Radio’s Resiliency

If we look at the last two years of the blind media coverage given to the pure plays, Wall Street’s infatuation with all things digital, and an irrational and costly rush by advertisers to social media and digital platforms, (ROI anyone?) you would think that Broadcast Radio was losing listeners, and perhaps its nine decades of absolute reinvention and resiliency.

We are told the media landscape today is a fractured, highly selective, and uber targeted environment and with so many consumer choices and distractions that have sprung up (or at least that’s what we have been told) over the past two years that directly compete with Radio’s listeners and their attention, you’d bet good money that Broadcast Radio was…on the ropes or at the very least, declining.

The problem here is that none of that is true. 

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Brave New World for Radio

The year is 2015 and it is the time of Radio’s rebirth. The crushing reality that digital, the pure plays, and traditional, appointment TV had not delivered the market share or brand awareness that so many predicted only a few years back, has finally dawned on the accountants, manufacturers, media experts, bloggers, and various agencies who were the vocal proponent of almost any media except Broadcast Radio.

It is also the dawn of sophisticated consumer research coupled with actual purchases and filtered through the prism of an impartial ROI media analysis. The term ROI became synonymous with Radio as case study after case study proved decisively how powerful and cost effective Radio truly was, and always had been. Years of reducing Radio to single digit media budgets had ended as Radio finally took its place as a full partner at the media table of advertising campaigns across the country.

Advertisers faced brutal competition on all fronts and an ever mobile and restless customer base that clearly listened to local Radio; and so advertisers learned they could no longer invest in the “shiny new objects” or a promised revenue return that could not be substantiated or proven over time. They abandoned the various “new best things” in favor of the documented power of Broadcast Radio, and in all its forms and devices from which it was constantly airing content 24/7.

It is also the time of actual Radio listener growth. Despite all the competition from so many platforms and so many entertainment and information options, Radio listening continued to grow. Its universal human appeal could not be stopped or even slowed from the massive marketing assaults of Sirius/XM, Pandora, the In-Dash media options, and all of the other Internet pure play music services, which now numbered about 10.  Continue reading

Kia Motors America Shifts Gears in Radio’s Favor

Kia Motors America wants to cut its hefty dependence on third-party shopping sites for online sales leads and we applaud this strategy 100%. Kia’s goal is to bring more quality leads to their dealers by directing prospects to and not buy and sell “leads” to their dealers from third party sites such as,, and, to name just a few.

The problem, which is industry wide, is that these third party sites do not offer the quality leads that dealers need to convert to a sale. The current internet definition of an auto internet lead is anyone breathing who has filled in their contact information. The second issue is one of price expectations. These third party sites boast about lower dealer prices if one registers with them.

So, what is the Kia dealer getting when it buys third party leads from these and other auto aggregating sites?

Unqualified leads and prospects who have an expectation of a lower price since, after all, this is the internet and these sites promote lower dealer prices. Not only are the leads that Kia dealers are buying unqualified, the prospect is expecting low, low prices and begins the discussion with “What deal are you offering me?”  Continue reading

A Responsibility to the Truth

It seems that digital advertising has consumed the thought process and the budgets of so many advertisers and their agencies these days. Spending on digital advertising, which includes social media, search engines, websites, and mobile devices, is expected to rise 17% to $50 billion in the U.S. in 2014. That’s 28% of all U.S. Ad spending this year. In fact, one major client we know is being forced by its manufacturer to spend 25% of their annual budget in digital advertising. The stampede to participate in digital advertising and throw serious money at anything labeled “digital” has somehow ignored a critical basic question; who is this audience they are trying to reach and does it really exist?

The rush to be attached someway or somehow to the Internet because the “experts” have told our clients to has somehow suspended our collective responsibility to understanding the truth about web traffic and the disturbing and downright dishonest use of who and what is on the web and why.

And why should Radio Care about this? Well for openers, your client’s total budget, which includes Radio, has been on average, reduced in 2014 by at least 25%.

Do I have your attention now?  Continue reading

Technology Bullies……or Why a Radio Sales Career Sure Looks Good Right Now

What do traditional cameras, cashiers, parking lot attendants, travel agencies, telephone receptionists, pharmacists, Tax Prep Services, Paper Maps, Bank Tellers, Taxi Drivers, The U.S. Postal System, Lawyers/Paralegals, Wristwatches, Pharmacists, and Television all have in common?

They are, or are about to become, innocent victims of technology bullies. Each of the above professions and/or industries were doing fine a decade ago until the Technology Bullies wanted in on these solid business models and descended on these jobs and companies like a swarm of electrified locust.

The results are devastating and irreversible if the technology bullies darken your door. Here are just a few examples that are noteworthy:  Continue reading

Like Moths to Radio’s Flame

The flame of Radio is more brilliant than ever as it attracts the best and the brightest minds into its connected orbit. We see the irresistible pull every day in so many ways as the allure and unharnessed potential of Radio in all its forms continues to draw in very talented and motivated people.

We only need look in our own backyard to understand the vibrancy and kinetic energy surrounding our member radio stations and their staffs right here in Southern California. Our region is arguably the nation’s epicenter of great Radio and audio content being created everyday by our 175 member stations, as well as cutting edge mobile apps, complete digital solutions, nationally known talent, sold-out station events, award-winning creative commercials, real and sustained community and charity involvement, brilliant NTR events, and 15.5 million listeners a week covering 52,000 square miles. And of course, the nation’s biggest traffic jams with huge in car listening!

In Southern California, the flame of Radio burns brilliantly.

Southern California Radio’s “flame” has more weekly reach than Google, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, and any other media sources have in a month.

Southern California’s “population” of registered vehicles, 16.8 million and counting, exceeds the entire populations of Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston, and New York City combinedContinue reading

If I Were a Car Dealer…

I would shape my thoughts and actions as someone running multiple dealerships in ways that would be consistent with my product lines, my staff, my locations, and develop a true understanding of today’s car customers and how best to get them to visit my showrooms over my competition.

I would be focused on the enormous investment I have made in my car and truck inventory and understand that we must “move” these products as quickly as possible as I am carrying a hefty note every month in the form of a line of credit from my bank or banks. After all, once all the cars and trucks are sold to me by the manufacturer, I own them. There are no returns in my business.

I would also understand that while I think and plan for the long run, my investment and the time I need to become profitable is short. My business is right now as every day a car remains on my lot is a finance cost I absorb. So you see, time is never on my side and decisions I make directly impact my future and that of my teams at each dealership. Nowadays, I only talk to business people who appreciate that aspect of my profession. I have little use for anyone who does not. Sorry, nothing personal, but this is my business.

I would only deal with people who understood that basic fact of the auto business as they are the ones who will work towards the “right now” of my business. And yes, I can be short, right to the point, and sometimes less than gentle. That’s not who I am, but rather who I have to be to succeed, and indeed, survive in this highly competitive and fast-changing business.  Continue reading