At no time in the history of advertising has there been more unprecedented challenges to the creation and execution of an effective, results-oriented marketing plan. Consumers are struggling with the demands of a time-impoverished society, a global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, an uncertain economy, domestic terrorism, political polarization, the future of our democracy and the world’s climate.
Everything on the internet is driven by algorithms. If you think about it, these mathematical formulas have replaced “hype & puffery.” Algorithms are a new form of deception as they feed us exactly what they know we want to hear. It’s like everyone is now surrounded by their own team of “YES Men.”
Our interconnected world insures, whether good or bad, that you get the word – and lightning fast.
Passion Drives Sales
Marketing through price promotions, is like having a drug addiction; it’s difficult to stop, and when you do, it’s painful.
Today, auto manufacturers strive to make cars that people can’t wait to buy. Recording artists focus on making music people can’t wait to download.
If people aren’t passionate about what you do, you won’t be around for long.
An Educated Consumer
Anyone growing up around the New York City area remembers Sy Sims promoting his clothing stores with the phrase “An educated consumer is our best customer.”
Today, the internet has made everyone an “educated consumer,” and often, we know more about a company’s product or service than the people selling it.
I recently went into a T-Mobile store to inquire about their 55+ plan that offered unlimited talk, text and data for only $27.50/month. Unfortunately, the person who came over to help me was totally unaware of this plan and this price point.
I called up the most recent ad on my iPhone, to which this young lady said, “can we walk over to show my manager?”
When I spoke with the store manager, he went on to tell me that the service was inferior to their Magenta Plan and that when you add in the taxes and fees, I would end up paying almost as much ($90/month).
Needless to say, I walked out of the store, not buying a new iPhone nor a T-Mobile plan.
T-Mobile’s ads promise a “meaningful difference.” Unfortunately, the instore experience was anything but.
Today, an older wiser population is more discerning. They want to know precisely how your offer will make a meaningful difference in their lives, and the mega trend that catapulted meaningfulness is access to the World Wide Web. The web has made it easy for everyone to research, compare and contrast purchase options, and when customers have greater access to information, they make more meaningful purchasing decisions.
Claims of huge selections, friendly service, clean sandy beaches and low prices mean nothing when people on social media are posting pictures and telling of their real-life experiences.
Like, what I just did with my story about my T-Mobile shopping experience.
No matter what business you’re in, if you are going to thrive and grow, delivering exactly what you promise in your advertising is mandatory.
Update: While I never heard a word from T-Mobile about my experience, Verizon Social Media reached out to me via Twitter and put us on their new 55+ Unlimited Plan. While slightly more expensive than T-Mobile advertises their plan to be, we’re happy to remain Verizon customers. 12+ years & counting.
6 responses to “Change, the Only Constant￼”
I thought about blog reading a story in the New York times about the transition of Conde Nast from being a exclusive luxury brand to being an exceptional brand. With anual losses of 100 million, the company was forced to change their entire business model. Their bet is weighed on growing in digital advertising. Having worked for one of their publications, I can speak to the same market forces that decimated radio advertising. I’ve followed your writing since you started this site and you have eloquently coved all the factors for the industry’s decline and you have even offered spot on advice on how to stop the bleeding. I belong to a Facebook group of radio personalities and unfortunately, it’s more like a museum of the past with no innovation within the industry. One post this week suggested that AI has now been perfected to replace on air talent. Dick, what is your current forecast for radio?
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Victor, thank you for all you said and wrote.
I have been studying the growth in AI and have long thought that ALEXA would make a fine DJ; in many ways she already is, as she plays whatever I want to hear and if she plays something I want to know the artist and title of, she tells me instantly.
I’m thinking of making that very question the subject of a blog.
Reading “the person who came over to help me was totally unaware of this…” my mind jumped to the HD Radio debacle, with its stations between the stations (What does that mean?) to scant inventory and seller’s product knowledge, if a retailer even sold an HD Radio.
Add to your list of “The web has made it easy for everyone to…” has made it easy to become an expert. Choosing from volumes of information even if not read, this gives most all the feeling of knowing all.
There was a wonderful 2009 TED Talk from Eli Pariser – “Beware of the Online Filter Bubble.”
It’s a worthwhile 9-minute video: https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles?language=en
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Ken, I didn’t really think of this week’s blog as having anything to do with radio per se, but you just did a wonderful job of making the radio connection. And you’re so very right!
I will check out the TED Talk you reference.
Nothing worse than empty advertising words, and I think all too often that’s exactly what we get today. Car dealers advertising cars that they don’t even have, companies extolling virtues they don’t even give lip service too, and empty promises at every turn. Kind of like the salesman making promises he doesn’t even know if he can fulfill! Such a turn off if you’ve done your research! As the old saying goes, sometimes when something sounds too good to be true, that’s exactly the case! Everything must be taken with a grain of salt, especially advertising! Where is Mr Sims when we need him?
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We quite agree Frank. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject.