RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Where Are You Headed?

I have mentioned in the past that my wife and I love exploring the roads and scenery we've never seen before. Each ride/drive has the potential to be a great new adventure. Unfortunately, clients don't see advertising as an adventure. In my experience, most actually hate the process because it appears so complicated. Most business owners are very comfortable and adept at running a successful business. Tell them they need to advertise, and they freeze.

Carolyn is old school; she loves the Road Atlas when traveling. I’m a tech geek, so I like it on the screen. The problem with paper maps is that you have to keep pulling over to look at them. Who can fold them back up? The problem with GPS is that you are focused on the screen and the voice prompts and can't look around and enjoy the scenery. Like the value of a high-level local seller, the very best is having a guide. A guide can show you the way, and even better, share the stories and the history of new places you choose to explore. We took a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Chicago once and learned all sorts of history that we never would have known from a map or GPS.

Media salespeople are in a unique position to be the guide for their clients and prospects. Schedules can be purchased through mathematical calculations of cost per point, reach and cost per thousand. Indeed, it is a process that can be performed by a computer. The problem is – that is not advertising. That is scheduling. Advertising includes identifying the needs and wants of the business and the customers of that business. Then guiding them with a strategy using creativity and experience to meet those needs. Anyone can read a book on buying advertising, or how to create effective advertising, but nothing can replace the experience, talent and creativity of a person who can show you the way.

A GPS can get you from point A to point B. The goal of advertising is to get results, and automated efficient scheduling is only part of the process. A local, experienced seller is required to guide business owners to true success.

Someone in unfamiliar territory can easily get lost, distracted and frustrated. Business owners need help, they are looking for guidance, expertise and solutions to their problems. Will you be the guide they need?

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB