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Wed Mar 15 1:13 pm  #1

Radio's Relevance and Establishing Our "Why?"

Dick Taylor's radio blog provides inspiration for bringing focus to the two most pivotal considerations facing broadcast media - defining your "Why" and building your relevance - each for advertisers, listeners, employees and shareholders.  

Thank-you, Dick for reminding us of the essentials that most of us are ignoring.  In weekly conversations with radio owners, managers and sellers, I'm amazed at the opportunities that lie there, unrealized, in giving advertisers and listeners what they're telling us they want.  If Tim Horton's can respond with a darker roast coffee because their customers tell them they want it, I'd like to think that radio could be as responsive to our advertisers and listeners, but our industry's status quo speaks loudly...

Advertisers want greater relevance in the form of sales results they can measure and attribute to our advertising on a weekly basis.  The challenge is that the vast majority in our industry refuse to give it to them, despite the tools being available to deliver 52 weeks of millions of dollars in documented results to local and national advertisers (hands up, please, those of us who do - let's share what we're doing).

Listeners want relevance in the form of ongoing, meaningful experiences that we can create for them on a more impactful, long-term basis.  This can be done both individually and en masse; as there are so many more monetizable opportunities that we can create to make that happen.

Employees want relevance that takes them beyond fragile job security in this industry that is still not secure with its place in the competitive fray, because we're far from fully monetizing our abilities.  All this, despite our unrealized position to take actual leadership in revenue and relevance in each of our markets on a daily basis.

Shareholders find greater relevance in returns generated from radical revenue growth.  By providing greater relevance regarding the above three vantage points, we'll much more easily draw more capital to radio ownership to build on our strengths and establish dominance on new beach-heads such as the digital dashboard.

The bottom line?  There is room for a movement to help more companies better establish radio's relevance on a daily basis, and establish, then communicate, a more compelling "Why?" that's tailored to the opportunities, needs and wants, in each of the communities we serve - not a "top-down" solution, but one from the front-lines.

It's interesting - ask other station owners and managers, and they say "We already do that"; yet ask our advertisers and listeners, and their industry-wide spending and listening levels tell a different story.  

Google, Facebook and other influences are not the greatest danger to our industry - it's the people whose fruit shows that they're clinging to the status quo.  Some of them are nice people - they just need encouragement to bring on board more of those proven, passionate and able to respond to, and monetize, the stated, yet unmet needs of advertisers and listeners, to help them move forward.  

Andy McNabb