By Ryan Ghidoni
Thursday March the 10th, 2016
Audio Active Advertising – Episode 8: Radio KILLED the Radio Star
Almost every decade has its potential Radio KILLER.
Television, the Walkman, Satellite Radio, the iPod, and online radio stations to name a few.
Most people believe that something will eventually come along and DO RADIO IN.
SFX: Human Scream Female Horror – Sound Ideas 6032 cut 29
The truth is…
We are slowly killing ourselves…by not showing our clients how to use radio effectively.
It wasn’t always this way.
In the 90s the Metro Radio Group in the UK inspired the industry with the wild success they had with creative led selling. They attributed it all to getting sales reps to think like creatives and creatives to think like sales. Check out “The World’s Greatest Salesperson: Creative”
In the 2Ks Roy Williams announced that a better message was the key to success on the radio and showed us how different writing styles could make an ad more memorable. Check out the Wizard of Ads book trilogy. Secret Formulas is my favorite. I have two copies…one to read and one to smack Broca’s area of the brain when I’m struggling with an idea.
Throughout both decades Dan O’Day led (in my personal opinion) the charge for creating better radio ads. His “How to Create Maximum Impact Radio Advertising” seminar (still available at danoday.com) should be required listening for everyone in radio advertising.
There were many more such as Jeffrey Hedquist, Maureen Bulley, and Steve Jones who found new and exciting ways to teach us about our chosen craft.
Then in 2010…radio slowly stopped being interested in making better radio ads. It didn’t happen overnight. It was like a fog slowly rolling in.
Maybe it was a combination of economic downturn, consolidation in the industry, and the distraction of digital, the shiny new toy.
We stopped focusing on how to make a better radio ad and reverted back to selling spots and dots.
Want proof? Do this quick test: What have you done more recently? Participated in the creation of a great radio ad campaign for a client OR participated in a “One-Day-Sale”?
So who is going to get radio back on track and champion it as the most affordable and effective advertising option available? Who is going to be the next Metro Radio Group, the next Wizard, the next Dan? Who is going to teach people how to unlock everything radio has to offer?
Make it your mission to learn absolutely everything about how RADIO works and why.
If you haven’t heard of the folks I mentioned…start with running a google search of their names, connect with them and get their resource materials.
If you’ve found someone else that I didn’t mention to guide your quest for radio knowledge…share their name in the comments section below.
If you have the balls…or the lady balls…meet with your manager and convince them that TRAINING needs to get back on the budget spreadsheet.
THEN…teach your clients.
BUT you don’t have time to teach them all and some of them are not receptive.
SO follow this simple exercise.
Step 1: Take your client list and separate it into three groups.
Group One: The clients that “already get it”. They are already knowledgeable about marketing and are receptive to your advice on how to accomplish their goals with radio.
Group Two: The clients “on the fence”. They’ll let you experiment with “branding a core message” and “results focused ads” BUT they will quickly revert back to shopping list ads when they get nervous.
Group Three: The clients who “know best”. They hold on tight to the way they’ve always done it and have hard and fast rules for how they want their ad to sound. (Client: It must mention my name 8 times. Writer: But you bought a 15 second ad and your name is “Suffield McKenzie Aerospace Solutions International”.)
Step 2: Take a unique approach with each group.
Group One: The clients that “already get it”. Teach them by giving them your best work and presenting them with a rationale for the choices you made with their ads. This should be enough because they already get it. They will take less than 10% of your client education time.
Group Two: The clients “on the fence”. They are going to need the most attention with 80% of your client education time. Take the time to explain the concepts and how they work. Send them articles, buy them books, and provide them with plenty of success stories from your Group One clients.
Group Three: The clients who “know best”. Don’t ever initiate a lesson to someone who is not ready or willing to learn. It will make things worse…much worse. Spend less than 10% of your client education time on them. Wait until they say “my ads aren’t working” and ask for advice OR send them occasional success stories from Group One clients to inspire the “I want what they have” reaction. Then introduce them to what is required.
Make it a part of your responsibility to learn your craft and teach it.
When we spend little or no time teaching our clients and provide no advice for crafting a great ad…we do more to convince businesses that “radio doesn’t work” than all of the other competing mediums combined.
If radio succumbs to a future KILLER, it’ll be because WE LET IT.
Next week we’ll start talking about “The Power of One”: One Core Message, One Core Emotion, and One Call to Action. You will undermine the effectiveness of the message anytime you use more than one of any of these.
Ryan Ghidoni is an 18-year veteran of radio advertising and has worked with some of the most creative sales reps, writers, producers and voice talent in the business.
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