260-255-4357 Scott@ScLoHo.net
Price?

Price?

A few years ago I published two, sometimes 3 times a day on a blog I titled Collective Wisdom.  The concept was simple. There is a lot of marketing, advertising and media Wisdom out there being published by others.  I complied a steady stream of it as a Collection and packaged it as Collective Wisdom to introduce people to all kinds of good ideas.

Now I have been recycling these timeless bits for Throw Back Thursday:
A random thought from Seth Godin from the summer of 2008:

No such thing as price pressure

Your sales force and your customers may scream that you need to lower your price.

It’s not true.

You need to increase your value. If people don’t want to pay, it’s because you’re not delivering enough value for the money you’re charging.

You’re not selling a commodity unless you want to.

Why and How to Advertise with my Radio Station, WOWO

Why and How to Advertise with my Radio Station, WOWO

Ever read a book and skip a few chapters to get to the answer you want right now?  Yeah me too.

When I decided to do a weekly series of advertising and marketing, eventually I was going to write this article.

But I’ve had too many people ask me recently about the basics of radio advertising, I’m going to share it with you today even though it feels out of order.

1st off, Why advertise with my radio station:

Simple answer, we get results. WOWO radio has been on the air since the 1920′s.  I grew up listening to it as a kid.  We have advertisers that have been on the air for at least 40 and 50 years.

Some of the advertising partners I’ve worked with this year are brand new to using WOWO.  I have a dentist that started in February and is now seeing 10 new patients a week generated from our advertising campaign.  I have a national healthy, organic, natural food supermarket that used us for their grand opening in Fort Wayne, and it was the biggest grand opening week in their company history and they continue to advertise on WOWO every week.

I’ve also had some unusual, or perhaps non-traditional advertisers on WOWO this year.  For example, a gentleman who wrote a short book on health care reform and we promoted his speaking engagements.  Another one of my favorites has been a poultry producer. They need to find more farmers to work under their supervision to raise chickens so they can add a second production shift.  They have some pretty strict guidelines and qualifications that a farmer need to pass and it’s a long term process.  We had to halt their campaign for a few months and put it on hold as they catch up on the leads that have received from our campaign.

A couple of the larger advertisers I work with are in the home improvement business and are getting good results.

WOWO has the largest radio audience in Fort Wayne, Indiana and 95% are adults 25 and older, according to the independent surveys we subscribe to.  We broadcast on 1190am and a couple years ago added 92.3 FM.  You can also listen online, from our website, or the Tune-In Radio app on your tablet or smartphone.

How to advertise with my radio station:

When we talk, I want to know certain things and this will determine what type of campaign I will recommend.  Some of those questions include…

Are you advertising an event or a business/organization?  An event, like a concert or festival requires more ads in a shorter time frame.  The purpose is to reach & invite as many people as possible.  We’ll design a campaign that reflects that model.

If you are a business or organization that is open 12 months, we want to make sure your advertising message is relatively steady year-round. We are building name recognition, branding and yes we will include a call to action too. But we want to be sure we are continually inviting people to spend their money with you, when they need or want what you offer, not just when you are having a special sale.

How much does it cost?  With WOWO, I have so many options that we can use that I don’t have a standard package that I can tell you will work for you without us talking first.

However I have price guidelines that I have to follow because we have lots of businesses that want to advertise and our business is built on supply and demand.  When we are tight on inventory, our prices are higher for those last few commercials.  Every week I get an update on the minimum prices for the next several weeks.

I know that a good starting price is $100 to $150 per 60 second commercial.  Many of my advertising partners pay less because we plan ahead and look at all the options.  My goal is not to get the most money out of you as possible.  My goal is to create a campaign that is affordable and will produce the results we agree upon over the length of time we also agree upon.

That being said, I have advertising partners that are spending $5000 or more each month and some that are spending $1000 per month.  Those are the basic guidelines, dollar-wise to keep in mind.  Most recommendations are between 20 and 40 thousand dollars per year.

I have learned some very creative ways to manage advertising budgets and produce excellent results over the past couple of decades and since I joined WOWO last year, I have discovered a few more that work because of our news/talk format and relationship between our air personalities and our listeners.

A couple more Questions and Answers.

I can buy an ad on another local radio station for $40 or $60, why should I buy yours at double that cost?  The radio stations that sell ads for less have a smaller audience.  With WOWO, your cost per invitation per person is going to be less.  Your chance of success is greater when you invite more people to do business with you, in most cases.

I don’t want to commit to a one year agreement.  Can I try it for a few weeks?  Maybe.  Most of our advertising agreements have a no-fault cancellation clause.  If due to unforeseen circumstances, you need to cancel, there is a simple way out with a written note 2 weeks in advance.  However, let’s work together to do everything we can to make this a lifelong relationship from the beginning.  I want you to be on the air forever, because it is a good use of your advertising dollars.  You and I are advertising partners.  I use that terminology because I am that serious about forming a winning partnership for your business, for our listeners (your future customers) and for me and the radio station.

Figuratively and often literally we are sitting on the same side of the table, not opposite sides, to create success for all.

More in the weeks ahead, in the meantime contact me either at Scott@WOWO.com or Scott@ScLoHo.net and you can also call or text me at 260-255-4357.

 

One Way to Compete?

One Way to Compete?

This is not something I can recommend without a few disclaimers.  Read it first and then I’ll explain:

Making a List 

From a customer’s standpoint, how does your service stack up compared with that of competing sales reps?

You could invite customers outright to make the comparison. Or better still, work up an item-by-item checklist for buyers to fill out. It can be revealing on the one hand and show customers you care on the other — plus it can suggest areas for potential improvement.

Source: Business author Ray Dreyfack

This was from one of my emails from RAB.com this month.

I really don’t want to position myself against other radio stations in my city, unless that is where the real battle is.  I used to do that because I worked for some small niche stations.  But today I work for the most listened to station in town and when you are number one, you don’t berate the smaller guys.

Instead I congratulate them on using radio to invite customers to do business with them.  Sometimes that is the first hurdle, “Have you considered using radio advertising?”.

Think about your business.  If you Chevy cars, do you really want to berate the other Chevy dealers in town or do you think it would be better to simply demonstrate superior customer service compared to all the dealers in town?

I also believe you need to know everything you can about your direct competitors, so you will be prepared when someone asks you why you and not your direct competitor.  But it has to be the “whys” from a buyers perspective, not yours.

 

What do you think?

Asking for Help is a Gift

Asking for Help is a Gift

I was wondering what to share today when I recalled a message from a couple of friends I’ve heard over the years.  Both of these men happen to be Pastors.

 

Let’s approach this in reverse.

 

When you receive a gift, you are thankful, right?  And when you give a gift, it feels good too, correct?

This concept of gifts is usually a non-reciprocal relationship. Otherwise it would be more of a transaction, where you exchange stuff.

 

When you have the opportunity to help someone, it feels good doesn’t it?  Similar to that good feeling that goes around when we give gifts.

So why don’t we ask for help more often?

Because we are brought up to be strong and independent.  That needing help is a sign of weakness or failure.

But seriously, we can’t do everything all by ourselves.  We need help with all kinds of stuff in our lives, and we do it.

Still, there are certain things or situations that we are embarrassed to ask  for someones help.

Let’s work on changing our thinking and attitudes.

Complete the circle…

Helping someone with something makes the helper feel good inside, just like giving a gift makes the giver feel good.

Getting help with something feels good, just like receiving a gift feels good.

So it’s time to get the ball rolling and it all begins with the asking part.

Think about that one thing you could use help with.

Then (don’t be afraid), ask for help.

Because asking for help is a gift.

Marketing Flops

Marketing Flops

From the ScLoHo Archives, this is from my Collective Wisdom website, 2007 for #ThrowBackThursday:

From my email, and from another marketing blog run by the folks at www.maplecreative.com came the following (my answers are in red):

What’s Your Biggest Marketing Flop?

I usually ask my audience this question whenever I do a training seminar or speaking engagement: “What is your biggest marketing flop?”

Here’s a snapshot of responses from a recent group–

I placed a single ad in the newspaper to promote an event. Received zero response. One Ad, unless it’s the Super Bowl will always have a slim to none chance of working. It’s always better to get the message out multiple times, to the same consumer, than to blow all your bucks on a single ad.

Have not had any success from newspaper advertising. Any medium can work, if the message is clear and appealing, the cost is in line with the R.O.I. you need to make it work, and you give it the time to work. Also you need to understand how to measure success for the campaign you are doing. Most business owners don’t know how to do all of these important elements.

We planned a private retail shopping party. From the RSVPs we thought we had 25 people coming and planned food, staff, etc., accordingly. Only two disinterested people showed up, and we did not sell one dollar’s worth of merchandise. I cringe when a client wants to have a private retail shopping party. You are counting on people who are already suffering from time poverty, to carve out the time to come to you and spend their hard earned money. I want to do successful events and invite as many as possible. Also instead of a private event, make it the kick off to a longer sale event. And you must use your connections to bring people in, not just RSVP’s.

When I was starting out in business, I got my first call from a reporter. I did not prepare, and the call caught me off guard. Needless to say, my message did not come across in the story as well as it should have. Be prepared. It could be a reporter or your biggest customer.

I have not had any response to my “yellow page” ads. Yellow pages ads do not generate response. I was watching the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk” recently where he is all excited because his name is now in print (listed in the phone book). Remember he was “The Jerk”. You need to be more proactive in getting new business, and make yourself known to potential clients before they need you.

Have you had any experiences like these? What could these folks have done differently?

No, I won’t take your money…

No, I won’t take your money…

I make money selling advertising on WOWO Radio.  I also make money hooking up businesses with some of our online web offerings.

You would think that is simple.  You want to buy an ad or a bunch of ads, I give you a price, we agree and sign papers and the deed is done.

But I don’t and won’t work that way.

I care too much.

I want you to be successful when you spend your money with me.

I want it to be a good investment, not a waste.

Honestly it is impossible to get a 100% accurate measurement on the success of your advertising.

But there are clues and signs that give indications.

Over the next several weeks I’m going to write on Wednesdays about the ins and outs of successful marketing and advertising.

I want you to understand and I also will share with you what I do that others, even those in my own company don’t do.

And to kick it off, here are a few reasons why I won’t take your money even if you want to spend it with me.

  • You want to “test us.”  Sorry but we don’t offer a free test drive.  Even if you want to pay for the ads to air, unless you agree to certain minimums and we can agree on what to expect, I’m not going to burn bridges by taking your money, crossing my fingers and praying for a ton of business to come your way.  Either we agree on what it will take to make it successful and we do it that way, or you can go “test” some other advertising.  Odds are both you and the advertising media will fail the test.
  • You are not ready to take care of the potential customers I can send you.  We have lot’s of people who listen to us every week.  Over 100,000 according to the rating services.  While you are not going to get all of our listeners coming to you, can you handle the ones that do want to do business with you?  Are you big enough to handle an increase in business and give those new customers the best treatment possible?  If not, no, I won’t take your money now, maybe in the future, but get your business in order first, and I’ll be happy to advise you on what steps you need to take.
  • You need new customers now or you are going out of business.  Big Red Flag in my book.  I’m not a miracle worker. Sounds like you have other issues that need attention too.  Despite having the biggest audience of radio listeners in Fort Wayne, they’re not trained seals who are going to come rushing to your rescue to buy from you because you need them to right now.
  • You are a crook.  Yeah, that’s right.  Your way of doing business is questionable, shady, sort-of-above-board-but-not-completely…   I only want to work with businesses that I trust to take good care of my listeners.  I have fired advertisers before.  Eight years ago I discovered a mortgage company that was on one of the stations I worked for was bending the rules to get unqualified people loans, I kicked them off the air.  Don’t play that game with me.
  • You have not convinced me that you know what you are doing.  I had a “social media guru” come to me a few years ago who wanted to advertise her services.  She was just a beginner and I knew more than she did about her “craft”.  She failed my “test” of basic knowledge of how a couple of social media platforms work.  She needed to up her knowledge before I could recommend her to anyone, and I would not take her money.
  • Sometimes you are doing nothing wrong, it’s just not a good fit.  You want to advertise your teen night club on my station.  95% of our listeners are 25 and older.  I’ll connect you with someone from one of my sister stations that would be a better fit.

I’m sort of picky and that’s good because I don’t want to waste your time, your money, or my time either.  I want to develop long term relationships, whether its business or personal.  I want it to be built on trust, not money.  That’s why there are times when I won’t take your money…

Making Friends and Allies

Making Friends and Allies

When I was managing a sales team or interviewing a potential new team member, I would tell them that sales is one of the hardest jobs they’ll ever have and one of the easiest, it all depends on how they approach it.

Recently I have been coaching others in my profession who are in other parts of the country.  Several struggle with getting through to the person who can say yes.  It’s real easy to find people who can say no.  One of them is the “gatekeeper”.

RAB.com has more:

Empowering the Gatekeeper 

Do not bypass gatekeepers. Build alliances. Do not come down to their level. Come up to their level. You never know with whom you are talking. For all you know, the “secretary” is the owner.

Gatekeepers’ jobs are to push you away, but in the same respect it is their job to determine what might be a benefit for the company. Humanize with them. Make a joke. Have fun. Be respectful. Treat them like they are the owner.

And here’s an interesting idea — never ask for the person in charge. Assume they are the people in charge. Say you want to meet with them “and whoever else also makes the purchasing decisions.” There are two reasons here:

1) Who you think is in charge and who really is could be different people. By letting them say if they are or not, you will get the real answer;

2) At the same time, by respecting them and their importance, you are separating yourself from every other sales rep who tramples upon them with disrespect as they try to reach the decision-maker.

Source: Sales consultant/author Todd Natenberg

It’s All In Your Head

It’s All In Your Head

Yes and No.

A friend of mine Amber shared online about being sad and how she is determined not to be sad anymore.  While I was surprised to see her post online and then share via Facebook and Twitter a link to what she wrote, it dawned on me, that I had seen what she is talking about.

More than a few people have said “You’re like Amber with the volume turned down.” And that’s exactly how I’ve felt. 

I thought it was the busyness of her life.  Over the past 5+ years that I’ve know Amber, she has switched jobs, started a company with her husband, added more and more activities and duties to her everyday life and I thought she was just busy.

I was wrong.

Yes she was busy, and she was running full speed ahead.  But the weight of life was pressing down. Personal stuff that can make you said like  the passing of her grandfather whom she loved dearly. The mixture of wanting to do it all and having just 24 hours in a day.

This article is not really about my friend Amber. I am only sharing what she has shared combined with my own observations, because she shared first and inspired me to talk about this topic.

The topic of “it’s all in your head”.

The reason I say No, is it’s not just a function of our intellect.  It is also our spiritual side.  Our soul that  cannot be measured by science is involved too.  Keep that in mind as you read on.

Ambition is great, wonderful, something we applaud in others and want for ourselves.  It can also push us too much.  It can be a dark cloud that rains down condemnation when we don’t accomplish what we (or others) determined that we should do.

Life is not a steady climb up a mountain.  Each slip and fall should be a learning experience.  But sometimes we are too close to the situation to recognize the lessons right away.  Or too determined that we keep trying again and again the same way with repeated failure because we thought it was us that was the problem and not the path we were taking that was wrong.

While I am not a doctor, I know that sometimes there are links between our emotional health and mental health that can create deep scarring and may require a medical treatment to restore or control a mental health issue.

I’m not going to dive deeper into the whole mental health rabbit hole, but I’ll dance around the surface.  I have friends and relatives that have required meds to stay on top of their mental health issues.  Don’t consider yourself a freak if that’s your situation.  Instead, I urge you to seek answers.  And just because there are no visible signs such as a broken bone, there are folks among us with mental health problems that need help.  Don’t shun them.  Take it serious.

Again I must applaud my friend Amber for her courage to stop and see what was going on and then to spill her guts with everyone.  There have been words of support and thanks and encouragement all over Facebook and I’m sure in person too.

Most of our friends and family won’t do what Amber did, so we need to pay closer attention to one another and ask each other how is life for you ?  We also need to be honest and not let ourselves always say, fine, when we are not.

One last link to share with you.  I subscribe to a free email from a blog called Dumb Little Man, which is a dumb title but that’s what it is.

The article about worry is appropriate for this discussion.