LAZY GRAMMER ruins radio’s primary benefit!

Lazy grammer and lazy work ethic ruin radio’s primary benefit…IMMEDIACY! It’s a cardinal rule that A.M and P.M. don’t belong in radio commercials, or any audio presentation. The key to successful radio copy is to write the way consumers speak. Do you know anyone who ever uses “a.m. or p.m.” in conversation? Consumers say things like “tomorrow night at 7” or “Saturday morning at 10”. Radio copy should do the same.
The 2nd cardinal rule of radio copy is to update the copy to the nearest day or daypart. No radio commercial should reference “Wednesday night at 7” on that day or the day before. Immediacy copy reference’s “tomorrow night at 7” and “tonight at 7″….again, write like people converse. Yes, it requires just a few extra minutes to edit in the updated appointment, but that’s what seperates radio from the other media. Print and tv won’t produce immediacy-based updates due to what they refer to as “cost prohibitive”.
Radio owns immediacy….protect your greatest asset!

Creativity with out connection is just white noise…

Some of the greatest special effects based movies have bombed at the box office, we can all name at least one. The reason is they simply didn’t connect to the audience. Messaging is the same. Creativity that doesn’t connect doesn’t work, period. This is why determining the messaging focus needs to be the hub, and everything around it are the spokes. The spokes need to enhance the focused messaging, not dilute or confuse it for the sake of “cool effects”. Remember, consumers want to know “what’s in it for me” first and foremost. If they’re entertained in the process, great! But buying decisions are an emotional decision, if you haven’t been very clear about a primary benefit and why it matters to the consumer, then all the “cool” special effects will only annoy them. Results are a result of “what’s in it for me”. If it matters, you’ll get the results intended. The rest is just white noise.

Make your agency rep look like a hero!

Transactional business can at least occasionally include creative input. Normal thinking leads us to believe that offering creative specs or brainstorming doesn’t make sense with transactional business. Unless the agency provides all the creative, it’s worth the effort to put together creative messaging and offer it up to your agency rep with the intent of making them look like a hero to the client. I’ve seen this work time and time again! In most cases the agency rep will respect the effort, and most of all, the fact that you didn’t go around them directly to the client. Imagine how many more avails, especially in the coming programmatic buying world, you’ll be invited to if you’re perceived as the preferred creative provider! Even 22 year old rookie buyers value the chance to impress the man! Believe it or not, great creative ideas can trump cost per point once in awhile…or at least break any ties. In a ratings environment that only gets more condensed, we need to find effective ways to separate our products from the pack. Everybody loves a hero!!

No more “cold calls”

The common interpretation of “cold call” has meant when a seller walks into a business or attempts to reach them on the phone hoping to secure a meeting with the decision maker. There’s no excuse for interrupting a busy business owner, manager…without a tangible value for that business! All it takes is a little time to research prospective advertiser’s websites and social media postings to formulate the foundation for a spec commercial, digital ad, social media ad or post…. Preparing a sample “spec” demonstrates a value proposition and valid business reason to make contact with decision makers. Though “specs” should be presented as samples of your work, in my history with this approach, I’ve never not at least been offered the decision maker’s attention either immediately or in the very near future. You’ve demonstrated that that customer’s business is important enough to you that you took the time to research their business and put together the spec project.
So let’s eliminate the standard “cold call” from our sales strategy, and make specs a mandatory part of our initial presentations. Align with talented creative experts to produce a quality spec and you’ve armed yourself with an appointment with the decision maker. Not a very tough decision is it?

How about bonusing renewals?

It’s a tired policy that runs industry wide. Bonusing only new business. Beyond the typical hitting budget bonuses, almost all media outlets offer bonus programs for securing new business. That’s fine, except if you subscribe to the 80/20 rule, shouldn’t we be rewarding renewal business more than new business? Most, if not all sellers will tell you that renewals are a greater challenge overall than attracting new business. One reason this occurs, in my humble opinion, is that the industry looks at renewals as simply a continuation of the campaign they’ve been running…”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Renewals deserve at least equal attention to new, innovative ideas as new business. Renewals should be considered for spec samples, just as new business is. Advertisers never tire of great ideas, so why do we ignore this thought when it comes to renewals? It doesn’t make business sense! If the industry started bonusing renewal business we’d see more successful campaigns, happier and impressed clients and thus, more revenue. I welcome anyone in the industry to challenge this common sense line of thinking…? We are in the results business, right?

Auto dealers need to switch gears…

They’re all the same. Nearly every auto dealer tv commercial shows the owner (who consumers will never see) spewing the same verbage all the other owners on the other auto dealer tv commercials do. Auto dealers need to quit treating consumers like we’re clueless to how their industry operates. Consumers know that they can negotiate the same deal on the same car or truck at every dealership. Consumers know they’ll never get near blue book value for their trade-in, once you peel away all the fine print from the new car purchase. Consumers know why car salesman try to get customers to focus on the affordable monthly payment instead of the actual purchase price. We all know how the game is played.
Auto dealers miss the mark when it comes to what matters most to potential buyers….the buying experience! The shiny new object in auto advertising on tv is the “mood” driving that vehicle will instantly put you in….give me a break!! Consumers want a more efficient and honest negotiation. Any auto dealer who can successfully convince potential car buyers that the car buying experience at their dealership will be so much more relaxed, pleasant and efficient….things like…

“no negotiation will exceed an hour”….. or “bring the whole family and the kids can enjoy our supervised play area” or “our sales reps have the authority to make every deal”…

Things that consumers really care about! Things that clearly differentiate them from their particular auto row. Killer messaging is on a mission to find just one dealership willing to put the typical ego-driven campaign aside and focus on what really matters to consumers. I double dare them!

If we can help your marketing R.O.I. with effective, activating messaging, contact us via email at or call (480) 322-2187. See much more at

Programmatic buying puts more emphasis on creative messaging

The shiny new object in the radio industry for advertising agencies is “programmatic buying” where agencies use targeted lifestyle analytics and algorythms to instantly place schedules on radio stations at efficient rates for available inventory. This strategy eliminates in most cases, the agency rep working up schedules and rate negotiation. This also means there will be more emphasis on strong creative messaging to drive results. Advertisers will be sold on “extremely targeted” demos, dayparts and psychographics delivered by their on-air and digital platforms. Advertisers in turn will expect more accountability from their agency through measurable metrics and bottomline results. This will give agencies a choice…roll the dice on generic copy and keep their fingers crossed or spending the time and resources to deliver killer messaging that will penetrate, activate and persuade consumers to act. Many agency executives will consider programmatic buying as a short cut and expense reducer, the others will see an opportunity to separate themselves through preferred creative provider perception with advertisers. In this case, perception will prove to be reality!