The Magic Hat

67aI’m not going to get into the weeds about the presidential election. But I do want to weigh in about marketing and promotion.

I read that Donald Trump spent more on those “Make America Great Again” red ball caps than he did on any other part of his campaign. I also know that in the fly-over states his lawn signs were also prolific.

I bring this up because I remember when radio stations promoted themselves prolifically as well.

Do you?

It’s About Touching People Emotionally, Stupid

Roy H. Williams taught me long ago in writing persuasive radio commericials that if you win a person’s heart, their mind and pocketbook will follow. People first are hooked by their emotions and then justify their actions logically.

Go Team Go

Pick any sports team, in any sport, and you will see team fans proudly wearing their favorite team’s hats, shirts, colors.

Colleges also understand the importance of school spirit through the display of all kinds of wearables.

Bumper Stickers

Radio used to own the bumper sticker market. One radio station I especially remember was WOBM in Toms River, New Jersey. 67 This simple white on blue bumper sticker was seen on virtually every car at the Jersey Shore when I moved to Atlantic City in 1984.

But many of these station branded items seem to have been eliminated as budget cuts forced a leaner, meaner operating style.

Ratings vs. Station Wear

These days one of a radio station’s biggest expenses is audience ratings. The expense line for station branded items I’m sure pales by comparison.

The Federal Election Commission filings show that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign spent around $1.8 million on polling from June 2015 through September 2016, but spent $3.2 million on hats. Polling like audience ratings don’t touch anyone on an emotional level (except maybe the manager when the bill comes due).

Is there a lesson for radio here?


Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales, Uncategorized

8 responses to “The Magic Hat

  1. Dick…there are a lot of lessons to be learned by the radio managers of today from the recent past and promotion is one that should be on the top of the list! Sometimes when you try to re-invent the wheel, it doesn’t turn out round!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your point is very well taken, Dick. There are still a few companies out there that market this way. But not enough. Heck, I know an LPFM that made buying T-shirts, bumper stickers and hats their first priority. We learned last week, this 100 watt, small town FM was sixth overall in the home County in the summer book. Not bad for one year in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tomaparo

    Mr. Trump must have also read Mr. Williams. Tell them why. Wait for the when. Repetition and Consistency. Lodging a brand in long term memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clark Smidt

    Actions speak louder than words. But, the Spoken Word is extremely powerful. And, it’s the little things & thoughts that count. One sincere message, cause, special song/artist, well placed TV spot or billboard, stimulates lasting care, connection and brand loyalty. Best of all, it doesn’t cost big money; just requires creative imagination and skilled application. The TV news shows this morning are fascinating. Clark

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Puget Sound Radio | 'The Magic Hat', A lesson for radio stations, by Dick Taylor - Puget Sound Radio

  6. Pingback: Words Matter | DickTaylorBlog

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