Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did You Sell Out Your Bridal Fair?

In the last two decades there have been 23,612 radio and TV station-sponsored bridal fairs, 18,915 New Car Shows in shopping mall parking lots and 196,219 "Register to Win" contests at participating retail sponsors. 82,000 "free" vacations have been given to Q1 spenders and 91,000 free golf rounds to buyers of media. (If you don't believe me, you could look it up, as Yogi Berra used to say). Notwithstanding all of that ingenuity and generosity a few broadcast properties apparently still felt the negative effects of a troubled economy during the past several years.

The last time a "Media Marketing Consultant" (that would be a funny title if it wasn't so sad) proposed a thoughtful program to a retailer that took advantage of all the new touch points to consumers that have evolved and changed the way we all spend our time over the past dozen years was...probably, never.

It's hard to keep hearing from otherwise bright and committed people that sales are off because of the economy. Really? Do you mean that when the consumer contracts his spending, and fewer people visit stores and showrooms, and less cash hits the register, retailers get nervous and cut back on their spending? Oh my. Well how have we approached that problem? Ah, you lowered the price of a remote and added a Big Boy Toy Show. Super! So where are we versus the budget now?

Look, your customers don't have the solution, other than a sale to try and lure their consumers to spend. Sadly, neither do you on their behalf. Absent that solution and an advertising strategy, in the face of declining resources, not to spend dollars on advertising is a perfectly rational decision. On the other hand, absent effective advertising a protracted tough economy will occasion a "for rent" sign where there used to be a sporting goods store.

But what if your customer had a great product or service, and you and your production department really knew what they were doing in bringing that product creatively to market? And what if you understood all the new ways people, of every age group, are spending their leisure time with new technolgies? And what if you really understood that these transformative life style changes in time spent on cell phones, community sites (on the phone via apps or directly online) such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, etc., are all new distribution channels that accommodate marketers and have a "spread the word" effect as well? What if you asked for a meeting to help bring the customer up to speed on consumer behavior? And what if you came back after your initial meeting with a well thought out program featuring your asset as the perfect quarterback to direct traffic to all these channels (as well as taking on branding and transacting functions itself?) Who in your market would be able to compete with you? And how long before you crush your budget?

Or, you could have your customer sponsor July in your new listener calendar.

Great Selling!

Love your Work and Work Tirelessly
Communicate Honestly and Fearlessly
Serve, Don't Sell
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