Change the Way You Cut Your Grass

"Know who you are talking to" is a Golden Rule of communications. Because of it, I'll apologize to apartment dwellers and those who live in complexes where groundskeepers mow the lawn.

The title doesn't exactly draw folks in who have no grass to cut, but it's such a great metaphor for radio of all kinds, and it came to me while changing the way I cut our grass.
Radio, like some lawns, is expansive. There are various areas in both, and maintaining each requires a systematic approach that, for many, hasn't changed in decades.

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Tap to Enlarge
Our yard has a lot of grass. That's it above. In the course of mowing it more than 24 years, from time to time I've adjusted the pattern in the way it's cut.

Radio has a lot of working parts. Over the decades I was involved with it, and to this day, little has changed in the way radio is sold, bought or used. This stagnation-trio applies to radio's "users" - audience and advertisers. The industry hasn't changed the way it cuts its grass for a long, long time.

While change is required at multiple touch-points between radio and its users, we seldom see it implemented. There have been a few attempts but nothing has changed much since the advent of radio's Sports Talk format. Asking why is moot here, due in part to something I've been asking for 15 years: Have you learned anything at the past NAB/Radio Show that you've brought back and implemented at your station? I've yet to hear an answer.

Every now and then you should change the way you cut your grass, the way you create programming and commercials. If for no other reason than because stagnation causes users to look for new things.

How you can change the pattern of what's being served to your advertisers will show a change in how you service them.

We've all received text messages. What if an advertiser received a text message ten minutes prior to their spot airing on your station?

Having made over 10,000 radio and TV commercials across my career I'm sure the concept of being notified just prior to airing would have excited many of my clients. Offered as a service by stations - broadcaster or online - this simple change in the way a client is serviced would create this message: "We want you to hear the power of your words."

Ad-serving technology is compatible with the concept of sending a text message prior to airing, and checking with Gordon Borrell his response was "Iím not aware of any station that does this." Neither am I.

There's lots of talk within the industry about increased competition, flat revenue and needing to become more digital. Yet little action is taken to step outside the comfort zone of radio's last 50 years. Here's your chance.

Text advertisers prior to their commercial's airing and you'll generate a "wow" moment for them, while being thought of as much closer to digital.

Radio should change the way it cuts its grass. No one in the industry should be satisfied how it's being clipped away by growing competition.

Thursday, May 25, 2017      eMail to a Friend

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