Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Listen - Enable - Serve

This space over the past number of months has been filled with, among other things, commentary on the numerous changes affecting our industry--mostly through a programming focused lens.

One of the biggest issues that face programmers is how to successfully program mass appeal radio stations when it is clear that control is shifting/has shifted from us to them--the listeners. It's a problem not easily solved.

As new ideas are tried and adopted -- new formats, new personalities, and new structures -- one area, for all intents and purposes, has not been adequately addressed. Sales. Far be it for me to play the role of a sales expert, but here goes... We got "less is more," shorter commercials, fewer breaks, more breaks, more spots, less spots, and any number of other variations. None of it has yielded spectacular results, or so it seems to me. We need radical thought when it comes to commercials.

Today's version of commercials must change. I can't say with certainty what advertising will sound like in the future but the time is now to start trying some different things. Maybe all live? Maybe more theatrical? Maybe hyper short messages tied to some sort of interactive interface? As revenues continue to decline, due to both the economy and shifting advertising paradigms, we owe it to our future to consider any and all ideas.

I want to share with you this presentation which was created to help "brands" better navigate the networked world. I think it offers some valuable insights for programming and for sales. The key take away is Listen, Enable and Serve. If we take this message to heart it could have a lasting and positive impact for programming, sales, listeners and clients alike.

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