Monday, March 02, 2009
Pumping Up RADIO
As we watch another exciting plunge in the stock market and more reports on radio's economic picture for 08 and the first months of 09 - the news looks worse every day. Here are a couple of thoughts that might help:
A Message for ALL:
Here's a thought - think of all the commercials we ran for HD radio. In the Nielsen most played commercials 'charts' the HD campaign was in the top 3 for much of 08. How about launching a new campaign across all formats and stations that goes like this:
Hi this is your radio. Yes I've been around a long time with music, news, sports, weather, traffic and witty comments here and there. But if you look deeper you'll learn that radio can really help this economy and our community get out of these tough times. Radio gets advertising messages out to 94% of our community and the whole nation every week. The retailers of our area can get the word out on their products and get this economy moving again for very reasonable costs. Radio is also easy to use - a few creative words and your good to go. The message efficiently reaches our market area. Radio - a part of your community, living here, working here, playing here and striving to make our area a better place.
Of course a professional copy creator could probably do a better job, but our industry could turn this tough economy into a turning point for Terrestrial Radio with a well crafted message like this. I know we didn't do a great job of selling HD radio, but this is a basic message we could sell to our audience and clients. And the good news - it's true.
Bright Spots in the Economy Dust Storm:
There are some business and retail segments that are growing in this downtrend. I gathered these from a bunch of stories from USA Today, CNN, CNBC, Yahoo and MSNBC:
Movies: The box office for 08 was off around 5% but for the first 2 months of 09 it's up 15%. Just like in the depression when the movie industry became a big industry. Escaping the reality is worth a price.
Fast Food: Just about everyone is improving - especially McDonalds and Subway.
Wal-Mart - Discount Stores: We're looking for bargains.
Cell Phones - There's still growth left and lots of 'turf wars' over subscribers. Give up your land line? Why Not. Turn in your Cell Phone? Are you crazy?
Used Cars - January was a strong showing for Used Car sales. Maybe we can't go for the new cars, but that 05 Mustang looks pretty good. Car dealers often make as much or more on their used inventory.
Financial Services - From Tax prep firms, to credit assistance, to bankruptcy assistance. It's a time for these services to grow.
College and Trade Schools: Plenty of people who could use new skills and now with college tax credits, more loans and some layoff packages offering re-training the local colleges are running at full throttle.
Home Style Cookin: Restaurants that are off the beaten path and offer 'comfort food' are gaining more customers. Good news these are often local advertisers.
Bars, Beer and liquor stores: Biz is up here - we can guess why.
Video Games: Activision and EA games had record profits in 08 and were some of the best gaining stocks in January. Game Stop is opening 300 or more stores this year!!!
Little Luxuries: Flowers.com did a huge number this Valentines day. So did Pajama Gram and Vermont Teddy Bears, with a lot of it from their radio campaigns. Many higher end restaurants also did well. We'll spend the money for love.
Banks: They need to restore their trust in the community and get funds flowing into them. They need to market.
You can bet there are more business segments that will gain in this down time. If you have any stories pass them on.