Friday, November 26, 2010

“Black Friday” Radio: Urgency, Anticipation and Mood

Ask a consumer psychologist about the factors that drive Black Friday and you’ll likely hear about urgency, anticipation, and the shopping experience.

Urgency – Stores' short, special sale hours, promotions, limited supplies and  real, artificial or implied scarcity driving consumer feelings of “get it now” or “miss out on today and you’ll be sorry."

Anticipation – Store strategies that have consumers looking forward to and planning Black Friday visits, in effect making time-specific appointments with shoppers and promising pay offs big enough to change their habits.

Shopping Mood/Experience – Smart retailers knows that Black Friday shopping is emotional and "part of an energized movement.” They may subscribe to the convergence theory  of like-minded people gathering for a common goal or to a self-feeding theory on crowds, but ultimately stores that hat engage their customers through multiple channels and provide a strong shopping experience will compete at a different level than those that simply conduct transactions.

Thursday of course is the day most stations focus on.

But what if each component on our station was an individual brick and mortar store whose success or failure was largely driven by urgency, anticipation and mood?

How would we have done on Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A + B = $

It’s one thing to use social media to market to people who are aware of who you are and what you’re selling.

But what about those who don’t yet know about you or don't yet know that they need your product?

That’s the subject of this Chris Brogan post, “Two Sides of Marketing,” which could be a great topic for your next sales meeting.

Here’s a snippet.

“Some marketing is designed to convince you that your life would be better if you had this (we’ll call that the A side). Other marketing is designed to find the people who are actually seeking that and give them more education to help them make a decision (this, we’ll call B). When I look at how we use social media more often than not, it’s for B and not A. We usually use social media to listen for the people who are expressing an interest in a product or service that we offer, and then we give them content like blog posts and videos to help them better understand how much better the world would be once you really get the product or service that you want…The A-side of marketing, the “ADVERTISING” side of marketing, still has to sneak in between what we know and what we NEED (being bombastic and smirky here) to know, so that we can then help educate people (the “BRIDGING” side of marketing) that it’s what they want.”

I’ll bet you can find some businesses in your market that would benefit greatly from adding your “A” to their “B.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CRS 2011: What Will You Take Away?

CRS, the Country Radio Seminar, is one of the great learning conventions. The 2011 agenda has relevant sessions no matter where you are on the “experience continuum.”

Have a conversation about CRS and it won't be long before the discussion turns to a specific panel, keynote or take-away that had a positive impact on the attendees job performance or perhaps even life experience.

One of the most memorable and meaningful sessions I've attended was Lou Holtz’ 1997 riveting keynote, “What’s Important Now.” Whether you're pursuing a personal (improving your life) or professional goal (like meeting a deadline, coaching talent, moving your station forward, or working to deliver the highest possible quality product), doing "What's Important Now" is a simple yet powerful plan of action that keeps you focused on achievement.

I’ve been inspired by Lou’s speech for years. That hour alone was worth the entire trip and I'm so glad I didn't miss it.

I hope you don’t miss CRS 2011. I also hope you don’t miss the discount rate of $399 which is good through Friday. After that it will cost you $100 more - which is still a bargain.

Finally, in the CRS spirit of sharing, I hope you'll leave a comment about a Seminar experience that still resonates with you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just A FEW More Awards From Last Night

Was that a great CMA Awards Show or what?

Unfortunately, just like Thanksgiving dinner, there’s so much hype/anticipation/excitement/work that leads up to it that it’s over all too quickly.

Just like any good holiday meal, there ought to be a few ‘left-overs.’ So in that spirit, here are my left-overs: the “Post-Show Awards.”

Feel free to add your own!

Of COURSE Country Singers Can Sing Live Award: Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson/As She’s Walking Away. Multiple runners-up, notably Carrie Underwood, Lady A, Dierks Bentley and (insert up to three of your favorite performances here).

Performance With A Purpose Award: Taylor Swift in a very mature setting playing piano with strings as accompaniment. Nothing says ex-cheerleader like this.

Fastest Costume Change Award: Jennifer Nettles. Less than a second.

Best Hat Award: Kristian Bush: For his top hat. He wore a different one for Sugarland's "Duo" acceptance speech. Honorable mention: Kid Rock and Zac Brown (OK, Zac didn't really wear a ‘hat’ per se, but “Best Head Covering” – while more accurate - is just too cumbersome for an award title).

Most Gracious Acceptance Line Award: Lady A’s Dave Haywood: “We love you all and it's an honor to be in the category with you."

Best National Commercial: Taylor Swift CD. Honorable Mentions: Chevy (a Dog and A Chevy) and HP (baby going 70 mph wheelie-thingy).

Sigh of Disappointment Award: ABC’s The Middle “CMA Salute” promos. Nice Awards show but you still don't get it, do you?

You Lookin’ At Me (and not really a camera) Award: Reba during her performance. Does she get the most out of a camera or what? Wow.

Performance That Exceeded (REALLY Exceeded) Even High Expectations: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson (DAY-um!)

Best 20-second Cover: Little Big Town covering Taylor Swift

Best Performance of a Country Song Disguised as a Rock Song: “Born Free”/Kid Rock

Best Hug By A Fiancée: Miranda Lambert after Blake was announced as Male Vocalist of the Year

I’m Really Torqued They Didn’t Get To Sing their Whole Song Award: Band Perry (I played “If I Die Young” during the next 3 commercial breaks and it STILL didn’t come close to make up for having this GREAT song and performance cut short) 

Mispronunciation Award: Sheryl Crow. Everyone knows that Loretta Lynn taught us that the correct pronunciation or “washboard” is “WARSH-board” (just like "tired" is correctly pronounced “tarred”).

Best Line of the Night: Miranda Lambert on being named Female Vocalist of the Year: “I just told Blake I think we need to go to Church.” Runner up: Brad Paisley on Joe Galante.

Can't wait till next year!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Take 10: 10 Show Strategies and Tactics You Can Use Right Now

You know how when you’re reading about one thing and you’re struck with how the concepts also apply to something else?

That happened to me as I was reading 10 Steps to More Scientific Social Media Marketing by Dan Zarrella  . While I was reading about Dan’s topic, I was thinking how each of his 10 points also applied to preparing a winning show.

I’ve paraphrased Dan’s 10 points and changed the topic from Social Media Marketing to Show Development. See what you think (and be sure to use the link above to read Dan’s original article).

1.Iterate what works. Do this both for benchmark-type elements of the show (to keep existing benchmarks fresh, evolve old ones, and create new ones) and for your daily content (have multiple “takes” on the same subject).

2. Audience size matters. Obviously pleasing fans is important, but also be cume-aware to keep your show from becoming overly fan-centric and at the expense of growing cume.

3. Find and target influencers. In politics, estimates are that social tools connect with 1% of the voters who are most engaged in your message and that these in turn will influence another 9%. While our ratio may be different, embracing and empowering fans pays dividends.

4. Bigger and louder works – to a point. I’m all about being an occasional spectacle, but great content is the key to loyal, recurring listenership.

5. Personalize. You and me, in your car, on our way home from work – that’s the litmus test for how we talk and what we talk about. Also, “I’m talking about what you’re talking about” only from a more creative, entertaining, fun, interesting, etc. perspective that compels you to listen daily.

6. Don’t wear your audience out. Don’t allow your “content” to be dominated by “do this,” “go here,” and “call now.” Most listeners came to be entertained, not to have new tasks added to their day.

7. Help your audience look cool. What are you including in your show today that will make me smarter, more clever, look better in my friends’ and co-workers’ eyes?

8. Be the authority. Be out in front of everything you can.

9. Avoid too much talk about yourself. Engage others; let listeners see themselves in the stories you tell. Listen more. Same for your social media efforts; make it a conversation not just an oratory.

10. Don’t forget calls-to-action. Use appointments, deadlines, promote-aheads of exclusive content, urgent language, and social media to engage listeners in current and future shows.

Are any of these working for you now? Have any others you’d like to share?