Why do people buy what they buy?

120If you’re in sales, this is probably the question that haunts you most: Why do people do the things they do?

Daniel Pink recently wrote a book “To Sell is Human” and in the book, he tells us, we are all in sales today. In fact, we may not even be aware that we are selling all the time. Daniel told the Harvard Business Review:

“I’m obviously selling books because that’s a part of my business. But if you go beyond that, I (also spent my) time trying to convince an editor to abandon a stupid idea for a story. I tried to get an airline gate agent to switch his seat. I’ve got kids. So, I’m trying to persuade my kids to do things. I have various people I do business with. And I’m trying to get them to see it my way, rather than their way, to go my direction, rather than their direction.”

“And when you actually tease it all out, I’m spending an enormous amount of time selling.”

We’re All in Sales

Looking at this from a broadcaster point of view, we too are all in sales, NOT just the people in the sales department.

Programmers are selling their ideas to management and if management gives them enough rope, they then have to sell those ideas to their air staff who then has to sell the concept to the listeners.

Events Change Our World in a Heartbeat

Sometimes events change the dynamics of what people want, need and do. The recent hurricanes have certainly had that effect on broadcasting.

In Houston, KTRH was ranked #11. 122Then Houston was hit by Hurricane Harvey and KTRH zoomed to #3, but soon after the impact of the storm began to fade and life in Houston began its long road back to “normal,” KTRH sank back to #15.

I ran a news-talk-information AM radio station back in the 90s in Atlantic City and in spite of our big commitment to local news and information, research showed that people would rather spend their day with one of the many FM music stations. However, they knew in times of coastal storms or other emergencies, our AM radio station was the one to turn to.

Radio cannot live waiting for the next emergency.

iPhones vs Androids

We all know that iPhones have not activated the FM chip to receive OTA FM radio broadcasts in their older iPhones. Plus Apple’s newest iPhones (7, 8 & X) don’t even have an FM chip in them to activate. So, if having an FM chip in their smartphone was important to Apple’s customers, why do people keeping buying iPhones? Maybe it is because they use them for other things.

In the USA Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems are sharing the market about evenly says John Koetsier writing in Forbes. However what we’ve seen over the last couple of years is that what they don’t share equally is commerce. iOS is used to make more online purchases than Android. If you’re selling stuff, that’s an important distinction and its why Apps are usually first developed for the Apple Store and then later for Android devices.

Digital Cameras

I recently read an article that said if digital cameras were to stay relevant, they should connect to the internet. Guess what, they now can. Here are seven of the best WiFi cameras on the market according to Lifewire.

Should they also be able to make & receive calls, texts? Contain an FM chip?

As everything becomes connected to the internet should they also be able to receive OTA broadcast?

Electric Cars

BMW was the first car company I was aware of, that when it introduced its all electric car said it would not contain an AM radio. BMW said they couldn’t isolate the noise interference it would cause to the AM signals.

Funny, but I remember when cars used to have only an AM radio and that isolating an alternator was often necessary to not get horrific noise through the speakers. Is this really that much of a problem or has BMW carefully defined its customer’s wants, needs and desires?

Tesla in introducing their new Model 3 also said AM radio would not be part of the center stack options.

Do you think this will give people pause in buying an electric vehicle?

Go with the Flow

None of these things really represent a change in why people do the things they do. Roy H. Williams, the Wizard of Ads, has been writing about these things for decades.

In his book “Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads” in Chapter 70 “Better Jewelry, Better Jeweler,” Roy poses this question: “If you had to choose between selling what you wanted to sell, or what the majority of people wanted to buy, which would you choose?” Your future success is determined largely by your answer to that very question says Roy.

Bringing this back to broadcasting, AM, FM, digital, TV, cable, streaming is really nothing more than a display case in a jewelry store. It’s what you put into that display case that matters.

Your success comes down to serving your viewer or listener in the very way they want to be served.

If you’re in sync with the people of your broadcast property’s service area, then you will enjoy their business and they will demand you be easily accessible on the latest device.

The curve ball today is connecting your programming to the internet. The internet is a global community. You can’t be all things to all people. If you try, you will fail.

Define your market, know what they want, then serve it up to them. It’s OK to put it on the internet as long as you stay true to the people’s wants and needs that you aim to serve.

5 Comments

Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales

5 responses to “Why do people buy what they buy?

  1. Reblogged this on artversnick and commented:
    spot-on observation from Dick Taylor. Nothing has changed, just our needs and wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This doesn’t change your core point…in fact it just reinforces it…but the latest iPhones *DO* contain a chip that can decode FM. This has been conclusively proven in several tear-downs that the chip uses decodes bluetooth, wifi and FM. Most phones do; it’s easier to get a chip that does it all, so to speak, and just not have the software code that accesses it.

    What iPhones, since the 7, lack is the headphone cord necessary to function as an FM antenna. Although presumably you could just use the lightning connector dongle to use headphones for that purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve read about the tear-downs and the dispute over whether iPhones can or can’t receive FM signals. I think, however (I’m not an engineer), that making the FM part of the phone work involves a whole lot more than just turning on a chip. As you pointed out, the headphone wire provides the antenna.

      Today, wireless headphone sales far out-pace wired headphone sales, so I don’t see the wired headphones coming back.

      In fact, I own a pair of AirBuds for my iPhone7 and love them.

      My MacBook Air came with a pair of wireless BEATS headphones and they are also as good as my wired BOSE headphones I used to use with my iPhone4S.

      What we are seeing is wireless is the future, whether it be for headphones or our laptops, phones or tablets. Once you enjoy the freedom of wireless, you won’t want to go back to wired.

      Steve Jobs knew that convenience trumped quality and that’s what allowed him to dominate with the iPod for music. I can’t think of any professional musician that thinks the iPod was a quality source for music reproduction.

      What we need to take notice of is where people spend their money and then figure out how to provide services that meet those desires.

      Thank You for sharing your thoughts on this topic. -DT

      Like

  3. Thank you for a great article, your advice will be very helpful for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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