By Wayne Ens
It wasn't that long ago that I was often approached by radio stations that wanted to sell their stations or clusters against other stations and clusters.
Today, most of the cries for help we receive are from stations that are intimidated by new digital media. The days of muddying the waters by knocking other radio stations, except in the largest transactional markets, seem to be coming to an end. Hooray!
I've always been from the school that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that radio should work together to strengthen our position in the eyes of the advertising community. New competition and the lure of a multitude of shiny new media emerging daily is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for professional radio marketers.
The rise of new media has helped us focus on radio's strengths, and fit in the new media landscape, in three strategic ways:
1.) Radio Is The Proactive Media
It's vital to position radio as "proactive" and the Internet as "reactive." Radio proactively reaches out and influences customers not yet in the market for a product or service in a way that reactive media cannot.
Once consumers have a need for a product or service, they react by searching for a supplier online. Media use hasn't changed much since the old yellow pages days, the only difference being the Internet has replaced yellow pages. No one ever looked for yellow pages ads for tire stores until they needed tires, and no one searches online for tire stores today unless they are reacting to a need.
Advertisers, who proactively create a pre-need awareness and preference for their business with radio, direct their prospects to go to their website or Facebook page for more details, or location and contact information.
Seldom will you find an advertiser who wants to rely solely on reactive strategies, once you explain the proactive strategy of "radio to inspire, Internet to inform."
2.) Radio Is The ?Turn-Key? Media
Rapidly changing and emerging new media options are confusing to even alleged new-media experts, let alone a business owner who?s trying to run a business.
Once an advertiser decides to pursue digital media, they then have to decide which platforms, who produces what content, and how to change daily as each platform changes.
With tried and proven turn-key radio, all the business owner has to do is say "Yes" and sign a check. You do the rest, from advising on creative and scheduling to creating the script, producing the commercials, and scheduling them to reach the target audience.
Never underestimate the value of turnkey radio to time-strapped business owners.
3.) Radio Is The Best SEO
Research has shown that radio is the best type of search engine optimization (SEO). Consumers consistently prefer to click on a business that they've heard of over one they have not heard of when they conduct their online search.
While a long list of local and global competitors compete for top positions on search engines, the only way a business can be assured they will be found online is when a customer searches for them by name because proactive advertising has created a pre-need awareness and preference for that business. As Internet guru Seth Godin says, "It's better to be sought, than to be found."
Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc., a sales consulting and training company that conducts local share-of-mind studies, radio sales training, and advertiser seminars to help radio account executives sell more radio. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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