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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Strategy For Winning The Game Of Radio

A great winning coach starts every game with a strategy. As the game goes forward, strategy is adjusted, based on new data on how the opposition or your own team is playing. Strong coaches watch footage of the competitive team the night before the game, showing their players the strengths and weakness of both teams. The coach with the best data has the best chance of creating the best strategy.

The game radio is playing is ever-changing. New data points are being introduced at every turn. Last week we saw new data on local sales from Pandora, which was both unexpected and surprising because of the impact on local dollars. A couple of weeks ago we saw Omnicom shift 100 percent of its radio budget from spending with multiple radio group platforms to spending on only one.

At the moment, most of the industry is working feverishly on their 2015 budgets. Predicting 2015 is all about gathering data points -- plus some guesswork and throwing of darts. We guess at the impact of this year's political spending vs. next year, when there will be very little. We try to predict what our advertisers will do within the industry. We try to anticipate which advertisers will buy our 2015 proposals. It's all about data points. We all want to avoid recasting the budget mid-year because our predictions were off, so data is critical.

Annually, as we round out the year, Radio Ink presents its Forecast conference. It's all about the data -- where we landed for this year and where we predict we will be next year. It's held in November, when we've gathered enough historical data to see how the year ended, yet early enough to make adjustments in our budgets based on the predictive models presented by analysts, advertisers, and broadcasters. This year's Forecast takes place on November 19.

If you've not attended before, you'll find it's not just helpful, but many consider Forecast a must-attend event because the data and commentary are so valuable. We start the morning with the top financial analysts and move through the day into trends, spending, what's growing or failing, what advertisers are seeing, and predictions from broadcast group -- the big ones and the independent ones. It's followed by THE networking event in radio: the reception for the "40 Most Powerful in Radio" from the annual Radio Ink list. It's the dealmakers' ball.

This year promises to be extra lively because of the planning done by our co-chairs: Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Katz Media Group, and Mark Kassan, the Chairman/CEO of MediaLink. See the agenda HERE. Register HERE. Early bird pricing ends this Friday.

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