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(MARKETING) Fix Your Marketing. Part Three

10-2-2012

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I examined a number of commonly held ideas, misguided tactics, and faulty notions that prevent radio marketers from attaining the results that their organizations need. Ill now tie these thoughts together by examining the importance of strategy in the creation of "non-sucky" marketing solutions.

5. Is there an overall marketing strategy in place?
Many radio marketing chiefs make the mistake of thinking that implementing the right tactics such as the ones listed above will produce surefire success. Not true. Whats usually missing is a smart strategy that will guide a stations marketing tactics toward a clearly defined goal.

"Strategy" is the big picture plan, while "tactics" are the moves that are used to carry out the strategy. As writer and consultant Seth Godin points out, The right strategy makes any tactic work better. The right strategy puts less pressure on you to execute your tactics perfectly.

As an experiment, ask all the members of your marketing team to define the departments overall strategy. Expect to receive a slew of well, um, uh responses. If anything more coherent is offered, dont be surprised if everyones thoughts are not only completely different, but kinda sorta wrong.

SOLUTION
The director of marketing needs to create a clear and concise strategy statement that will be the roadmap for all of your departments efforts. This statement should be built in conjunction with the general sales manager, because its his/her team that the strategy will be serving. It should also be vetted by the OM, GM, and PD so that everyone is aware of the plan and how it will benefit their respective departments. Finally, the strategy statement should then be shared with the entire marketing squad, so that all members understand the overall goal of their daily efforts.

When challenged by the observations and solutions presented in this series, it would be understandable for a radio marketer to be offended by the idea that his/her work may possibly, in any way, remotely suck. It would also make sense if he/she were defensive about the marketing approach thats been taken: Its how weve done it in the past, its how were doing it now, and its how were going to continue to do it! Problem is, that kind of rigid thinking not only prevents desperately needed solutions from being pursued and delivered, it also puts an expiration date on ones radio marketing career (not to mention a do not hire warning on ones resume if a marketing career outside of radio is ever sought).

Would Facebook have attained the success that it has by following the same marketing strategy year after year simply because it worked in the past? Or Apple? Or Starbucks? If constantly seeking new ways to improve strategy, refine tactics, gain better understanding of customers needs/tastes, and enhance support of the sales effort are part of these top brands marketing DNA, then it should be part of yours too.

Radio station marketing that sucks isnt terminal. With a determined effort, it can be successfully reversed. However, to make changes that will yield positive results and vigorous ROI, one must honestly acknowledge the suckage. Due diligence that examines the extent of the suck must be performed and a smart plan needs to be launched that will set your department and your station on a cost-effective path to superior ratings, better profits, and 100 percent suck-free marketing results.

Click for Part 1.

Click for Part 2.

Rafe Gomez is a marketing and business strategy consultant.  His work has been featured on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, PBS, ABC News Radio, WCBS-AM, FoxBusiness.com, BrandWeek.com, and more.  Hes also the host and producer of Rockmixx, an internationally syndicated classic rock mash-up feature.




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