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Radio’s Sales Story

From Inside Radio:

A new survey shows two-thirds of marketers are being told by their companies to drive more sales with the same or lower budget — and three-quarters say their marketing budget has shrunk this year. Facing that challenge, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) survey says accountability has taken on a much greater significance….Virtually all (92%) the firms that took part in the ANA-MMA survey say they’re taking steps to improve marketing effectiveness without spending more. Seven in ten say they’re doing that by shifting from traditional to digital media with more than half (53%) shifting from brand-building to promotional marketing. But there’s good news for radio too. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) are shifting to lower-cost media.

And here we hit the nub of the biggest misunderstanding in the radio business.

"But there's good news for radio too.  Nearly …38% are shifting to lower-cost media."

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be a winner due to my low cost, because chances are there will be lower cost options than me down the road, if there aren't already (and there are).  The equation here is not about cost, it's about value.  It's not about how cheap we can be, it's about how efficient and effective we can be.  If we think of ourselves as chief monarch of the cut-rate fiefdom, then we should not be surprised that the agencies see us likewise.  Nor should we be surprised when someone usurps our cut-rate crown and does so more efficiently.

Second, there is no such thing as "radio too."  Radio is not just radio – it's also digital.  And the shift from traditional to digital media should, by all rights, constitute a shift of dollars from one of radio's pockets to another.

So give me the seven in ten who are shifting to digital rather than the 38% who are pinching pennies in an endless spiral of economy.  Give me the 53% shifting from brand-building to promotional marketing, which radio (in all its forms) does better than anybody.  Give me the chance to show how my bundle of assets – radio's bundle – can deliver more impact with greater efficiency across every existing platform.

It ain't about being cheaper.  It's about being more effective and more efficient.  That's a game worth winning.

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