How can our radio sales department compete against a new, polished digital marketing agency in town? We have advertisers spending 5x more with them than they ever did with us.
Years ago, radio managers said; “If you control their creative, you control the buy.” Today it’s becoming; “If you control their digital, you control the buy.”
Most local digital, social and content marketing campaigns will fail if they’re not done perfectly. One of the big problems is that business won’t commit for the long haul (it takes longer for digital marketing success than radio success). The other problem is that local businesses fail to realize that if they’re just putting out noise, versus having an authentic digital/social/content voice, they will fail.
Authenticity is the secret ingredient to successful online marketing. And it’s the most difficult to achieve, because it requires the local business to establish their own voice and personality online. They hear all the hype, hire a digital marketing agency (who creates their content) and inevitably run out of gas when that content is perceived as fluff to those who read it. The end result is, they don’t grow an audience and those digital marketing dollars are wasted.
Here’s the good news for radio. After your prospects jump in bed with a digital marketing agency, spend all that money and fail; be sure you’re standing by to pick up the pieces and give them a hug. You then get the opportunity to remind them of simpler times when they were able to have success when they spent their budget on a smart, creative radio campaign.
Some radio groups, both large and small are starting to offer similar digital marketing/social media marketing services. It seems like a good idea on the surface, but you have to have a really top-notch, six-figure Digital CMO to lead the effort. And not many market managers are willing to commit to that level of talent, let alone the ability to find a Digital CMO talented enough to run a radio digital marketing department. There just aren’t many out there.
I recently had a conversation with a successful mid-market digital manager. This is a veteran radio guy who also knows the digital marketing game at a high level. Anyhow, their group bit the bullet and have created their own in-house digital marketing department. They have over 15 employees and finally turned a profit after year two. That doesn’t mean the effort is creating a successful ROI, it just means they finally got out of the red.
I thought you would be interested to know in case your group has been kicking around the idea. Two years to turn a profit. And I consider their lead guy a player who knows what he’s doing.
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