Yes, it’s Another End of Year “5 Rules for Success in 2017” Blog. Ughh…
By Michael Doyle
Regional President, Entercom
Published December 21, 2016
I manage a diverse organization, spread from coast to coast, with thousands of key employees doing important work. At this time of year, I wonder what kind of advice can an old guy like me provide. I’ve spent 30 years in the advertising and marketing business. I’ve seen ideas come and go. I’ve watched threats from new competitors grow, and then fade. Satellite Radio and Groupon were all going to put us out of business. Yet, we are still here, and still growing.
So I decided to create a list. Michael Doyle’s 5 Rules For Success in 2017.
1. Focus on what you can control. Radio programmers worry about the methodology of Nielsen’s PPM ratings system, the size of the sample, the placement of the meters. All out of your control. Focus on the content of your stations, your websites, and your events. Create engaging interactions on air, and serialize that content to e-mail, Facebook, your websites, podcasts, and in-person experiences. Build Fans of your brands in your community. Radio Sales Managers and sellers worry about the competition. I hear things like: That competitor is dropping their rates, television is really cheap here, clients make unfair demands, On-line listening is growing and people are spending in digital. All out of your control. Focus on finding customers who meet your ideal customer profile. People who want a measureable Return on The Investment, not low CPM’s. The world is full of advertisers who want help. Find them. Help them. You will get paid for this.
2. Define Your Business. The Harvard Business Review published an article in 1960 by Theodore Levitt called “Marketing Myopia.” In this classic, Levitt notes that in the early 20th century the Railroad barons were the richest and most successful people in the United States. By 1960, these companies were all bankrupt. Levitt posits that it was because they defined their business as trains, instead of transportation. Had they defined their business as moving people and goods, they may have invested in building airlines, autos or even the infrastructure of roads in the United States. So if you are in the radio business, what does that mean in 2017? Radio is not the box in the corner that the family is gathered around, or box in the dashboard with the AM/FM buttons. Those are just delivery systems. Today, you should define radio as content that people in your community (however you define that) care about. Are you just reading liners on air or are you engaging the audience? Today, radio is about helping consumers become fans of our content, and introducing those Fans to our Advertisers on the air, on-line, and at events. AM/FM radio’s ‘one to many’ delivery reaches more Americans every week than television or the Internet. Yes, that is correct. But smart marketers want more. They want engagement. They want results. Radio provides both. Focus on that. Define your business as engaging your audience on multiple platforms and creating interactions between your audience and your advertisers.
3. Grow Yourself. I’ll admit it. I was in a rut for a while. Then I realized it’s because I was not growing, learning or changing. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of taking over Executive Management of our Smart Reach Digital business, and it energized me. I learned, I grew, and I accepted a challenge. I had stopped learning for a while this year. I am starting again. I am taking an on-line course at Khan Academy in HTML/CSS to learn how to code websites. Because I have always wanted to. I am taking an on-line course on in-bound marketing because I want to improve the business flow from our websites, to our Lead Generation and Inside Sales team and convert these interactions to revenue for the company. I started playing the piano again. I don’t think I will get a job coding any time soon, nor will I play a concert on the piano (but I got Silent Night nailed in time for Christmas), but I do feel more challenged, more positive and more optimistic. Think about how you can grow yourself in 2017.
4. Stop, Breathe and Think. My daughter, Bridget, who is now an amazing 21 year old came home from school when she was in elementary school with this advice. She saw me angry or frustrated one day, and she said, “Daddy, I learned at school that when you are frus-ter-rated you should Stop, Breathe and Think.” Spending a few minutes alone each day, focusing inward is a great way to clear the frustration, align your thinking, and feel alive. There is a purpose for what we do, but it is really inside of ourselves. We need to listen. So Bridget, I promise in 2017 to Stop, Breathe, and Think more each day.
5. Adapt or Die. The industry I love, Radio, has done this successfully for 100 years. The changes keep coming. We need to keep adapting. I love the book and the movie “Moneyball.” It’s the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics adopting a data-centric approach to hiring players, and managing the team. It is also a story about how Mr. Beane was able to face down 100 years of ‘this is the way we do it’ thinking to take a different approach that proved successful. Now this approach is accepted in most corners of professional sports. In what ways are you clinging to the past? How are you leading yourself and your people to adapt a new approach?
My advice for you no matter what you do: Don’t be afraid of the future. Don’t be afraid of new competitors or innovation. Embrace the change. I keep a copy of Price Pritchett’s “You2” in my office. It was given to me by Steve Marx at the Center for Sales Strategy when I completed their training years ago. There is a quote from the book that fits this point: “If you want to accelerate your rate of achievement rapidly, you must search out and vigorously employ new behaviors.”
Look within: In order for change to occur, someone must do something differently. Start with yourself. Be the change.
Read other articles by Michael Doyle HERE