I’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.
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.
Radio used to own the bumper sticker market. One radio station I especially remember was WOBM in Toms River, New Jersey. 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?