They Said It, I Didn’t — Pt. 2

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Note: Last week’s blog was titled, “They Said It, I Didn’t.” The following builds upon this theme.

(By Bob McCurdy) One of the benefits of writing this blog is that a lot of smart people who read it, forward additional information regarding the topics addressed. Case in point: Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard forwarded an article by Shane O’Leary, who is a Consumer Strategy Director at Mindshare. O’Leary’s article recapped three books that focused on marketing fundamentals, some of which I’ve written about previously, but anything that serves to “refresh” these foundational marketing commandments is always worth a few minutes.

O’Leary’s article extracted select quotes from How Not to Plan, Eat Your Greens, and Effectiveness in Context. These books are worth being added to any radio salesperson’s personal library. Here are some quotes from each, along with my thoughts.

Quotes from How Not To Plan:

“To maximize growth and profitability, talking to your existing customers isn’t enough.”

Comment: Advertisers who only focus on current customers will likely hem themselves into an aging and shrinking segment due to changing personal and professional circumstances. Law of Moderation: non-users become users, users become non-users.

“Marketing that appears effective in the short term can lose you money in the long term.”

Comment: Digital marketing, as effective as it is, has unleashed an obsession with “efficiency” resulting in “short-termism” which could be sacrificing long-term brand-building for immediate short-term payback. Overdoing promotional call-to-action advertising can actually be harmful to long-term revenue prospects.

“Sometimes new technology does make the old one extinct. But more often than not, the two find niches or work in symbiosis”

Comment: Each medium has strengths and weaknesses but the combined effect of any media mix exceeds the sum of the individual media. This quote supports the 2016 ARF, How Advertising Works, Today study, which confirmed that ROI grows with the addition of each media channel.

“To even have a chance of moving the dial, you need big numbers of people to see what you’re doing.”

Comment: O’Leary states, “Wastage is wonderful.” Bottom line is that here is no such thing as waste due to fluidity of consumer circumstances and buying habits. The goal should be to make sure a brand/business is known by many and comes to mind easily” (mental availability) when the consumer enters the market. Casting a wider net always catches more fish than a rod and reel. Only targeting consumers with a high propensity to purchase has a tendency of emptying the pool of consumers in the market without refilling it.

“Effectiveness is the extent to which you’ve achieved your goals. Efficiency is a measure of effort needed to reach them.”

Comment: The quickest way to increase ROI (efficiency) is to cut budget, it is also the quickest way to go out of business. There is a difference between “cost efficient” and “cost effective.” Too much focus on ROI (efficiency) can actually keep a brand from growing as it detracts advertisers from the main game: growing and benefitting from scale.

Quotes from Eat Your Greens:

“The ‘heavy buyer’ fallacy — the tendency to overlook the fact that most customers are lighter buyers who together buy enough to matter a lot.”

Comment: How much more can heavy buyers buy? The answer is, not much. There’s much more upside with the light buyer. TNS data shows that half of Coke buyers only purchase one or two bottles per year. Point made. It’s about the long tail.

“It is quite wrong to see the Internet as a rival medium to TV. This is not a zero sum game.” — Alps

Comment: Radio didn’t kill print. TV didn’t kill radio. The Internet won’t kill TV, and Pandora and Spotify will not kill radio. Integrate, don’t isolate.

“The point is not that brands should target everyone, but rather should aim to target everyone in their category…please try not to reach below your means.”

Comment: This rationale is simple. Assuming that exposure to a commercial increases the likelihood that a consumer will purchase a product/service, then logically reducing the number of consumers reached by a campaign will reduce sales.

Quotes from Effectiveness In Context:

“Marketing produces much stronger business results in high-consideration categories.”

Comment: We expend less time considering what brand of soda to buy versus what brand of automobile to purchase. The more “interested” people are, the more effective advertising tends to be. When consumers are emotionally involved and the product is one of high consideration, advertising is more effective. A key point to highlight to automotive dealerships.

“Sadly, for loyalty marketing fans, our analysis shows that regardless of the nature of the purchase decision, penetration is always the main driver of growth.”

Comment: It’s the “double jeopardy” law at work. Brands with more buyers tend to be purchased slightly more frequently. And since “brand loyalty” is somewhat tied to “brand penetration” (more buyers), the obvious goal of marketing should be to increase the total number of buyers (penetration).

“The optimum balance of brand building to sales activation is in fact trending upwards over time. At a time when commitment to brand building should have been growing, it has in fact been falling.”

Comment: Want to go out of business fast? Then only focus on the lower funnel with sales activation (digital: harvesting demand) while not refilling the top of the funnel (radio: creating demand). It’s why digital and radio complement each other so perfectly.

O’Leary’s article can be found here. These thoughts/concepts could/should serve to guide advertising decisions/recommendations to clients. Ordering at least one of these books is not a bad idea. The best long-term investment any of us can make is not in the stock market but in our own professional knowledge and development. Good reading and good selling!

Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at bob.mccurdy@bbgi.com

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