Surprise! Advertisers want Results and Tracking!

That’s the lesson from the vivid interview just posted by Radio Ink with a New Jersey car dealer.

Much credit goes to Radio Ink for this post, because I have no doubt that they will receive oodles of complaint emails from broadcasters who presume that the secrets of accountability can be kept from their clients in a digital world.

Well, they can’t.

From Radio Ink:

William Feinstein is the President of Planet Honda in New Jersey. He was so impressed with the results and the trackability of his campaign with Pandora that he signed on for a year.

Yesterday Feinstein pulled up his Google analytics statistics for us and cited how consumers who visited his website through an iPhone spiked during his Pandora campaign. Advertisers clearly want trackability and, like Feinstien, they are more sophisticated and require more than a ranker with extrapolations. Feinstein was pitched Pandora by a local rep who used to work for Clear Channel. And, it didn’t hurt that he’s been a subscriber of the service for years.

As I have been writing about for years, advertisers are shifting from proof of reach to reach of proof.

But the thing is, this power isn’t Pandora’s alone.  It can belong to any broadcaster with a digital product, usage at scale, registration that allows efficient targeting, and – most importantly – the will to compete on 21st century terms.

And it’s that last element, more than any other, that tends to be lacking.

When we poo-poo the prospects for monetizing streaming, the will is lacking.

When we wish to wipe away AFTRA rules so as to lump our online spots in with our over-the-air ones, the will is lacking.

When we condemn Pandora rather than steal every iota of their successful strategy, the will is lacking.

When we look the other way and ignore accountability rather than embrace it and demonstrate it with our own products to our own clients, the will is lacking.

As I underlined in an IAB presentation to LA buyers last week, never bet against technology when it solves the problems of your clients and their customers.

Some time ago I demonstrated this myself. I produced a video which is easily within the power of any broadcaster here, now, today. This video illustrated one form of tracking that can prove results to an auto dealer.  I did it on spec and used a local radio station’s name without their knowledge, but the dealer indicated they would uphold the offer if, indeed, the station embraced the video.

The station did not embrace the video.  They said they had “too much going on.”

Pandora doesn’t have “too much going on.”  Why should you?

Radio can do this.  Radio can do this today.  Don’t wait and awaken to discover your clients have been trained to appreciate accountability by “the new broadcasters” who use technology to solve their clients’ problems.

We must act with the awareness of reality in order to have an impact on that reality.

You’re not in the spot-selling business.  You’re in the client satisfaction business.

And that’s a good thing.

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  • Check out this comment on the Radio Ink post from a reader on their site.  As I predicted, it completely spells out the perception that must change if radio is to sustain its relevance among advertisers:  

    [Pandora is] not a game changer. Pandora is not radio and those touting it as being wonderful don’t get what radio is about. The only reason that some people chose to listen to Pandora was to avoid commercials. Well, now the cat is out of the box as Pandora is broadcasting commercials. Otherwise they can’t survive. Advantage is now gone. What good radio has over Pandora and a CD player, Ipod, etc., is that it is personal. Pandora can never do that. The personalities you listen to are your friends. There is an affinity that keeps one smiling all day. In all honesty, I am tired of reading/listening to these worn stories about Pandora. It’s all “hype” and the fact that RadioInk gives it an audience is even more disturbing. Please stop writing about it and let it just disappear. This mag used to hype satellite radio and we see where that’s going. Bankruptcy. 

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Mark. 

    Whether Radio likes it or not, Pandora is providing a value listeners and advertisers want and are not getting from traditional Radio, on-air or online.

    Listeners want choice and more control. Advertisers want targeting and accountability. The problem rests with us and, as you said, a lack of will to create the systemic change we need. Until that happens Pandora, which is an inferior product to what Radio is capable of being if we would just get in the game, will continue to eat up the ever growing pot of digital revenue that could be going to our stations. (check us out at RAIN and NAB to see a way Radio can compete head to head with Pandora)

    And I would point out to Pandora fans and non-fans that the issue facing our industry is bigger than Pandora… That what really matters to our business at the end of the day is serving our customers their way. Not our way. No matter what it is…if the experience adds more value for listeners and advertisers…as much a pain in the ass as it might be to have to change how we do things…to ignore something that will delight our customers because it is different or more work is not a good long term strategy.

    – Carl Magnuson
        Social Radio 

  • Well put, Carl. Thanks,

    Mark Ramsey

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