Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason to Receive National Radio Award
Dan Mason, president and chief executive officer of CBS Radio, will receive the National Radio Award during the Radio Show Luncheon, sponsored by Katz Media Group and held Friday, September 21.
The luncheon will take place during the 2012 Radio Show, jointly produced by the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Advertising Bureau, September 19-21 in Dallas.
"Throughout Dan Mason's extensive career in Radio, his commitment to innovation and growth, coupled with his programming expertise, has shaped Radio as a whole," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "We welcome the opportunity to honor Dan's contributions to Radio by presenting him with the National Radio Award."
Mason began his radio career in 1975 at WZGC-FM in Atlanta. In 1977, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he was WPGC-FM's program director and national program director for the station's parent company, First Media. In 1979, at age 27, KTSA/KTFM San Antonio named him vice president/general manager. Mason later returned to First Media and became president when the company became Cook Inlet Radio Partners.
In 1993, Mason joined Westinghouse as president of Group W Radio, which later merged with CBS. Mason acted as CBS Radio President from 1995-2002. He returned full time in 2007 after serving as a consultant to CBS and other domestic and international radio broadcasting companies.
As President and CEO, Mason oversees all operations for CBS Radio's 130 stations. His aggressive growth strategy includes diversifying the division's portfolio with station formats that cater to different age groups and demographics. Under Mason's leadership, Top 40 station launches in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Houston and Phoenix outperform previous lineups. CBS Radio's debut of sports programming on FM stations in Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland has demonstrated success as a business model. Mason also increased CBS Radio's digital presence with an extensive online streaming platform and mobile applications.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Mason graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in broadcasting and was later granted an honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Radio and Records named him Radio Executive of the Year, while Radio Ink magazine named Mason Executive of the Year and featured him on its cover. He also has been included on Billboard's Power 100 list and the Mediaweek 50 list.
Mason is this year's Radio Show Steering Committee Chair and an active member of the NAB Radio Board of Directors.
Each year the National Radio Award honors an individual who is an outstanding leader in the radio industry. Previous National Radio Award recipients include Steve Newberry, Charles Warfield, Ed Christian, Bruce Reese, Jerry Lee, David Kennedy, John Dille, Lowry Mays, Jeff Smulyan, Bill Stakelin, and Erica Farber, among others.
For more information on the 2012 Radio Show, visit radioshowweb.com.
||May Auto Volume Rises 26%; Sales Pace Hits 13.8M
Toyota, Honda Soar in Comeback; Chrysler Extends Gains
U.S. light vehicle sales -- helped by a surge at Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., and more healthy gains at Chrysler Group -- climbed 26 percent to 1.33 million last month compared with a weak May 2011.
The seasonally adjusted sales rate hit 13.8 million, the lowest pace of 2012. While the pace of sales came in below expectations, it was well above the 11.7 million rate of May 2011, the year's second-weakest month, and higher than during any month last year.
The U.S. auto industry, aided by rising incentives and consumers that continue to shrug off job and financial anxieties, remains on a stable track for its best showing since 2007, when sales totaled 16.15 million.
U.S. light-vehicle demand has advanced 13 percent so far this year to nearly 6 million units.
"In spite of a tremendous amount of global economic uncertainty, the U.S. vehicle sales industry continues to power ahead," Reid Bigland, the head of Chrysler's U.S. sales operations, said in a statement.
Rebounding from disaster
Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales rose 87 percent from a year earlier, when Japanese automakers began to suffer from a shortage of vehicles following a March 2011 earthquake in Japan. Sales at the Toyota division nearly doubled to 175,463.
American Honda's U.S. sales jumped 48 percent to 133,997 in May. The automaker said deliveries at the Honda division advanced 46 percent to 119,411 and Acura volume rose 62 percent to 14,586.
"Honda's return to strength is in full swing," John Mendel, head of American Honda's U.S. sales operations, said in a statement. "Any time Honda Civic sales surpass 33,000 units in a month, it shows real demand in the marketplace."
Chrysler Group posted a 30 percent increase in sales last month while General Motors and Ford rebounded from April declines.
Nissan Motor Co.'s May sales rose 21 percent for their biggest gain of the year. The Volkswagen brand advanced 28 percent. At Hyundai, sales rose 13 percent to 67,019.
Most GM brands up
After a 5 percent decline in April, GM's sales rose 11 percent last month, with deliveries up 10 percent at Chevrolet, 19 percent at GMC and 19 percent at Buick. Cadillac's slump continued with sales off 15 percent.
At Ford, sales rose 13 percent, with deliveries at the Ford division advancing 13 percent and offsetting a 2 percent drop at Lincoln. Ford sales had been down 5 percent in April.
Chrysler brand sales surged 81 percent, while Jeep sales rose 24 percent.
Fiat 500 deliveries more than doubled to 4,003, and sales of the Chrysler 200 mid-sized sedan rose 87 percent to 13,250.
It was the 26th consecutive month Chrysler's sales have advanced, and the 12th straight month the gain has been 20 percent or more.
Chrysler up 33% in 2012
Chrysler's U.S. sales have increased 33 percent this year to 689,257 units.
The automaker has been aided by a revamped large and mid-sized car lineup, a redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, as well as fleet orders and some of the industry's highest retail discounts. Chrysler also offered a sales promotion late last month that delayed the start of payments for 90 days on certain models.
"The Japanese competitors are now back fully in the marketplace," Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters on May 24. "It's something that we have not had to deal with, effectively, over the last 12 months."
Industry sales started strong early in May, softened during the middle of the month "and then came back again over the Memorial weekend," said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
Light vehicle demand -- a bright spot in the U.S. economy -- has climbed 10 percent this year through April and the annualized sales pace has topped 14 million units each month until May.
"Pent-up demand continues to fuel auto sales at a steady and sustainable level," said Jesse Toprak, head of market intelligence at TrueCar.com.
Easing credit conditions, fleet deliveries and a steady but sometimes choppy rebound in the U.S. economy are also driving industry sales.
GM's closely watched retail sales -- roughly 70 percent of overall deliveries -- rose 14 percent while fleet sales inched up 3 percent last month, the automaker said.
Analysts say automakers have also caught a break with the recent drop in gasoline prices nationwide.
Sales of big pickups surged last month, with the Chevrolet Silverado rising 22 percent, GMC Sierra volume up 23 percent, Ford F series sales up 29 percent, Dodge Ram deliveries climbing 29 percent and the Nissan Titan rising 86 percent.
The rise in sales is prompting automakers to boost output by adding overtime and production shifts. Ford said on Friday it will increase third-quarter production across North America by 5 percent to 690,000 units.
Bigland said Chrysler was also "in the process of adding production capacity as quickly as possible to meet strong demand."
Among the biggest automakers, GM, Ford, Honda and Nissan have lost market share this year, while Chrysler, Toyota, and the Hyundai-Kia Group have gained ground.
Some automakers were forced to hike incentives to coax buyers into showrooms last month.
Suzuki, after posting a 17 percent drop in April sales, introduced 0 percent financing on 72-month loans across its U.S. lineup. Its sales rose 3 percent last month.
Ford said it raised incentives in May after falling short of sales targets in April.
"Incentives are expected to play a larger role in May than in the past few months when pent-up demand drove consumers back to the market," Jeffries analyst Peter Nesvold said in a research report on Thursday.
GM offered "substantial" increases in rebates for pickups and SUVs, while Ford boosted discounts on models such as the Fiesta and Focus cars, Escape crossover and F-series pickups, Nesvold said.
Edmunds estimates automakers spent an average of $2,135 on incentives per vehicle in May, up 3.9 percent from April, and up 0.6 percent compared with May 2011.
TrueCar.com said average incentive spending per new vehicle totaled $2,392 last month, an increase of 4 percent from May 2011 but a drop of 2 percent from April 2012.
The 10 best-selling vehicles in May were (with year-to-date percentage change in parentheses):
1. Ford F-Series, 54,836 (+14.8%)
2. Toyota Camry, 39,571 (+44.2%)
3. Chevrolet Silverado, 34,555 (+7.1%)
4. Honda Civic, 33,490 (+22.7%)
5. Toyota Corolla/Matrix, 31,847 (+6.1%)
6. Honda Accord, 29,737 (+13.3%)
7. Chevrolet Malibu, 29,579 (+11.1%)
8. Ford Fusion, 26,857 (+1.4%)
9. Ram Pickup, 26,040 (+26.6%)
10. Honda CR-V, 25,186 (+29.3)
(Source: Automotive News, 06/01/12)
||Big Boxes Still Winning on Price, Losing on Experience
According to a Consumer Insights Panel survey of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers from Empathica Inc., nearly all U.S. consumers (93 percent) visited a big box retailer in a one-month period, with seven out of 10 consumers visiting more than three times.
Survey results show that the most important factor in choosing a big box retailer is price (61 percent). Other important factors to U.S. consumers include location convenience (12 percent) and a wide selection of products (10 percent). Seventy-one percent of customers also indicated that they prefer to visit big box retailers that offer a "one-stop" shopping experience, with all essential products at one store.
"While price is the most important factor to most U.S. consumers shopping at big box retailers, not all retailers can offer the lowest price, so they must find other ways to stay ahead of the competition," said Dr. Gary Edwards, chief customer officer, Empathica. "One such way is customer experience -- by offering location convenience, a wide selection of products and exceptional customer service, big box retailers can drive customer loyalty."
Lack of personalization was cited at a high rate for big box retailers -- with two in five consumers reporting that their shopping experience did not feel personalized. That personalized customer experience, when found in other outlets, leads to greater loyalty and a better chance for the customer to become a brand advocate, added Edwards.
Many survey respondents also report that employees do not provide satisfactory answers to customer questions. One in five respondents report that employees do not provide accurate answers to questions in their areas of expertise, and only 39 percent of customers believe employees listen when a customer approaches them with a question.
Despite affection for visiting big box retail outlets, consumers believe that front line employees are not happy with their work. Only 38 percent of those surveyed believe employees at big box retailers appear to be enjoying their jobs.
"Absence of employee enjoyment can mean there is something amiss in the retail environment," said Edwards. "Location managers have much room for improvement when it comes to engaging their employees and emphasizing the importance of customer service standards."
Survey results revealed that while nearly all U.S. consumers visit big box retailers in a given month due to price and convenience, many consumers report inconsistencies in the experience at brands' multi-unit locations. One in five consumers report they do not have a consistent experience at big box retailers across their various locations.
"Even if you have a great experience in one store, you can't trust the brand to deliver in others. This inconsistency erodes brands' equity. Retailers that can consistently manage the customer experience will drive regular consumer habits, which in turn will drive sales," said Edwards. "Big box retailers must create an environment where consumers are confident their needs will be met at each and every visit no matter the location."
(Source: PMA Newsline, 06/04/12)
Daily Sales Tip: Needs Differ for Prospects, Existing Customers
Recent research shows that treating prospects the same way you treat existing customers may be a major mistake. About 70% of prospects taking part in the survey said they wanted different things than existing customers look for.
The survey also reported that what salespeople do to please prospects may not work for existing customers.
Salespeople who deliver the same presentation to prospects and customers may be missing one of their targets. Those who understand the differences in their prospects' and customers' buying criteria and adjust accordingly score the highest returns on their sales efforts, according to the survey.
Source: Adapted from Relevant Selling, by Jaynie L. Smith