Make Love, Not War…Yeah Right
Your business is at war with the competition. Are you up for a fight?
After close to four decades in the radio advertising business, for me not much has changed. Radio programming was a game and still is. Kind of like a board game, without the roll of the dice. Decisions were made on solid facts, not on the chance that you’d hit the right number. And playing the “radio game” was fun, especially when you won. The Research Group, headed by Bill Moyes, one of the earliest proponents of music and audience research, had us attend a war college, where your station was either on top, and you operated with defensive moves, your competition was on top, and you executed offensive moves, flanking moves when two or more competitors were getting better ratings, and guerilla moves, for those stations that had nothing to start with and nothing to lose. It was war, and it was and is the way to win. So, how does that relate to radio advertising? Read on.
I’ve never heard a client say, you know my furniture store competitor down the street sells a lot more, but that’s okay, I’ll just get what’s left over. We’re just a little restaurant, and can barely make payroll, but hey that big chain really knows how to market themselves, so let’s not even try to challenge them.
Why would an advertiser choose to lose the battle, or even engage in battle when they can win it if they’re smart? You might not hear the busines owner actually speak th examples before, but sometimes actions speak louder than words. So, how do you prepare for battle? Let’s look at a few rules of engagement. And let’s look at it from an offense standpoint; that is the COMPETITION on top and you want a giant piece of their business.
1- Understand WHO your competition is. Look at them from a customers standpoint. Get to the heart of their operation, and find out what makes it successful from the top on down. Look at their strengths and weaknesses (yes they do have some areas of vulnerability, every business does). Their weakness will become your single selling point in your radio advertising campaign.
2- FOCUS on that single selling point. Market, and measure your success. Adjust your radio advertising message (your arsenal) if needed. That selling point is not intended to call attention to the competitor’s weakness, but rather show how you have solved a problem your competitor hasn’t. Radio listeners are smart enough to pick up on it and will understand the benefit of coming to your business rather than your competitors.
3- DON’T BE AFRAID to engage in war with your competition. I don’t care how small your business is – But you had better be prepared. No country goes to war without the proper training, the best intelligence, the best leaders, the most powerful weapons, and a game plan to win.
4- REMEMBER to build your army with people who know how to win the battle. You are an expert in your business, not in radio advertising. Understand that, and surround yourself with generals who know how to develop and execute a game plan that will work. Have faith, and enjoy the results.
Beating your competition is fun. With the right questions asked before you launch your radio advertising schedule, ( the “attack”) you will be better armed to win the battle.