Monthly Archives: November 2011
I was sent a brief the other day, and the Sales Person had mentioned that the client wanted “footfall” to their website. I hate the expression “footfall” anyway… but when it’s related to a website! What’s that all about?
This almost falls into the category of “I just want to get my name out there!”
No Mr, or Ms. Client… what you want to do is make sales!
Footfall means “people through the door”… which on first looking seems like a reasonable request. If a business can get people through the door surely that’s half the battle?
Wrong. Maybe 5% of the battle.
OK here’s an admission. I have a little hobby, which is doing some simple close up magic and a handful of card tricks. One weekend a car dealership was having an open weekend. They booked me to do some card tricks at a table… and a clown, and a bouncy castle and a few other bits and pieces.
For two days the showroom was filled with the wrong kind of people. People who wanted freebies, or someone to entertain their kids. The sales people were too busy chasing unsupervised kids to actually do any selling! And if there WERE any suitable prospects they would have been lost in the crowds of freeloaders.
A good radio campaign will target the right people, people who want to buy your product or use your service and get them to visit your outlet or website (if you SELL online). Would you rather have 20 people who WANT to buy through your doors… or 200 people who have no intention of buying?
Of course if you have poor sales staff on the floor, those 20 may get away. Radio can bring you customers, but only you can convert them to sales.
Tell people what you want them to do… give them a good reason to do it…. And be prepared to sell to the people who respond.
I found this today. Challenging and in my opinion… spot on!
The sales person looked across the desk at me. The look.. a little bit frightened and confused. I know that a trapped animal can be dangerous… I once worked in a facility that rescued abandoned animals and I’ce seen that look before… just before the claws come out. I try the explain that the brief she’s given me is just rubbish… that the person who took it… namely her… has not used an ounce of common sense. That a 5 year old child with no radio advertising experience could have done a better job. That she was using up valuable oxygen that a sentient lifeform other than her could have been putting to good use.
Of course I tried to put it more diplomatically
The problem was the brief. Since the advent of email it’s been all to easy to just take what a client has mailed and paste it into the brief sheet, without taking any time to process, thing about it, and more importantly… to discuss with the client about how radio works and fashion a brief that will actually help the client.
When I joined a radio station in the UK I was bombarded with piles of information… the previous writer had told the sales execs that they were not giving enough information. The problem wasn’t the quantity but the quality. Masses of information just confuse me. You give me 6 points in a brief, I will chose the one that I have a great idea for… but it may not be the most important point to the client (or more importantly, the potential customer). Then we get the backwards and forwards of “the client doesn’t like the script”.
When you hear a local radio ad and you’re wondering “what was that about?” you’re asking the same question the writer had when he wrote the commercial. If it’s not fixed BEFORE the briefing, you will never get good commercials
A good brief is short.
If it’s longer, it’s probably 2 or more ads.
If it’s got several Selling Propositions… you should be thinking several ads!
The problem, as I see it, is that Radio Stations worldwide don’t invest in training their sales staff in radio advertising. I am happy to say that most of the groups I have worked for in the past have…. But there is still too much emphasis on “double glazing” sales techniques, and closing… than there is on being advertising consultants for their clients. The GREAT sales people I have worked with have made huge commissions by helping their clients to achieve their goals… and by standing up to their clients when they made the kinds of descisions that can RUIN a client’s campaign. Here are some useful phrases to help you on your way….
“I can’t get you on air tomorrow… we need to make sure your ad is spot on… and that takes a bit of time!”
“Thanks for all the information you gave me… now I’d like to ask the questions we need to answer to create you a great radio campaign!”
“If you want to say that… let’s create another commercial… now… why is it important to our listeners?”
I was sad to hear that Sir Jimmy Saville had died. I got to work with him in the early 90s and must say I found him to be just as the obituaries are saying…. a wild eccentric. But he seemed to have time for everyone, and be able to relate to everyone in the building from the cleaners and security guards to the MD. We talked a little about this and that… and recorded a few links for his radio show on the station I was working at.
I am not sure about his personal and private life, but I did know that at that time I met someone warm friendly and giving.
He raised amazing sums for charity. But as a child I couldn’t understand why he didn’t “Fix It” for me. I remember writing the letter and being terrified about spelling mistakes that would get a blast from his bike bulb horn.
The world has lost an amazing entertainer and a true radio personality.
Read more here
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. The main reason was, I got married.
I had a huge amount of fun on the wedding day.
Back at work now and thinking about radio and radio advertising… and trying to help clients get the most out of their advertising. It wasn’t a good first day back with a client who can’t seem to get the fact that their visual pun doesn’t work on radio. Ah well… onwards and upwards.
While I was working in Sierra Leone I was interviewed for the Earshot Creative review. The publicity says… “Also this time, Nairobi-based radio advertising consultant Simon Rushton says we should always prioritise effective advertising over creative advertising and he explains how to do it. On a beach.”
I just want to say it’s right to say “prioritise” since I think radio advertising can be and should be entertaining, witty, funny, emotional, creative and innovative. But that should come along side the selling… and back up the motivation to act.
Did I say that in the interview?