doing pretty well with their "must carry" payments from cable & satellite. Rates have dropped and they're selling a LOT of inventory. Radio needs to increase the daily frequency and sell success! When dealers run 10 to 20 ads a day on our stations, it REALLY works and we're all happy!
|- Charlie Ferguson|
(10/27/2013 11:18:28 PM) |
A car-guy here and there hardly proves anything.
Here's what does: We, as an industry, are missing out on 95% of available advertising revenue - even as pervasive as the medium is.
Correcting that is our first responsibility. Anything else is about justifications and spin.
Besides, although our condition is chronic, the "money guys" seem to think there's a buck to be made, at least for awhile - so long as most of it stays at home.
|- Ronald T. Robinson|
(10/27/2013 10:05:04 PM) |
You don't mention the first-hand knowledge of this business owner given by the Lansing radio rep. Until he wrote, I agreed with you. But, if this car dealer quit all local radio because he couldn't get the Lansing stations to knuckle under on rates, to hell with him. We need more stations like that. We have tons of stations who think like you and whore their rate card, if they have one.
(10/27/2013 9:47:24 PM) |
I agree with Simply Unbelievable, regarding how many radio people are attacking this car dealer, and Radio Ink, for what he/client said. That is typical of so many in radio... their pompous sense of self-entitlement, and the fact that they attack critics, they attack other mediums/options like cable TV or Pandora. They have zero ability for candid product (radio) self-assesment, or to LISTEN to constructive input. And pomposity and deaf ears are a recipe for failure.
|- Bob MacKay|
(10/27/2013 2:33:36 PM) |
I am simply stunned at the shear number of accusatory, argumentative, denial, and outright absurd comments that are being directed at the auto dealer.
Wake up radio! This is the thinking that's killing the business.
A former customer took the time to explain why they are no longer a customer, and did so for free! Everyone should humbly accept them, learn from them, and take action.
The guy is telling you what he wants and needs to become a customer again. You want to deny this?
|- Simply Unbelievable|
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