More unfortunate fun with HD Radio math

Let’s say by the end of the current 200 million dollar promotional campaign there are a total of 200,000 HD radios in circulation. The campaign, which has been running in phases since April, will have likely burned through most of its dollar value once 2007 rolls around.

We can’t know how many HD radios will be out there for sure in large part due to the fact that the HD establishment has decided not to report unit sales (which, by the way, never happens when you’re selling tons of units).

But my guess is that 200,000 is a generous estimate.

If you buy this estimate and do the math, it means the industry is essentially spending $1,000 to sell every $300 HD radio.

One would think we could do better by giving away the radios and writing consumers a check for the balance.

I know some of you think my points have been made and I can let this topic go, but I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to see a year’s worth of warnings and prognostications ignored only to have my worst fears play out.

HD radio could be a wonderful thing. But not if we proceed down this path.

I hear a remarkable amount of skepticism about HD radio and concern from broadcasters nationwide – all of whom are also consumers.

Rather than spinning this audience, we should be listening to it and involving it.

Rather than imagining that consumers will buy a better mousetrap simply because we want to sell one, we must understand what consumers want and how they want it.

That’s what marketers do.

And woe unto the managers and engineers who don’t understand marketing and are intent on selling consumers what they have rather than what consumers want.

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